T-Mobile: We Need Verizon Spectrum to Compete

T-Mobile US Inc. is telling the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that if it gets fresh advanced wireless service (AWS) spectrum from Verizon Wireless it will be able to deploy 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in areas in the U.S. where it otherwise couldn't.

Under the terms of a deal struck in June, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile will swap spectrum across a total of 218 markets. The spectrum includes some AWS capacity that Verizon Wireless hopes to obtain from Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Cox Communications Inc. , Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks . Therefore, the deal can't go ahead unless the FCC approves the $3.6 billion spectrum deal between Verizon and the cable companies.

In a letter to the FCC dated July 26, T-Mobile is urging that Verizon's deal gets approved as the swap helps alleviate competitive concerns related to Verizon’s spectrum concentration:

"This infusion of spectrum will enable T-Mobile to deploy LTE services in a number of markets where such deployment would otherwise have been impossible, and to enhance its LTE service in a number of additional markets where T-Mobile would have otherwise been limited to a 5x5 MHz LTE deployment," writes Kathleen O’Brien Ham, VP of federal regulatory affairs at T-Mobile. The letter reveals that Jim Alling, interim CEO of the operator, and other T-Mobile executives have been meeting the FCC about the issue.

Why this matters
T-Mobile needs all the spectrum it can get its hands on for deploying planned 4G LTE services in 2013.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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