FCC to Count Sprint’s 2.5GHz Holdings In Spectrum Screens

Posted by at 10:54 am on April 28, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission plans to adjust the way it accounts for the spectrum holdings of companies when calculating spectrum screens.

The government typically limits companies to owning one-third or less of the spectrum in any given market around the country. The FCC uses this screen to assess mergers and acquisitions. The FCC plans to reclassify 128.5MHz of airwaves that were previously reserved for religious and other groups so it can be counted amongst the airwaves owned by mobile network operators. Of the 128.5MHz, 101MHz is held by Sprint. The result of this reclassification will directly impact Sprint because its 2.5GHz spectrum holdings will be counted against it for the first time.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the addition of its 2.5GHz holdings to its existing spectrum totals will put Sprint at the one-third mark or higher in many major markets around the country. This will directly impact Sprint’s ability to acquire other companies, such as T-Mobile. The FCC plans to vote on the matter at a meeting scheduled for May 15.

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