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Hey Verizon, is Clearwire spectrum worthless or not?


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http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/verizon-pushes-spectrum-ownership-caps-sprints-purchase-clearwire/2013-01-29

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) pushed the FCC to apply its spectrum screen to Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) trove of 2.5 GHz spectrum while the agency reviews Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) proposed purchase of Clearwire. If the FCC does apply the screen to the deal, the agency could limit how much spectrum Sprint could ultimately acquire through its purchase of Clearwire.

In a filing with the FCC, Verizon argued the FCC should evaluate Clearwire's spectrum in the same way as spectrum in other bands. Sprint has argued that Clearwire's spectrum is above 2 GHz and so the FCC's spectrum screen--which is aimed at capping the amount of spectrum a single carrier can devote to mobile broadband--should not be applied to its purchase of Clearwire. But Verizon pointed out Clearwire is already using the spectrum, dubbed BRS/EBS, for mobile broadband.

"As the applicants themselves demonstrate, however, this spectrum is clearly both suitable and available for mobile services--and in fact it is already in use," Verizon wrote. "Indeed, they assert that control of the BRS/EBS spectrum will enable them to compete even more vigorously in the mobile services market. In short, in order to evaluate this transaction, the commission must include 133 MHz of BRS/EBS spectrum in its spectrum screen analysis, in addition to the other blocks of spectrum that are currently included in the screen."

Sprint's proposed acquisition of Clearwire is tied to Softbank's proposed purchase of 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion. Verizon did not take a position on the Sprint/Softbank or Sprint/Clearwire deals, but made it clear that if the FCC approves the transactions it wants Clearwire's spectrum evaluated in the same way as other radio waves. Petitions to deny the deals were due Monday.

The FCC is currently evaluating its spectrum screen rules and has said that while that review is ongoing it will continue to apply its current case-by-case approach to evaluate mobile spectrum holdings. Verizon noted that when the FCC approved AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) purchase of 2.3 GHz WCS spectrum recently, it added 20 MHz of WCS to its spectrum screen because it had determined that WCS spectrum is "suitable and available for the provision of mobile telephony/broadband services" and "should therefore be added to the spectrum screen."

Verizon's push is not surprising. Both Verizon and AT&T made similar arguments to the FCC in November as part of the FCC's separate review of its spectrum screen rules. At the time, AT&T said the FCC should update the screen "to include all of the available spectrum that is 'suitable' for mobile wireless services," and specifically include spectrum that Clearwire controls when it makes that consideration.

Meanwhile, Sprint and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) continue to skirmish at the FCC. Dish's unsolicited $3.30 per share counterbid for Clearwire may force Sprint to raise its $2.97 per share offer to match it. Dish has urged the FCC to halt its review of the deals while Clearwire's board considers Dish's offer. Sprint has said the FCC should not delay its review, arguing that the FCC "routinely processes transfer of control applications notwithstanding the existence of shareholder litigation or closing contingencies, such as the need for shareholder approval."

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Control of EBS? I thought that was leased from Universities, etc. anyways...

 

It is. So it would be extremely ridiculous to put EBS spectrum into the screen. Its not their spectrum. They just are borrowing it, with no guarantee of future availability.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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It seems like a coordinated assault on Sprint is being made today.

 

I hope VZ and ATT keep going further into the red until they collapse (both posted losses).

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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"Indeed,they assert that control of the BRS/EBS spectrum will enable them to compete even more vigorously in the mobile services market."

 

So, Verizon, you're admitting you're afraid of competition, and that this filing is to stop that. Good to hear it.

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The FCC filing makes note in the end that 5% of the EBS spectrum should not be included in the review.

