WASHINGTON--The FCC adopted rules for next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum that are more favorable to Verizon Wireless and AT&T than initially contemplated. However, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Dish Network and smaller carriers are likely to claim some measure of victory because the FCC agreed to allow some spectrum to be reserved for carriers that do not control large amounts of low-band spectrum.
Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has said that it might be necessary for Sprint and T-Mobile US to merge in order to remain viable players in the U.S. wireless market, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. That position is notable as it could represent an easing of regulatory opposition to the proposed deal, which Sprint and parent SoftBank have been floating during the past several months.
As the first-quarter reporting season comes to a close, it's time to start parsing the information to see which carriers slipped and which managed to get ahead. FierceWireless takes a close look at the performance of U.S. wireless operators in the first quarter of 2014, including churn, ARPU and other major metrics compiled by Strategy Analytics.
The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the first quarter of 2014 by subscriber base, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, and includes major metrics--such as churn, ARPU and revenue--of each carrier.
AT&T Mobility has inked an agreement to purchase all of Sprint's WCS spectrum licenses. Sprint owns 19 2.3 GHz WCS licenses in locations across the South including in markets in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Georgia and elsewhere.
The FCC on Thursday will decide rules for next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum. It will also decide rules for how much spectrum wireless carriers can hold in different markets--the FCC's so-called spectrum screen. The event will be the most consequential meeting of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's term so far, and it will have a fundamental impact on the direction of the U.S. wireless industry. Right now, it looks like Wheeler is trying to placate different factions within the industry, but he could wind up with most carriers being peeved at the final results.
T-Mobile US parent Deutsche Telekom wants at least a $1 billion breakup fee in the event that regulators block a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The total LTE baseband market will expand by 47 percent to reach 338 million units this year, according to a new report from Forward Concepts. The firm said the LTE baseband market totaled 291 million units in 2013, up from 103 million in 2012.
Dish Network and Sprint wholesale partner nTelos Wireless are close to launching a trial network for fixed wireless TD-LTE service. The companies hope to add commercial users to the network in July, later than they initially expected when the plans for the trials were first unveiled last fall.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen reiterated his decision not to get into a bidding war with Sprint over T-Mobile US, but indicated that he would be ready to move if Sprint tried to make a bid for T-Mobile and failed.