T-Mobile, MetroPCS Want the FCC To Stop Verizon’s Spectrum GrabBy: Chris Richardson - February 22, 2012
Verizon Wireless has ideas of securing a big chunk of the unused wireless spectrum by purchasing it from companies like Time Warner, Bright House Networks, and Cox Communications. Such an agreement would give Verizon Wireless increased access and control over the wireless spectrum, something Verizon is already assured before the acquisition, considering its position as the leading wireless provider.
If the acquisition is approved, Verizon Wireless’ control over the wireless spectrum would increase exponentially. With that in mind, perhaps it’s no surprise that T-Mobile and MetroPCS are asking the FCC to block Verizon’s attempt. According to the New York Post, both “lesser” wireless providers are taking the position that such an acquisition would put give Verizon and “excessive concentration” of the wireless spectrum; something akin to a monopoly. MetroPCS indicated Verizon and those companies offering the spectrum did not prove whether or not such a dramatic shift in wireless spectrum control serves the interests of the public.
It should also be noted that because both dissenters are smaller providers than Verizon, their spectrum allocation is not as big as their lead competitor. From Verizon’s perspective, the wireless spectrum which they are going after is unused, and if the deal is allowed to go ahead as planned, this unused spectrum would be made available to the public, which is indeed a good thing; however, does it need to be acquired by Verizon (or its competitors) before consumers have access to it? Or does Time Warner, et al, lack the business/technical savvy to create a wireless service with the unused spectrum?
Considering the details of the acquisition, which, according to the New York Post, are as follows:
n early December, Verizon Wireless announced a deal to buy spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks for $3.6 billion. The cable companies had bought the spectrum jointly at an FCC auction in 2006, with loose plans to start a wireless company or form a joint venture with one. Those plans never came to fruition
It’s clearly easier to sell the unused spectrum than it is to create a reliable wireless network. In fact, based on the details provided, it’s clear neither Time Warner or Bright House are interested in creating such a network in-house. Apparently, they’d rather rely on Verizon to do the heavy lifting.
Something else to consider, while T-Mobile’s position is understandable, could this be a case of them making waves after the AT&T deal was blocked?