 

It hilarious that Verizon starts the filing with "Verizon takes no opinion on the merits of the captioned" (the pending merger and acquisition) but then argues that Sprint's own statement of increased competitive offerings is validation that the spectrum theyre getting must be scrutinized the same way. They're essentially implying that an entity's belief in its ability to compete in the future must match the entity's current customers served, regardless of the non comparable burden to buildout sufficiently. It stinks of fear and despite their insistence this has nothing to do with the merit of the merger/acquisition, its hard to not call them out for hypocrisy. What are they afraid of? Sprint offering fixed, unlimited and cheap in home broadband access in urban /suburban areas where they've spent a small fortune providing wired broadband?

 

Its as though we're supposed to believe that the arrival of softbank in Sprint's world means that Sprint will be able to compete in some unnatural and un-matchable capacity. Not so. Sprint's future offerings and pricing must be profitable, otherwise they won't survive. Softbank isn't going to compete unprofitably.... simply, at lower margins than the competition. Verizon and ATT still turned a profit for fiscal year 2012. Don't let their 4th quarter losses and charges due to Sandy fool you. Whats the worst that could happen? ATT and Verizon have to up those data caps or offer unlimited again?

 

I only wish I trusted the decisions our government makes.

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Here is VZW's FCC filing:

 

http://apps.fcc.gov/...w?id=6017160602

 

By the way, Tony, even prior to this thread, I saw your comment following the Fierce Wireless article. Good job.

 

AJ

 

Thanks AJ,

 

Just trying to take what I've learned here at S4GRU and spread a little knowledge.

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Nice to see that VZ is clearly(pun?) taking notice that there is no way they can match the speeds S could deliver with this spectrum. I doubt the FCC bends to this, however, as they appear to want a viable competitor.

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And here I thought the guy that makes maps would have an understanding of Sprint's spectrum position.

http://specmap.seque...t-set-of-rules/

 

A different purpose for Clearwire requires a different set of ownership rules

 

Posted on January 29, 2013

 

When Clearwire’s goal was to sell wholesale access and provide fast Internet for everyone, the fact that it owned about 160MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum in major metro areas wasn’t a big deal because it was planning on wholesaling the spectrum to carriers it could come to financial terms with. That spectrum was essentially available to all carriers. But not anymore.

With Sprint (or Dish, maybe) acquiring them completely, the rules for ownership change – that spectrum is no longer available to everyone. Instead, it’s locked to Sprint and its MVNOs. And if you think from that viewpoint, the rules of ownership change. Verizon thinks that, and I think that way too.

I’ve already talked about my idea for rebanding the BRS/EBS range so that carriers can get access to the spectrum, while still giving Sprint a huge leg up (Sprint would still end up with 100MHz TDD spectrum, and 80MHz FDD would be either given to incumbent owners or auctioned off). The FCC might even have a stricter viewpoint than me, giving Sprint less than what I suggest. Other carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T) could make good use of that spectrum instead of just letting Sprint sit on it.

Spectrum is a public good and should be treated as such. Giving Sprint nearly all the BRS/EBS band doesn’t serve the public interest if its going to take 10+ years to use it all (various technical reasons prevent them from using all of it now – most notably how much power would be needed to broadcast a signal from a device over a 100MHz range, the effective bandwidth currently is 20-40MHz; they could setup multiple 40MHz bands but you wouldn’t be able to aggregate them efficiently from a power standpoint).

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Hmm, the Fierce Wireless article comments are heating up. I like it. Nothing gets my heart pounding like a good dispute.

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/verizon-pushes-spectrum-ownership-caps-sprints-purchase-clearwire/2013-01-29

 

AJ

I am not knowledgeable enough on the subject to debate it as well as you guys, but I do enjoy following along.

 

 

Sent from a phone using an application. That's pretty cool.

 

 

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From one the Fierce Wireless article comments, we are apparently viewed as something of an S4GRU gang. That is an interesting perception. But, hey, it is recognition.

 

AJ

 

You guy are such mean bullies. Lol

 

Sent from my Note 2 using Tapatalk

 

 

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From one the Fierce Wireless article comments' date=' we are apparently viewed as something of an S4GRU gang. That is an interesting perception. But, hey, it is recognition.

