T-Mobile explains to FCC why it should participate in mmWave auction, says it won’t jointly bid with Sprint


The FCC is hosting a millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum auction later this year, and T-Mobile recently submitted a filing to the FCC to explain why it should participate.

T-Mobile explains that it and Sprint are aware of the need to avoid any inappropriate coordination of competitive activity before their merger is complete and the need to avoid any potential violations of antitrust laws while they remain independent. And so T-Mo says that it and Sprint have have protections to prevent sharing of sensitive information, including strategies related to spectrum auctions, while the merger deal is pending.

“The parties have protections in place to guard against the inappropriate sharing of competitively sensitive information, including any strategies or plans the parties may have in regard to spectrum auctions that occur while the transaction is pending,” T-Mo says.

As noted by FierceWireless, John Legere suggested earlier this year that T-Mobile could participate in this FCC spectrum auction with Sprint, which may have played a role in T-Mo’s decision to include the aforementioned statement in this FCC filing.

T-Mobile also notes that broad participation in the spectrum auction is necessary in order for the FCC to promote economic opportunity and competition and also maximizes revenue for the U.S. Treasury by accounting for the true demand for mmWave spectrum. If T-Mo were barred from taking part in the auction, it says that mmWave spectrum would be further concentrated, which would have an anticompetitive effect.

Despite T-Mobile’s pushing the FCC for a broad mmWave spectrum auction, the FCC will first hold auctions for 28GHz spectrum followed by 24GHz. The auctions are slated to kick off in November. T-Mo has previously expressed interest in mmWave spectrum for use with its 5G network, and given today’s filing and the fact that it’s not guaranteed that its merger with Sprint (and Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum) will be allowed to go through, it’s clear that T-Mobile wants to pick up some licenses in the FCC’s auction.

To read T-Mobile’s full letter, hit the FCC link below.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: FCC

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  • steveb944

    Legere should have stayed quiet from the get go.

    • riverhorse

      You have to be approved just to bid for starters, and you never know how bureaucrats think– no rhyme or reason at times. Maybe some insider sympathetic to T-Mo(whether independently or in cahoots) confidentially leaked ongoing concerns.Maybe big corporations have ensured to have insider connections. I hope so for our provider.
      As to the merger, assuming TMo plays it cards right–i think it’s a slam dunk–TMo will expound on how cellular coverage will expand and speed up, plus how its Mobile TV, helped by the proposed merger, will allow for extra competition in that segment… and the icing on the cake will be the free internet program for students(program includes free modem and is currently in partnership with various libraries).
      FCC might extract something to strengthen US Cellular and others, for competition purposes, but it otherwise looks like a PR / image & economic home run for everyone involved.

      • Clifton K. Morris

        When the merger closes, Sprint/T-Mobile will have about double the spectrum (sans mmWave).

        I don’t see why the Former German Government Monopoly needs even more short-range spectrum, unless it plans to warehouse it for a decade and wait until AT&T and Verizon make lease space available on their own mmWave structures.

        I also believe the FCC will rubber-stamp the merger because of T-Mobile’s ties to the German Government and German banks that ultimately own the majority of the company stock.

        But I believe more should be done to open up more high-power airwaves so schools can setup a single router that delivers coverage for an entire school instead of installing 10-20 access points that each have to be configured…. Or providing commercial service for “free internet program” whose price and promotional discount lasts the length of a “Mobile Without Borders” ad campaign.

        • riverhorse

          Former German Monopoly giving me much better deal than the two former American Monopolies.
          The free internet is from Sprint– both modem and data are totally free.
          Mobile Wthout Borders, like all other plans and promos, grandfathers you in for life. There are still folks enjoying the benefits of T-Zones from almost 2 decades ago.
          About the access points- why not arrange with a carrier to locate their tower on the grounds, and pony up equipment to allow the entire school to network.
          Doesn’t make sense to forego airwave sales funds. Our public schools already siphon in billions, yet they are always short and can never pay teachers enough. But the kids get cooked meals(that go straight to the garbage bins), and are chauffered to and from school– with whole sections of city traffic held up until the kid comes out in the morning and a guardian comes out to meet it in the afternoon.
          Our public school kids graduate spoiled rotten and feeling super entitled, with poor manners, social skills, grammar and dress code. Their test scores are some of the worst of the industrialized world.
          But, having been set up so readily for failure, they have, however, been prepared well for the consequences– by having been left-indoctrinated to continue suckling the government teat indefinitely: protest, crusade, and demand, demand, demand safety net and social justice post graduation.