Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Mobile, Comcast, Dish acquire spectrum in airwaves auction: FCC

T-Mobile bought 45% of the low-band (600 MHz) spectrum giving access to 100% of the USA and Puerto Rico.

This week, the company announced that it has spent $7.99 billion on 31MHz of low-band 600MHz spectrum after the US regulator closed its complicated reverse auction for legacy digital TV signals last month.

Prices for this auction were significantly lower than a USA airwaves sale that drew $44.9 billion in bids in 2015.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks at CES in January.

In total, 50 wireless carriers won spectrum in the auction. "If the Duopoly thought things were rough before - well, just wait!"

T-Mobile will be utilizing the spectrum later this year in parts of the country. For now, it's at least worth noting that T-Mobile just gained a significant cut of the wireless superhighway, which means that it is about to gain a lot of ground against its bigger competitors. Signals within the 600MHz can travel longer distance and are generally considered high quality-the kind of high quality that would put T-Mobile on par with AT&T and Verizon. "That is a BFD for our customers!" added Legere. During the last few years when the auction rules were being formulated, T-Mobile became a thorn in the FCC's side.

"Today, the FCC completed an important step in its mission to release more spectrum for wireless broadband - a critical resource for the wireless industry as it continues to find new and innovative ways to meet consumers' growing demand for anytime, anywhere connectivity".

With this new spectrum, T-Mobile US can expand its LTE network coverage and further improve service quality. 14 MHz of spectrum is available for unlicensed use and wireless microphones. T-Mobile has pulled solidly ahead of Sprint with 71.5 million subscribers, compared to Sprint's 60.2 million.

"Our team has a history of deploying network technologies at record-breaking pace - including the fastest recorded LTE deployment in USA history", Ray said.

T-Mobile expects to begin updating its network to use its 600 MHz spectrum purchase later this year. Learn more at IBD Stock Checkup. Restrictions placed on companies involved in the auction made it hard for them to discuss deals.

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US federal securities laws.

The broadcast incentive spectrum auction is one of the commission's most complex and ambitious to date attracting wireless and other telecommunications companies who are buying television airwaves from broadcasters for wireless use. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

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