T-Mobile asks FCC to void some of Verizon’s 600MHz bids
T-Mobile has been chasing tails from the beginning of this spectrum auction process. It’s been fortunate so far to have had a fairly clear berth from its smaller counterparts. It also claims to have up to $10 billion in its arsenal ready to bid — with more cash ready to go as the carrier sells some of its cell towers. Now, it’s once again going after the nation’s most popular network to put a cap on its quest for the 600MHz band.
Specifically, we’re talking about the reserve band of the 600MHz: approximately 40MHz of spectrum reserved for carriers that own less than one-third of a particular market’s existing low-band spectrum.
But even with that threshold in place, AT&T and Verizon — the nation’s two largest carriers by coverage — could still bid for that reserve spectrum in some markets, even if they each own close to 44.6666667MHz of spectrum under the 1,000MHz level.
Well, maybe Verizon blew past close. T-Mobile has just sent a petition to the FCC asking them to check its math and remove Verizon from reserve-eligibility for 12 markets. They are:
- Oklahoma City
- Brownsville, Texas
- Springfield, Mass.
- Bozeman, Mont.
- Galesburg, Ill.
- Great Falls, Mont.
- Yankton, S.D.
- Farmington, N.M.
- Sheridan, Wyo.
- Minot, N.D.
- Kanab, Utah
- Valentine, Neb.
In all of those markets, T-Mobile claims Verizon owns more than what it is allowed to in order to bid on the reserve spectrum.
While we wait for the FCC’s response, we may see more of these eligibility challenges coming to the agency before the bidding process begins.