AT&T responds to T-Mobile CEO’s “disaster” FCC spectrum auction remarks



AT&T’s Joan Marsh, Vice President of of Federal Regulatory, responded via AT&T’s public policy blog to a piece penned by T-Mobile CEO’s John Legere. In Legere’s piece, he blasted the results of the recent FCC spectrum auction, calling it a “disaster for American wireless consumers.”

In the auction, AT&T’s winning bids totaled $18.2 billion, Verizon won $10.4 billion worth of bids, and T-Mobile’s winning bids were just under $1.8 billion after T-Mobile decided to take some of its originally budgeted capital off the table.

“You can’t withdraw capital from the auction then complain that you didn’t win,” Marsh wrote. She continued, “Spectrum auctions are capital intensive.  Period. You can’t win if you don’t bring capital and stand prepared to use it. The fact is that the Dish designated entities (DEs) outbid T-Mobile over 6 to 1 in the auction (5 to 1 if you factor in the DE subsidies). And T-Mobile took close to $2B off the auction table.”

Marsh also weighed in on next year’s auction, when the more lucrative 600 MHz spectrum will be auctioned off, “As we look forward to the 600 MHz auction, we need to consider how the set asides as planned will work and who they will really benefit.” She said, “The set asides have been designed for the benefit of Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile and Softbank/Sprint, even as Deutsche Telekom touts a 2014 spend of €9.5 billion in Europe (before expenses for mobile spectrum) which is expected to increase going forward.”

Timotheus Hoettges, CEO of Deutsche Telecom, T-Mobile’s parent company, stated last week “growth is our top priority,” and that the company’s intent was to back “massive investments in our networks.”



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