Earlier this year, Verizon and T-Mobile entered into an agreement to swap some AWS and PCS spectrum licenses. Radio provider Sirius objected the swap, saying that T-Mobile’s AWS cell sites were causing interference for its subscribers in some large markets, but today the FCC shot down that objection.
In a decision released today, the FCC explained that Sirius did not provide sufficient evidence that Verizon and T-Mobile’s spectrum swap would cause Sirius harm and that the company didn’t provide any kind of alternate solution. When arguing against Sirius’s objection, T-Mobile said that the interference is Sirius’s problem and that it’s using its spectrum according to regulations, so Sirius is the one that needs to deal with its receivers if they’re having issues. T-Mobile also said that the AWS licenses that it’s getting from Verizon are not in the same areas that Sirius is experiencing interference.
In the end, the FCC said that Sirius’s objection would not be considered in the review of the Verizon-T-Mobile swap, and so it approved the deal. However, the FCC did tell Sirius that it could fight the issue with T-Mobile’s airwaves in a separate filing. Sirius XM spokesman Patrick Reilly told the Wall Street Journal that his company is “working constructively” on the problem but that it may pursue “other avenues” if the two can’t reach a solution. T-Mobile declined to comment on the matter.
Usually when we’re talking T-Mobile and Verizon, the two are taking shots at one another, but the two carriers were able to come together to fight against Sirius’s claims on this matter. Now they can go ahead and make their spectrum swap and T-Mobile can use its new AWS licenses to continue to beef up its network.
If you’d like to read the FCC’s full decision for yourself, hit up the FCC link below.