T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm met with senior FCC officials last week to discuss his company’s efforts to block Verizon’s purchase of advanced wireless spectrum (AWS) from various cable companies. Humm stated that Verizon’s plan to auction its 700MHz A and B block spectrum licenses isn’t enough to counter the negative impact that the company’s purchase of AWS would have. A major part of T-Mobile’s argument to the FCC is that Verizon has yet to use any of its existing AWS, which it has held for over six years.
“Representatives discussed the fact that, unlike T-Mobile and other wireless carriers, Verizon Wireless has not used its existing AWS spectrum in any way in the six years it has held the licenses, and that the instant transactions would add even more AWS spectrum to Verizon Wireless’ unused spectrum inventory,” the FCC filing, obtained by Fierce Wireless said. “They noted that given this dismal track record on utilization of its current AWS spectrum, it would make no sense, and would be inconsistent with the commission’s charge to ensure that spectrum transfers serve the public interest, to allow Verizon to acquire additional AWS licenses, especially at this time of an industry-wide spectrum crunch.”
While T-Mobile plans on utilizing its own AWS to deploy LTE next year, the company advised the FCC that Verizon’s 700MHz spectrum auction isn’t beneficial to other carriers due to the band’s small market footprint and its issues with interference from high-powered broadcasters. Further supporting T-Mobile’s fight against Verizon, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) recently stated that the FCC should stop its review of Verizon’s $3.9 billion AWS purchase, due to the company failure to provide requested data for a “meaningful review.”
“The companies are obstructing review of the deal by delaying the delivery of documents, providing documents with large segments redacted, delivering materials in unreadable file formats, hiding data behind various proprietary file formats, and burying relevant information in literally hundreds of thousands of documents,” the CWA said in a statement.