T-Mobile US CEO John Legere reiterated his willingness to work with satellite TV provider and spectrum powerhouse Dish Network in some fashion.
A coalition of public interest groups urged the FCC to adopt a spectrum reserve of at least 40 MHz for the 600 MHz incentive auction, one of several rule changes they are suggesting aimed at helping smaller carriers acquire spectrum. In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his fellow commissioners, the groups said that the AWS-3 auction strengthened the position of AT&T and Verizon Wireless and that, now, smaller carriers need a leg up to compete. The groups also want the FCC to move quickly to free up the 3.5 GHz band for mobile broadband.
Artemis Networks, a wireless startup that aims to reshape the wireless landscape through its pCell technology (and a 2014 Fierce 15 winner), is leasing spectrum from Dish Network in San Francisco to demonstrate its technology in a commercial service. Although Artemis aims to be more of a technology solutions provider, the company is partnering with Dish on a limited basis to get its technology off the ground.
Dish Network wants to use its wireless spectrum to launch an innovative mobile video service, and is willing to partner with companies both in and out of the wireless industry to do so, according to Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen. The key to any teaming would be that Dish and its partner should be able to accomplish more together than they could apart, he said.
Dish Network Chairman and founder Charlie Ergen, who has masterminded the company's push into the wireless market through spectrum purchases and regulatory gambits, will take over as CEO of the company at the end of March. Dish said its current CEO, Joe Clayton, will leave his position and Dish's board as of March 31.
AT&T Mobility thinks that the record-shattering AWS-3 auction proved that going forward the FCC should more skeptical of companies like Dish Network that bid for spectrum but have not commercially deployed it. AT&T also thinks Dish manipulated the FCC's designated entity system in its bidding strategy for the auction to get discounts on airwaves.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere thinks the FCC's recently completed AWS-3 auction was a smashing financial success for the U.S. Treasury but a "disaster for American wireless consumers" because he said AT&T and Verizon Wireless won the lion's share of the spectrum (Dish Network's bidding partners also won a major chunk of AWS-3 spectrum). Legere wants to make sure that doesn't happen in the 600 MHz incentive auction.
T-Mobile US will report its full fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow and since the carrier has already detailed its subscriber growth, the focus is likely going to be on its margins and future technology deployments, according to a financial analyst.
Verizon Wireless indicated that it thinks it has enough spectrum for the foreseeable future and is taking a "wait and see" approach to the FCC's 600 MHz incentive auction of broadcast TV spectrum. However, some analysts think that Verizon is playing coy as a way to get auction rules that it finds more favorable or to delay the auction.
Verizon Wireless entered the AWS-3 spectrum auction with at least 40 MHz of AWS airwaves covering around 70 percent of the U.S. population, but ended the auction with that figure around 95 percent. According to a senior Verizon executive, Verizon now has a combination of at least 40 MHz of AWS-1 or AWS-3 spectrum in 92 of the top 100 U.S. markets, which will help the carrier meet capacity needs as more traffic shifts to its LTE network.