 

AJ[/quote']

 

I suspect the commenter that picked up on you guys being from this site is in fact a verizon/att apologist who lurks here and has flung poo here in the past and been slapped around.

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I suspect the commenter that picked up on you guys being from this site is in fact a verizon/att apologist who lurks here and has flung poo here in the past and been slapped around.

 

I think you're right. We've had a few come in here and try their nonsense.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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I think it's definitely worth something in the future. That's a big reason why they want it in the spectrum caps.

 

Verizon and AT&T would try to push out all the EBS usage and force that band into something like Europe's band plan, then try to buy the FD-LTE blocks, leaving Sprint with the TD-LTE spectrum. That's my first guess. I'm not sure it's obstructionist in the purest sense.

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And here I thought the guy that makes maps would have an understanding of Sprint's spectrum position.

http://specmap.seque...t-set-of-rules/

 

I do think Sprint has the worst spectrum deficiency of the big four (T-Mo solved this problem by getting the AWS from AT&T and buying MPCS). I did propose giving Sprint 100MHz of TD-LTE spectrum in the 2.5GHz range. Its not like I would want them to suffer with nothing. The more pressure they (and T-Mo) put on Verizon and AT&T, the better. I just don't think they should be able to warehouse nearly all the BRS/EBS spectrum (on a MHz-POP basis) that could be used by others -- apparently, the Clearwire proxy statement released this week said that AT&T was close to becoming a partner with Clearwire, but instead decided to go with WCS in early 2012 -- my opinion that they weren't put off by the spectrum quality/properties, but rather having to do business with Clearwire, if they could acquire 40MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum independent of Clearwire I think they would have done that.

 

Sprint isn't helpless (well, once the merger closes), they could buy Leap, and then trade Leap's AWS spectrum with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mo for their surplus PCS spectrum, PCS intra-band swaps, and cash. T-Mo and Verizon would be able to put that AWS spectrum to use, while AT&T would probably just sit on it until it needs another bargaining chip at the negotiating table.

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I do think Sprint has the worst spectrum deficiency of the big four (T-Mo solved this problem by getting the AWS from AT&T and buying MPCS). I did propose giving Sprint 100MHz of TD-LTE spectrum in the 2.5GHz range. Its not like I would want them to suffer with nothing. The more pressure they (and T-Mo) put on Verizon and AT&T, the better. I just don't think they should be able to warehouse nearly all the BRS/EBS spectrum (on a MHz-POP basis) that could be used by others -- apparently, the Clearwire proxy statement released this week said that AT&T was close to becoming a partner with Clearwire, but instead decided to go with WCS in early 2012 -- my opinion that they weren't put off by the spectrum quality/properties, but rather having to do business with Clearwire, if they could acquire 40MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum independent of Clearwire I think they would have done that.

 

Sprint isn't helpless (well, once the merger closes), they could buy Leap, and then trade Leap's AWS spectrum with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mo for their surplus PCS spectrum, PCS intra-band swaps, and cash. T-Mo and Verizon would be able to put that AWS spectrum to use, while AT&T would probably just sit on it until it needs another bargaining chip at the negotiating table.

 

 

Hey thanks for stopping in!

 

So we've had this "What do Clearwire's assets look like discussion in another thread "Sprint makes official offer to acquire Clearwire." Here are some of the highlights of the discussion. Most of the information coming from wiwavelength with help from s4gru and members. I probably misunderstood some things, but Sprint wont become a spectrum king out of this deal.

 

-We make these assumptions based on the idea that BRS/EBS wont be restructured in the near future

-Sprint may have to divest some spectrum post merger.

-If Sprint is going to divest spectrum it will be EBS spectrum.

-Sprint can easily divest EBS spectrum by terminating the leases to the schools and those schools will quit making money.

-No other major telco company will lease the EBS spectrum in the near future.

