T-Mobile wants its phones, tablets, and devices to work better in your homes and buildings, and to do so it is petitioning the FCC to make that happen. The Un-carrier wants to be able to buy more low-band spectrum to improve in-building coverage in the next FCC auction, and T-Mobile wants the FCC to alter a few rules to help it succeed.
Stating the importance of low-band spectrum, T-Mobile’s VP of regulatory affairs wrote:
As our competitors well know, arming T-Mobile with low-band spectrum is a competitive game-changer, enabling our service to penetrate building walls better and travel longer distances than we can with the spectrum we have today.
Here are some of the important changes that T-Mobile is requesting:
In particular, T-Mobile has asked the FCC to increase the size of the “reserve” so that no matter how much spectrum is up for sale, at least 50 percent of it will be held in reserve for competitors with little or no low-band spectrum in that market. This change is critical to guarantee enough “reserve” spectrum to sustain four strong national carriers into the future as the FCC has said is important.
The FCC has also established two minimum sales prices for the licenses, which we believe needs to change. Under the Spectrum Act that directed the FCC to conduct the incentive auction, the aggregate auction proceeds need to cover any compensation for participating broadcasters, relocation costs, relevant administrative costs, and funding requirements for our nation’s emergency network, FirstNet. In addition to meeting these expenses, however, the FCC has decided the licenses will not be sold unless another arbitrary figure, based on a complex formula involving the U.S. population and the bandwidth available, is also reached. As we have shared with the FCC, this threshold is unnecessary and creates a new barrier to entry for wireless broadband competition.
What do you think of T-Mobile’s proposal to amend some of the auction requirements? Do you think this would help create a more even playing field for smaller carriers?