Sprint Skipping the 600MHz Incentive Auction

Posted by at 10:44 am on September 28, 2015

Sprint LogoSprint on Saturday said it will not participate in the 600MHz reverse auction planned for next year.

The company believes its spectrum position is “sufficient to provide its current and future customers great network coverage.” Sprint owns significant amounts of spectrum, but much of it is concentrated in the 2.5GHz range. Such spectrum is good for capacity, but not for covering large areas.

The 600MHz spectrum up for auction is highly valued for its propagation characteristics. Sprint is set to embark on another network overhaul that it believes will resolve many of the problems its network has faced in recent years. Sprint’s finances may have played a role in its decision. The company has not turned a profit since 2007 and has been bleeding cash in recent quarters.

A Sprint spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal it is “prioritizing its financial resources to improve network coverage, capacity, speed and reliability now and over the next few years—and we already have the spectrum we need to do so. That is more important for Sprint and its customers than investing in [this] spectrum that wont benefit our subscribers until 2020 at the earliest.”

T-Mobile plans to participate in the auction, and it is likely AT&T  and Verizon will, too. The FCC expects to start the auction in March 2016.

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