T-Mobile released a new video featuring CEO John Legere spouting off angrily about AT&T and Verizon lobbying tactics around an upcoming Federal Communications Commission auction of low-band wireless spectrum.
The FCC will establish low-band spectrum auction rules next month, and the auction will take place early next year. Low-band spectrum is more efficient than higher-band spectrum, and is better at penetrating buildings and reaching out into rural areas.
“They’re swarming the five FCC officials who will make these auction rules and trying to strong-arm them into looking the other way while they continue to bulldoze American wireless consumers,” Legere said.
“They’re fighting like hell to preserve their unfair structural advantage,” Legere said.
But like many of Legere’s tirades, they’re full of bluster and obscenities, and light on details.
So here’s the rest of the story. The FCC has already set aside 30 MHz of low-band spectrum in each market for “smaller carriers” like T-Mobile and Sprint to bid on. Verizon says is a blog post Thursday that the real reason for Legere’s tirade today is that he now wants 40 MHz to be set aside.
The blog makes another arguement against the set-aside:
This set-aside of 30 MHz of spectrum is intended for “smaller carriers.” Yet T-Mobile’s parent company is Deutsche Telecom and has a market cap of $76 billion. Sprint’s parent company is Softbank, with a similar market cap of about $70 billion. In other words, these aren’t “small” companies.
VentureBeat calls to T-Mobile were not returned Thursday. AT&T chose not to comment.
These goings-on come as rumors float that T-Mobile is in talks to acquire Dish Network. Dish Network’s considerable spectrum holdings could immediately be put to use to improve the speed and reach of T-Mobile’s existing network.
Dish paid $13.3 billion for wireless spectrum in a government auction earlier this year. Only AT&T spent more ($18.2 billion). But Dish never built a wireless network.