Sprint has already said it won’t participate in the upcoming FCC spectrum auction, but that may not stop its parent company SoftBank from getting in on the action.
According to a report from CTFN, a news site for financial professionals, two sector bankers have said SoftBank may participate in the auction in lieu of its U.S. carrier business.
One of the sources cited by CTFN further said the company may look to acquire the spectrum under a new branch business so it can sell and trade the airwaves.
SoftBank did not respond to a requests for comment on the rumor.
The report comes on the heels of news that SoftBank is planning to create a network lease company that will allow Sprint to use its spectrum assets as collateral to generate funds in the short term.
Back in September, Sprint announced it will not participate in the upcoming auction, claiming that its “rich spectrum holdings are sufficient.”
Last week, Sprint CFO Tarek Robbiati said the carrier is looking toward a 5G future with a plan to build out its small cell network and capitalize on the capacity offered by its high-frequency 2.5 GHz spectrum.
Robbiati said the carrier plans to raise money against a “very small portion” of its spectrum assets through the aforementioned network lease company. Those funds, he said, will be used to help fund Sprint’s continued network improvements and 5G small cell deployments.
The FCC spectrum auction is scheduled to begin on March 29.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)