A total of 70 companies have qualified to bid in the FCC's upcoming AWS-3 spectrum auction, which starts Nov. 13 and will be the country's largest spectrum auction since 2008.
Now that French Internet and mobile company Iliad has dropped its pursuit of T-Mobile US, it seems likely that T-Mobile will continue as an independent entity and a unit of Deutsche Telekom for the foreseeable future. Financial analysts seem to think that's great news for T-Mobile, which has had strong momentum in the market.
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As expected, the list of bidders for the FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction includes heavyweight wireless carriers Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US, as well as Dish Network, according to a list of bidders released by the FCC. The list also includes a number of smaller wireless carriers looking to get chunks of spectrum that are divided along smaller geographic areas.
Dish Network launched fixed TD-LTE service in Corpus Christi, Texas, using Sprint's 2.5 GHz network and spectrum.
France-based Iliad has reportedly given itself until the middle of October to decide whether to improve its bid for T-Mobile US or give up on efforts to buy the U.S. unit of Deutsche Telekom.
Bankrupt wireless firm LightSquared burned through $81.4 million in August, and the company has now lost $1.6 billion since it filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012. The losses are piling up as Philip Falcone and his Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund struggle to maintain control of the firm as it seeks to exit bankruptcy.
T-Mobile US would strike an M&A deal with another company only if they had U.S. spectrum, a U.S. customer base and offered "favorable financial terms," according to financial analysts.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen has told T-Mobile US parent Deutsche Telekom he is interested in a future deal for the carrier, according to a Bloomberg report. Ergen previously left the door open for a bid for T-Mobile after merger talks between T-Mobile and Sprint broke down last month.
Iliad is continuing to explore different ways of improving its bid for T-Mobile US, with latest reports saying the France-based company is now in talks with private equity companies on a possible collaboration.