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Communications Network United States

T-Mobile Spends $8 Billion as Big Winner of FCC Auction (cnet.com) 48

T-Mobile, Dish Network and cable giant Comcast emerged as the big winners in the government's wireless spectrum auction. From a report: The Federal Communications Commission announced the winners of its $19.8 billion spectrum auction Thursday. T-Mobile spent $8 billion in the auction and won the biggest number of licenses, according to the FCC. Dish Network was in second, committing $6.2 billion, and Comcast spent a total of $1.7 billion. Verizon, which had committed ahead of time to participating in the auction, did not bid, the FCC said. The broadcast incentive spectrum auction has been one of the agency's most complex and ambitious auctions to date. The auction, which began last year, was conducted over two major stages. A so-called backwards auction took place last year in which TV broadcasters agreed to give up wireless spectrum that the government later sold in a so-called forward auction to wireless providers.
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T-Mobile Spends $8 Billion as Big Winner of FCC Auction

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  • Maybe this is good, T-Mobile might have better coverage and be better able to compete with Verizon for people that need that. Verizon not getting any new spectrum has to be good for competition.

  • Verizon is swimming in spectrum that they aren't even using, why would they go and buy even more?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      To prevent their competition from using it, of course.

      • Exactly this. Verizon owns all of the old analog TV spectrum also. Sitting on it to prevent startup competition.

        • Slight correction, they LEASE that spectrum. In an uncorrupt world they would be forced to meaningfully utilize it for the benefit the American citizenry or lose the license.
          • Has anyone suggested to the FCC to have a Use-it-or-lose-it clause? Although not enforced much anymore, InterNIC/ARIN would take big IPv4 blocks away if it determined you weren't using them.

        • Exactly this. Verizon owns all of the old analog TV spectrum also. Sitting on it to prevent startup competition.

          Er, no they don't [fiercewireless.com]. Verizon sold that 700 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile for $2.4 billion in 2014. T-Mobile is buying even more of what they already own. It's called LTE Band 12, and it's supported by the Nexus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6, among others. They've put up dozens of towers that use that spectrum, mostly in California and the northeast, but also Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, east Texas, and the southern tip of Florida.

          T-Mobile's network actually IS getting better, specifically becau

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Instead of buying up the spectrum, this should be done as licenses that can be renewed, provided conditions are met. If you're buying up a limited resources, and there's only so much wireless spectrum available, the government (read: the people) should get to heavily restrict how those resources are used. That means enforcing net neutrality and prohibiting data caps. In the case of wired connections, there is usually room for a lot more infrastructure, and the transmission medium is privately owned rather

    • You need certain long-term guarantees when you're spending billions of dollars on infrastructure that uses the spectrum.

      The allocation is important to phone and tablet manufacturers, too, as they must include appropriate antennas in their devices.

      I agree with imposing reasonable restrictions on how the bandwidth is used, but you cannot realistically implement short-term allocation.

    • by Holi ( 250190 )
      Spectrum isn't sold it is leased, so it is as you want.

      http://wireless.fcc.gov/licens... [fcc.gov]
  • I'm on T-Mobile. As long as this doesn't' result in my rates getting jacked it means their service might finally be AT&T/Verizon level. Heck, even if you're not on T-Mobile it's good news. Spotty coverage is what keeps a lot of folks off T-Mobile and reduces their ability to compete. Now if we can just stop these mega mergers we'll have some real competition.
    • No current T-Mobile devices can use this spectrum and there are no towers for it. So wait a few years, buy a new phone, and then it will benefit you. If it is in your area.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      I don't see how this is going to help coverage significantly more than band 12 has and that's not even fully rolled out yet.

      Spotty coverage is what keeps me from using it here the LTE speeds have been great anywhere I could get a LTE signal and while that's most places there are still enough places that are no service areas to be significant.

      Note I don't have anything that will support t-mobile's band 12 yet but I'm talking about outdoors coverage where there should be little difference in coverage between

    • I left AT&T due to spotty coverage. I tried out T-Mobile and they had great coverage except in 1 spot - my office, which is pretty important. So I switched to Verizon, which has OK coverage at work and poor coverage at my home. T-Mobile's CTO, who replies on twitter, told me they'd be upgrading their network near my office next year. If it happens, I'd switch back to them in a heartbeat.

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