Sprint Might Sit Out 600MHz Spectrum Auction

Sprint's CFO says that the operator might sit out the forthcoming 600MHz spectrum auction in the US because it may already have the spectrum and WiFi resources it needs.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) CFO Joe Euteneuer made the comments at a JPMorgan Partners Technology conference Tuesday.

"I think the 600MHz auction is something that we're looking at it but not necessarily something we need to do," Euteneuer told the financial conference crowd.

The 600MHz spectrum auction is currently slated to be held by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2016, although T-Mobile US Inc. has been trying to get the agency to move the so-called "incentive auction" back to its original 2015 date. (See T-Mobile Boss Asks Consumers to Pressure FCC on Low-Band.)

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The 600MHz auction is different from the recent AWS auction because the 600MHz spectrum is currently occupied by TV broadcasters. The process will be different because the FCC hopes that broadcasters will give up chunks of the spectrum in return for a slice of the profits of the auction. (See The Big Spend on AWS Has Consequences.)

Sprint's CFO says that the progress the carrier has made in deploying low-band, mid-band, high-band, and WiFi calling services means it can be choosy about the 600MHz auction. Sprint also sat out the last Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) auction. (See Hey Big Spenders! AT&T, Dish & VZ Splash Cash on Spectrum.)

"We think the network is in better and better shape every day as a result of the things we do," the CFO told the conference.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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