-Total BRS Bandwidth is 76.5

BRS is made up of -

"Beyond the 55.5 MHz "attributable" BRS2-H3 blocks of contiguous licenses, the other 21 MHz comes from the BRS1, E4, F4, and K blocks, which are located at the very bottom of BRS/EBS and/or not fully contiguous with the "attributable" 55.5 MHz. So, for TD-LTE deployment, that 55.5 MHz is likely to be the heart and soul."

 

-Clearwire is not the only holder of the BRS2-H3 blocks BRS nation wide.

-Sprint should look to hold the BRS-H3 55.5 MHz of BRS spectrum nationwide, which could cost a bit of money to pay off the current holders. They should also look to keep/gain as much of the BRS1, E4, F4, and K blocks as they can nationwide, but it wouldn't be contiguous, so not as useful as the BRS2-H3.

 

We're not looking for Sprint to abuse spectrum. We'd love to see Sprint get 100MHz of contiguous 2500MHz TD-LTE spectrum, as this would be better than their current situation of BRS + leased EBS. In reality, Sprint's minimum goal to be fine should be to have 20-60MHz of contiguous 2500 spectrum nationwide.

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Also. T-Mobile solved a bandwidth problem even though they are losing customers. Seems like their bigger problem was a coverage problem, which they definitely haven't solved by buying AWS to pair with their PCS.

 

They really need to bet the farm on 600 spectrum when it comes up for auction

 

(not tons of it bandwidth, 10mhz should be fine, but coverage wise a contiguous block that spans the country so they can compete on a coverage basis)

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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They really need to bet the farm on 600 spectrum when it comes up for auction

 

(not tons of it bandwidth, 10mhz should be fine, but coverage wise a contiguous block that spans the country so they can compete on a coverage basis)

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

 

600 is an option, and maybe their best option. It definitely has large hurtles, however. It will take years to make this spectrum usable, (reverse auction success dependent, 3gpp license, build out, phones) all that jazz. I think we're looking at 2017 or later before that spectrum is usable. Is that soon enough for T-Mobile or will something else allow them to get low spectrum in the mean time?

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They really need to bet the farm on 600 spectrum when it comes up for auction

 

(not tons of it bandwidth, 10mhz should be fine, but coverage wise a contiguous block that spans the country so they can compete on a coverage basis)

 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

600 is an option, and maybe their best option. It definitely has large hurtles, however. It will take years to make this spectrum usable, (reverse auction success dependent, 3gpp license, build out, phones) all that jazz. I think we're looking at 2017 or later before that spectrum is usable. Is that soon enough for T-Mobile or will something else allow them to get low spectrum in the mean time?

 

I was reading the T-Mobile Blog and saw some interesting stuff posted about T-Mobile's interest in the 600 MHz spectrum band.

 

Source: http://blog.t-mobile...013/01/31/3534/

 

We are working with the FCC and other stakeholders to ensure that the 600 MHz band plan, the “forward” auction, and the “reverse” auction all work in concert to reallocate and reassign spectrum from broadcast television to mobile broadband uses. T-Mobile’s proposals call for some tweaks to the FCC’s already well-conceived plan.

 

T-Mobile-Band-Plan1.jpg

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I was reading the T-Mobile Blog and saw some interesting stuff posted about T-Mobile's interest in the 600 MHz spectrum band.

 

Source: http://blog.t-mobile...013/01/31/3534/

 

 

 

T-Mobile-Band-Plan1.jpg

 

I was reading that and I noticed "Most importantly, to promote long-term competition, encourage auction participation, and prevent the further consolidation of spectrum below 1 GHz, the Commission should adopt rules that prohibit any licensee from acquiring more than a certain percentage of spectrum below 1 GHz, applied on a market-by-market basis. As we have noted elsewhere, adopting a spectrum-based cap equal to one-third of the available commercial mobile spectrum below 1 GHz would give bidders reasonable assurances that they can meaningfully compete for spectrum in a geographic area without the risk of only one or two of the largest carriers commandeering the entire market. Increasing the potential for successful participation will lead to increased participation by competitive carriers and ultimately increased revenue."

 

Watch out AT&T and Verizon?

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