T-Mobile executives said last week that they believe they'll be able to deploy some of the 600 MHz spectrum they expect to pocket during this year's auction by the end of 2017. And CFO Braxton Carter told investors today that the carrier will also have handsets ready to support those airwaves.
Some industry analysts have speculated that it may take several years before carriers can begin to deploy services on the 600 MHz airwaves that the FCC will put up for auction in the coming weeks. But T-Mobile executives think they may be able to begin to leverage that spectrum as early as 2017.
Bidding for the FCC's reverse auction of 600 MHz airwaves is slated to start May 31, kicking off what Chairman Tom Wheeler has predicted will be a "spectrum extravaganza." But Wells Fargo Securities analysts are questioning just how valuable carriers view that low-band spectrum.
Public interest groups and the nation's smaller wireless carriers are voicing a number of concerns about Verizon's $1.8 billion proposed acquisition of XO Communications' fiber business and its related deal to lease XO's LMDS spectrum (under XO's Nextlink brand) in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. Specifically, Public Knowledge, the Competitive Carriers association and others are urging the FCC to carefully evaluate the transaction and its possible effects on Verizon's competitors and the overall telecommunications marketplace.
The FCC published its final list of participants for the upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction of TV broadcasters' unwanted airwaves, showing 99 completed applications. Notably absent from the list is Liberty Spectrum, a subsidiary of Liberty Global.
Dish Network's stock fell slightly yesterday following a report from short-selling investment firm Kerrisdale Capital describing Dish's spectrum holdings as a "warehouse full of overpriced inventory."
Rivada Networks, a startup that launched in Ireland but now operates offices in Washington, D.C. and Colorado, announced that former Sprint CFO Joseph Euteneuer will join the company as co-CEO. Rivada sells what it calls its Open Access Wireless Market that the company said allows carriers and others to buy and sell 4G network capacity in real time and in response to market demand, "which results in more efficient use of bandwidth as demand for it continues to grow 50 percent every year."
Millimeter wave spectrum-- stretching from 28 GHz to 39 GHz to 37 GHz to the 64-71 GHz band-- has been identified as a key element of forthcoming 5G networks. And according to new maps provided by Allnet Insights & Analytics, there is a lot of millimeter wave spectrum currently under control by the FCC.
The incentive auction of prized 600 MHz spectrum still faces some major challenges, but the FCC is clearly off to a good start.
The FCC today announced it will be able to offer a whopping 126 MHz, or 10 paired blocks, of licensed spectrum on a near-nationwide basis in the forward portion of its 600 MHz incentive auction. That's a huge victory for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and it potentially creates an opening for a new wireless carrier to launch in the United States.