Sprint Says It Will Sit Out Incentive Auction

Sprint confirmed this weekend that it doesn't intend to participate in the 600MHz Incentive Auction that the FCC intends to hold in 2016.

The move is not a huge surprise as Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) executives have previously suggested that the operator could sit the auction out. (See Sprint Might Sit Out 600MHz Spectrum Auction.)

"Sprint has the spectrum it needs to deploy its network architecture of the future," said CEO Marcelo Claure in a statement Saturday. (See Sprint Spend Slowing Ahead of Next Network Push – Analysts and Sprint CEO Claims Next-Gen Network Will Be #1.)

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's 600MHz Incentive Auction is expected to start at the end of March next year. The agency plans to pay TV broadcasters to vacate the low-band spectrum so it can be used for 4G wireless services and beyond. The spectrum is not expected to go cheap. (See The Big Spend on AWS Has Consequences.)

Sprint's move is likely good news for T-Mobile US Inc. , which has been bending the FCC's ear about access to the low-band spectrum for a while now. Sprint bowing out should make it easier for the magenta mavericks to get more spectrum. (See FCC Delays Incentive Auction Vote, FCC Auction Proposal Dings Dish, T-Mobile and FCC Chief: Keep Spectrum Open for Smaller Carriers.)

Unsurprisingly, T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere, has already piped up about the auction on Twitter:

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 9/28/2015 | 9:48:01 PM
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