T-Mobile’s chief executive John Legere is known to be bold and boisterous, and it looks like he has no plans to quiet down in 2014 — provided Sprint’s potential upcoming bid to acquire T-Mobile doesn’t sideline the CEO’s big plans for the new year. In 2013, Legere sought to shake up the wireless industry in the United States, and fans and critics can both likely agree he did just that. T-Mobile’s various “Uncarrier” initiatives set the company’s chief rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless scrambling to catch up despite each being more than twice as large as T-Mobile in terms of subscriber count. Now that 2013 is behind us and Legere has managed to make T-Mobile the most important carrier in America, he has another resolution for 2014: “Transform the wireless industry.”
T-Mobile USA’s acquisition of MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) has the potential to bring about technological innovations in the U.S. mobile marketplace and accelerate the deployment of advanced services, according to analysts.
Spectrum and LTE are keys to the merger’s success and future potential. “We will increase our contiguous spectrum for LTE by 40 percent by the end of 2013,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere, noting the combined company will be able to offer 20×20 MHz LTE in many metro areas. The operators have complementary 1900 MHz and AWS spectrum holdings.
In its attempts to kill Verizon’s mega-spectrum deal with the cable operators, T-Mobile has opened up a new front in its lobbying war. The no. 4 U.S. operator is challenging Verizon’s claims that it is the most efficient user of mobile spectrum in the country. On Thursday, T-Mobile trotted out an expert to not only refute Verizon’s claims but show that Big Red is actually the most inefficient steward of the nation’s cellular airwaves.
T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS are lobbying the FCC to limit Dish Network’s use of the spectrum it plans to use for an LTE network.
The two operators asked the FCC to make Dish give up half of its 40 MHz holdings in the 2 GHz AWS-4 band in exchange for a waiver to use the satellite spectrum for a land-based wireless service, according to separate documents filed today by the companies.
Dish is still in the process of working with the FCC on the terms for building out its own LTE network, but if T-Mobile and MetroPCS have their way the company will be giving back half of its spectrum for auction. In two separate FCC filings, both T-Mobile and MetroPCS urged the commission to “reassign” 20 MHz of Dish’s portion of the 2 GHz band, which would then be auctioned off to other providers. The arrangement would allow Dish to keep the other half of its spectrum assignment for building out a network, and T-Mobile claims that such a move would “promote competition for mobile broadband services and further the public interest.”
T-Mobile USA, the Rural Cellular Association and public interest group Public Knowledge are joining together to formally oppose Verizon Wireless’ (NYSE:VZ) planned $3.9 billion purchase of AWS spectrum from cable companies.
The three will forge a new group, dubbed the Alliance for Broadband Competition, which describes itself as a “collection of like-minded businesses, trade associations, and public interest groups who are concerned about the ability for the current marketplace to sustain a competitive broadband landscape.” Representatives from the American Antitrust Institute and Free Press are scheduled to make an appearance during the group’s introductory conference call with media.
T-Mobile, with $4 billion in the bank and new spectrum, is a different company than it was when AT&T tried to buy it last year. However, the carrier still needs to grow, and it’s reportedly in talks with MetroPCS.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS, the nation’s fourth- and fifth-largest carriers, respectively, are discussing a merger, Bloomberg reported May 10, citing people familiar with the matter. The deal could entail an outright sale of T-Mobile or a stock swap that would give T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom control over the combined carriers.