FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the commission is moving the start of the 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum incentive auctions to mid-2015 from a previously scheduled start of sometime in 2014 to make sure the agency gets the technology and policy correct. The decision could have major ramifications for how other spectrum auctions scheduled to take place before the incentive auctions proceed.
Dish Network has officially registered its intent to bid in the FCC's upcoming 1900 MHz PCS H Block spectrum auction--and it is likely to secure a significant amount of licenses since it is the only major company planning to participate in the auction. If Dish is successful in winning H Block licenses, the company would notably improve its already significant spectrum portfolio.
According to a new report from New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin, Charlie Ergen's Dish Network could acquire the most spectrum of any company--around 60 MHz--over the course of the next year or so. If Dish is indeed successful in acquiring the spectrum, the company would own a spectrum war chest of as much as 100 MHz--positioning the company as a potentially major player in the wireless market.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Thursday the 1900 MHz PCS H block auction will go forward on Jan. 22, as scheduled, despite Sprint and T-Mobile US indicating they will not participate.
In the span of 48 hours this week executives from both Sprint and T-Mobile US declared that their companies will not participate in the Jan. 22 auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block, leaving Dish Network the most likely winner of the spectrum. Analysts said the two carriers are avoiding the H Block auction because they want to focus on their existing spectrum holdings and wait for other upcoming auctions, as well as a avoid complications with Dish and its chairman, Charlie Ergen.
Sprint stunned the market and said it will not participate in the Jan. 22 auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block. The news surprised the industry because Sprint owns spectrum directly adjacent to the H Block and was considered a key contender for the spectrum.
T-Mobile US indicated it will not participate in the Jan. 22 auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block, but said it is still shopping for more spectrum from an unnamed private company.
T-Mobile US said it plans to sell new shares in a move that could raise as much as $1.8 billion. The company could use the cash to acquire spectrum in upcoming auctions.
The Senate on late Tuesday unanimously confirmed Tom Wheeler to be the next FCC chairman and also unanimously confirmed Michael O'Rielly, a staffer for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), as one of the two Republican commissioners on the five-member panel.
The FCC on Monday delayed by eight days the start of the auction of 1900 MHz PCS H Block following the 16-day government shutdown this month, which disrupted the agency's operations.