In February after the AWS-3 spectrum auction had closed, President and CEO John Legere at T-Mobile took to the company’s blog urging people to “speak up for America’s wireless future.” This blog, which took shots at the Dish Network, AT&T, and Verizon, ultimately urged the FCC to make changes to the auction rules. With the 2016 incentive auction coming up, T-Mobile’s request has been a hot topic. In the blog, Legere said the FCC needed to reject AT&T and Verizon’s request to delay the auction, “Verizon just admitted publicly that they have vast amounts of spectrum already, and don’t need to buy a lot more. So if they are restocking their coffers, they are doing it for one reason, and one reason only: to keep competitors out! Don’t let them strangle competition and buy out the future of American wireless. The sooner this auction happens, the better,” he wrote. The one major rule that Legere urged the FCC to change, was to promote competition by reserving 40 MHz or at least half of the available spectrum in the next auction for sale to the competition. And finally, he asked the FCC to change the rules so this valuable spectrum to be used for its intended purpose and not collected and traded.
Unfortunately for Legere, Bloomberg reported that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will recommend the agency deny T-Mobile’s requests. “It’s not over yet,” Timothy O’Regan, a T-Mobile spokesman, said in an e-mail. “We have a long way to go. The public conversation on the future of the mobile Internet continues. The five FCC commissioners still need to make their decision.” (Bloomberg) Wheeler explained the updates to the incentive auction in a blog post on the Commission’s website. “No single party will be happy with everything we’ve done, but the final product is a balanced solution to a challenging situation with more moving parts than a Swiss watch,” Wheeler wrote. “Hard decisions in difficult situations mean that no stakeholder will get exactly what it wants. Taken as a whole, however, the proposal we will present to the Commissioners strikes a fair balance that serves the greater public interest. The American people will be the real winners.”