Entries with tag wireless spectrum.

US Wireless Carriers Wheel and Deal in Advance of Spectrum Auction

A planned large US spectrum auction in 2015 has prompted major wireless carriers to buy, sell, and trade spectrum licenses as they seek to shore up their market positions. The broadcast television spectrum auction, which the Federal Communications Commission is still planning, will sell 600MHz spectrum, traditionally used for TV broadcasts, to wireless carriers. The band has properties similar to the 700 MHz frequency. T-Mobile, for example, announced in January it would be buying some 700MHz spectrum from Verizon in several markets for $3.3 billion, which should help the carrier quickly build out its 4G services. Explosive consumer demand for mobile bandwidth, which Network World expects to increase 11 times in four years, is causing carriers to acquire spectrum and otherwise upgrade their infrastructure. Experts forecast that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Dish Network will spend about $50 billion on spectrum licenses in the next two years. (SlashDot)(Network World)(Federal Communications Commission)

UK Spectrum Auction Probed

The UK’s National Audit Office is investigating the June 2012 auction of 4G wireless spectrum by British telecom regulator Ofcom to determine whether it was handled in a way that would yield a fair amount of revenue for the government. The auction generated £2.3 billion (about $3.54 billion at press time) rather than the anticipated £3.5 billion (about $5.38 billion). The UK government had factored the expected earnings into its national budget, so the shortfall could cause fiscal problems. Some industry observers say that had there been more aggressive bidding, the auction could have yielded as much as £4 billion (about $6.15 billion). (SlashDot)(TechWeek Europe)(The Guardian)

Important Challenges Face New FCC Head

When US Federal Communications Commission chair Julius Genachowski leaves his post “in the coming weeks,” there will likely be a heap of expectations facing his successor. President Barack Obama has yet to name a replacement and no firm date for Genachowski’s last day at the agency has been released, but Capitol Hill and industry pundits are rife with opinions as to what direction the agency head should go. For example, Phil Weiser, dean of the University of Colorado law school and a former senior presidential adviser, claims this could be a time to redefine the FCC’s role, which could include improving its enforcement capabilities and allow it to be more responsive to emerging issues through self-regulation. He told the Washington Post that one of the main priorities will be “freeing up wireless spectrum not only for consumers but also for machine-to-machine communications.” He added, “A core challenge for the FCC and the government is to create more access to spectrum, which will enable more entrepreneurs, companies, and individuals to use it in interesting ways. In addition to freeing up licensed spectrum, the government could also make available additional unlicensed spectrum.” The leading candidates for the FCC post are reportedly Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist who has led wireless and the cable trade groups; and Jessica Rosenworcel, an FCC commissioner backed by US Senate Commerce Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller and 37 other senators. (The Washington Post)(Reuters)
 

AT&T Announces Multi-Million-Dollar Spectrum Investment

AT&T stated Tuesday it will spend US$780 million in cash to obtain more wireless spectrum. It is purchasing the US retail wireless operations of Atlantic Tele-Network -- a carrier with operations primarily in rural areas of six states -- including the company’s wireless spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores, and approximately 585,000 subscribers. The spectrum it will obtain are licenses for the 700MHz – used for its 4G LTE -- 850MHz, and 1900MHz bands. The latter bands are used by AT&T for its 2G and 3G networks. AT&T had attempted to purchase T-Mobile in 2011, but it was not approved by regulators. AT&T has concentrated on smaller deals to acquire spectrum. Regulators must still approve the transaction. AT&T expects the deal to close in the second half of 2013. (CNET)(AT&T via Business Wire)

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