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Sprint Will Not Participate in H Block Auction


marioc21

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So at a conference, Sprint CFO, Joe Euteneuer, announces that Sprint will not take part in the H block auction coming up in January 2014. Says Sprint will instead focus on lower band auctions later.

 

Speaking at the Wells Fargo Tech, Media & Telecom Conference, Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer said that given Sprint's existing spectrum positions, especially with the trove of 2.5 GHZ airwaves it acquired along with Clearwire, Sprint does not feel the need to go after the H Block, which sits right next to the PCS G Block spectrum it is currently using for LTE service.

 

"Given our belief for the lower-band spectrum, we have made the decision not to participate in that auction," Euteneuer said. He said the FCC's rules for the spectrum, coupled with several other factors, made it less palatable. In terms of low-band spectrum Euteneuer likely was referring to the FCC's forthcoming incentive auctions of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum, currently scheduled for next year.

 

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-abandons-pursuit-h-block-spectrum-clearing-way-dish-bid/2013-11-13

 

 

 

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So at a conference, Sprint CFO, Joe Euteneuer, announces that Sprint will not take part in the H block auction coming up in January 2014. Says Sprint will instead focus on lower band auctions later.

 

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-abandons-pursuit-h-block-spectrum-clearing-way-dish-bid/2013-11-13

Well this seems like what everyone wanted right?

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Well this seems like what everyone wanted right?

 

I wouldn't say everyone wanted that.... I think it was widely expected for Sprint to pick up the H block.  Personally, I am not disappointed though.  I think it is much more important for Sprint to focus on obtaining sub-1Ghz spectrum.  With Clear's TD-2600 holdings and the extra clear sites, Sprint really has all the capacity they need in the high end of the spectrum. 

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I wonder if Sprint might be interested in Verizon's 700MHz A Block or are they interested in a bigger chunk of 600MHz airwaves?

 

The other question is if Dish is commited to pay the reserve price for PCS H, and with their Lightsquared commitment, they will have  invested $8B in spectrum with no partner for their network yet. That's a lot of money invested that they can't make money off yet. T-Mobile is about to raise $2B to invest in spectrum. Are they also going to concentrate on 600MHz, since they have plenty of AWS and PCS spectrum? Or are they going to bid on the upcoming AWS-3 auction? Who is going to bid in the AWS-3 auction?

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I wonder if Sprint might be interested in Verizon's 700MHz A Block or are they interested in a bigger chunk of 600MHz airwaves?

 

 There was talk that the lower 700 could be used in conjuction with upper 600...not sure if that is still possible.

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While the added capacity would have been nice, it's not really worth all the time and money it would take to get it up and running.

Depending on if existing antennas/radios/etc could be recertified or if a new antenna would have to be hung for just an additional 5Mhz FDD with power restrictions, along with another custom band class and customized hardware, I can understand them skipping it completely.

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Depending on if existing antennas/radios/etc could be recertified or if a new antenna would have to be hung for just an additional 5Mhz FDD with power restrictions, along with another custom band class and customized hardware, I can understand them skipping it completely.

Yup, especially when it might end up being more expensive then just deploying band 41 that you already own have equipment and devices for it. 

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Yeah, I think the price just became too salty for them. At >$1.56B, it is not worth it. Maybe at half that it might. Even at that it might be expensive.

 

The H block auction stands to be a giant flop.  Likely, many licenses will go unsold, maybe even all of them.

 

AJ

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The government should give it lend it to companies, just like TV spectrum.

 

Then the companies could use their billions to actually build the cell network, instead of buying the spectrum and not having enough money to use it.

Crazy thoughts I know.

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The H block auction stands to be a giant flop.  Likely, many licenses will go unsold, maybe even all of them.

 

AJ

From the article it sounds like Dish has committed to at least the reserve price. I am no expert but it sounds like they have it if no one else wants it.

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In another article from Fiercewireless it was saying that Verizon still has to sell off the remaining 700 MHz A block licenses as part of the compromise to allow them to get the SpectrumCo AWS licenses.

 

Verizon doesn't hold that many 700 MHz A block licenses left.  I mean they do have some nice markets that they have 700 MHz A block spectrum for in California, New York, Texas, Florida, etc but I don't know if this would be enough to entice Sprint to bid on the rest of the 700 MHz A block licenses.  However I also did hear that as part of the 600 MHz band configuration they might lump the 700 MHz A block spectrum together so that would be interesting. 

 

But take a look at the spectrum license map below for the 700 MHz A block licenses that Verizon still holds.  It seems that most of the 700 MHz A block licenses are being held by many regional wireless carriers.

 

http://specmap.sequence-omega.net/

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I guess if Sprint does end up bidding on the rest of the 700 MHz A block licenses from Verizon, according to the spectrum license map they could try to buy off pieces from Tmobile for the Massachusetts area and from Leap/AT&T for the Chicago area.  Then they could work with US Cellular on 700 MHz A block LTE collaboration in the Midwest and work with regional carriers on a 700 MHz A block LTE sharing agreement for the gaps.

 

The 4 major wireless Sprint, Verizon, Tmobile and AT&T should not be allowed to hang on to 1 or 2 markets of spectrum in a LTE band that can be used for actual LTE deployment so it can't be wasted such as Tmobile and Leap/AT&T in the 700 MHz A block.  At the same time Sprint should be trying to sell its WCS spectrum licenses in the southeast part of the US to AT&T so that the spectrum is not wasted since AT&T plans to deploy LTE on WCS spectrum.

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I guess if Sprint does end up bidding on the rest of the 700 MHz A block licenses from Verizon, according to the spectrum license map they could try to buy off pieces from Tmobile for the Massachusetts area and from Leap/AT&T for the Chicago area. Then they could work with US Cellular on 700 MHz A block LTE collaboration in the Midwest and work with regional carriers on a 700 MHz A block LTE sharing agreement for the gaps.

 

The 4 major wireless Sprint, Verizon, Tmobile and AT&T should not be allowed to hang on to 1 or 2 markets of spectrum in a LTE band that can be used for actual LTE deployment so it can't be wasted such as Tmobile and Leap/AT&T in the 700 MHz A block. At the same time Sprint should be trying to sell its WCS spectrum licenses in the southeast part of the US to AT&T so that the spectrum is not wasted since AT&T plans to deploy LTE on WCS spectrum.

 

Yes Yes and Yes!!! Sprint needs to sell its WCS licenses

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From the article it sounds like Dish has committed to at least the reserve price. I am no expert but it sounds like they have it if no one else wants it.

They only committed to that if the FCC allows DISH to use it as downlink with their AWS-4.

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They only committed to that if the FCC allows DISH to use it as downlink with their AWS-4.

You have it reversed. Dish wants modifications to its AWS-4 A/B block uplink, not the PCS/AWS-2 H block downlink.

 

AJ

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According to Bloomberg, T-Mobile might be in negotiation with Verizon about Block A. They already own at least one chunk!

 

You mean one chunk as in just Massachusetts and New Hampshire?  Hardly enough but I guess.

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I think Tmobile is better off focusing on trying to obtain at least 20 MHz of 600 MHz spectrum.

T-Mobile is better off hoping that the 600 MHz auction actually happens and yields any significant spectrum in this lifetime. Legere will be passé by then...

 

AJ

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