The start of the 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum incentive auctions may have been pushed from this year to the middle of 2015, but the fight to define rules that might restrict the ability of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility to acquire airwaves in the auctions rages on. Last week, representatives from Sprint, T-Mobile US, U.S. Cellular, Dish Network and a wide array of associations and public interest groups met with FCC officials and urged for those restrictions.
The Tier 1 carriers are not the only ones launching holiday-focused promotions, as smaller carriers C Spire Wireless, U.S. Cellular and Leap Wireless' Cricket are getting into the act with deals of their own.
The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the third quarter of 2013 by subscriber base, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, and includes major metrics--such as churn, ARPU and revenue--of each carrier.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has been on the job for barely two weeks, but Sprint, T-Mobile US, Dish Network and other smaller carriers are already lobbying him to ensure rules that let them get access to 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum in the forthcoming incentive auctions.
The FCC approved an order to implement a 700 MHz interoperability solution that will eventually give smaller carriers access to the same 700 MHz LTE devices AT&T now uses.
Sprint currently has a total of three operational inbound LTE roaming agreements, and has inked contracts with two providers for outbound roaming, according to internal Sprint documents obtained by FierceWireless.
Now that Apple is trumpeting that it sold a record 9 million units of the iPhone 5s and lower-priced iPhone 5c during the new models' debut weekend, smaller carriers seem to have been given the green light to announce their own plans to sell the new gadgets.
In a surprising move, AT&T said it supports 700 MHz interoperability and will begin adding Band 12-capable devices to its portfolio. Until this point, the company had adamantly refused to support Band 12, saying that it was unnecessary and would add costs to its devices.
U.S. Cellular's forthcoming shared data plans will largely look similar to plans offered by larger carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, according to an Engadget report.
C Spire Wireless recently purchased PCS spectrum from Leap Wireless, an indication that it continues to beef up its coverage in its core markets even as regional wireless carriers continue to fade from the industry.