Sprint calls bull on Verizon’s claim that reasonable roaming agreements reduce network investment.
In an ex parte filed with the FCC on Wednesday, Sprint argued that Verizon seeks to deny competitive carriers access to commercially reasonable data roaming rate based on network build-out, regardless of the Commission’s requirements.
Sprint said that Verizon and Mobile Future’s promtion of rules that would allow host carriers to deny roaming in the name of encouraging network investment is a failure, noting that the Commission has actually reversed its thinking on the matter.
“In particular, [the Commission] concluded that ‘for many CMRS carriers, there are areas within their licensed service areas where there is insufficient demand to support construction in those areas by another carrier,” Sprint wrote, adding that the Commission also recognized that carriers with higher frequency spectrum like Sprint has would find it more expensive to rollout service in rural areas.
“Mobile Future is not only resurrecting failed policy arguments, but also, together with Verizon, falsely accusing Sprint of avoiding network investment,” Sprint argues.
In an ex parte filed back in August by Verizon, Verizon asked the FCC to reject Sprint’s proposals and maintain its current roaming policies, which Verizon argues encourage carriers to expand their own networks.
Verizon contends that Sprint is relying on a business model that sees it invest most of its capital in high-return urban areas, while providing a “lowest cost service” in rural and suburban areas where it doesn’t have coverage.
For its part, Sprint cited an existing network that covers 280 million people and capital expenditures in fiscal 2015 of $5 billion, as proof that it continues to build out its coverage.
“The repeated, failed policy arguments and false accusations around build-out cannot hide or change the fact that no carrier has or will build out every corner of the United States,” Sprint wrote in its filing. “Carriers will always need commercially reasonable data roaming to ensure consumers have seamless, ubiquitous access to service, a public interest objective that Mobile Future and Verizon would rather ignore.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations