T-Mobile Alleges Verizon Underuses Spectrum It Already Owns

Posted by at 1:08 am on April 24, 2012

T-Mobile has decided to enter its own protest (PDF) in the ongoing saga surrounding Verizon’s planned $3.6 billion purchase of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) airwaves from cable companies. The wireless provider filed a brief with the FCC urging the regulatory board to scuttle the impending deal between Verizon and the cable companies.

The filing was a routine notification to the FCC of a group of T-Mobile officials meeting with the Chief of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. In the meeting, T-Mobile’s representatives expressed unease at the possibility of Verizon being allowed to accrue an even greater portion of the wireless spectrum, arguing that Verizon is underutilizing those segments of the spectrum it already owns. Further, T-Mobile’s representatives described potential anti-competitive effects that could arise from allowing Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the nation, to acquire more spectrum.

Verizon has address potential regulatory concerns by selling off its holdings in the lower 700MHz band of the spectrum. Verizon argues, as does competitor AT&T, that it needs the AWS spectrum in order to provide enough wireless bandwidth to its subscribers, whose data needs continually grow. Verizon’s planned purchase began to encounter obstacles back in February, when it caught the attention of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

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