Verizon Pushes for Radio Spectrum Auction Reforms
Published on: 2nd May 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
The US telecoms regulator is coming under pressure from the country's two largest mobile networks to drop rules designed to support the smaller carriers.
The FCC is reserving some spectrum for smaller networks so that they are able to bid for it without competing against the larger, and richer mobile networks.
The main bone of contention is quite how small a small company has to be to be classed as small.
Verizon is particularly concerned that the rules could permit Sprint and T-Mobile USA to be classed as a smaller operator in some areas. It described the rules as "perverse and unjust" in a filing.
However, the lower frequency spectrum is exceptionally valuable to the mobile networks, and a biased auction may be the only way of ensuring that a future duoploy does not emerge in the spectrum market, and eventually in the mobile networks market as well.
Sprint however may be able to bid as a smaller carrier for this spectrum, but also find it has to dispose of other spectrum to stay within the regulator's cap on spectrum holdings. The regulator is currently proposing to add the Clearwire spectrum to Sprint's regulated holdings, which would affect its ability to bid for more.