T-Mobile responds to AT&T and Verizon in spectrum feud

T-Mobile responds to AT&T and Verizon in spectrum feud

28 September 2020 | Natalie Bannerman


T-Mobile has levied some heavy claims against its competitors AT&T and Verzion around spectrum.

In a blog post, T-Mobile US CEO and president, Mike Sievert alleges that the “two behemoths” AT&T and Verizon “who dwarf T-Mobile in revenues and market cap” petitioned the government regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to prevent T-Mobile from having access to wireless spectrum in the upcoming mid-band spectrum auction in December.

Sievert says that the two are running scared due to the company poses a real threat to their market positions since merging with Sprint earlier this year as well as because of its network investments that its making saying:

“We can see that scares the heck out of these two huge, entrenched industry incumbents. The duopolists are scrambling to block this new competition any way they can.”

Specifically, T-Mobile says that two companies are using a regulatory tool known as the spectrum screen a benchmark used to ensure organisations hold fair and reasonable levels of spectrum holdings. In filings to the FCC AT&T and Verizon argued that T-Mobile’s low and mid-band holdings already exceed the spectrum screen limits.

In response Sievert  says that “While these industry incumbents claim this is to protect competition from one company having too much spectrum, this rings hollow as evidenced by their immediate efforts to block T-Mobile from leasing unused 600 MHz spectrum from a company called Columbia Capital”.

Adding that “AT&T and Verizon seeking to block T-Mobile from using spectrum that AT&T decided to jettison, and Verizon had no interest in pursuing”.

He goes on to say that although the spectrum screen was developed with the best of intentions in mind it “pre-dates, and therefore ignores, certain 5G spectrum where Verizon already dominates” and it “also does not take into account how additional spectrum can enable wireless carriers such as T-Mobile to utilise high capacity wireless networks, backed by spectrum, to provide genuine competition to the incumbent in-home broadband providers”.