T-Mobile on Tuesday doubled down on its argument that the FCC should cripple Dish in the upcoming incentive auction after the company’s designated entities (DEs) Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless petitioned the agency to dismiss the Un-Carrier’s previous request on procedural grounds.
At the end of October, T-Mobile wrote the FCC requesting that the commission “prohibit Dish and the Dish DEs from re-acquiring AWS-3 licenses” in light of its “selective default on licenses won at the auction.” Both Northstar and SNR recently surrendered 197 spectrum licenses won at auction to the government, following a ruling by the FCC which found them ineligible for the $3.3 billion in small-business discounts they received in the AWS-3 auction.
Northstar and SNR responded to T-Mobile’s proposal with their own requests last week that the FCC dismiss the Un-Carrier’s Oct. 30 letter as “procedurally defective,” arguing that the challenge amounted to an “untimely request” from a party that “lacks standing to challenge the Northstar Wireless MO&O, or any subsequent decision by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“WTB”) related to that order.”
The DEs also alleged that T-Mobile’s letter was not filed in the proper proceedings, includes no proof of service and “may not have been properly served on any of the relevant parties.”
T-Mobile, however, refused to back down, and on Tuesday tore into the DEs in a new filing.
“Having gamed the system once, SNR Wireless LicenseCo, LLC (“SNR”) and Northstar Wireless, LLC (“Northstar,” and with SNR, the “DISH DEs”) want the Commission to allow them to do it again,” T-Mobile wrote. “The Commission should not allow DISH or the DISH DEs to hide behind procedural arguments to avoid the consequences of their attempts to undermine the integrity of the AWS-3 auction.”
In Tuesday’s filing, T-Mobile reiterated its stance that the commission should bar Dish and its DEs from participating in the re-auction of AWS-3 spectrum and require them to pay an additional 50 percent upfront payment in the coming incentive auction.
“The DISH DEs fail to provide any substantive reason why the Commission should not take the steps that T-Mobile has recommended to ensure the integrity of its future auctions,” T-Mobile continued. “The far-reaching consequences of DISH and the DISH DEs’ improprieties in the AWS-3 auction process must be addressed. The Commission cannot allow history to repeat itself and empower others to attempt to manipulate auctions – including the ground-breaking incentive auction.”
T-Mobile could stand to benefit from any restrictions on Dish, as the Un-carrier has repeatedly said it plans to bid aggressively in the incentive auction.
Earlier this week, T-Mobile also sought to boot Verizon from bidding in 12 spectrum reserve markets. Aside from Sprint, which previously announced it will not participate in the auction, T-Mobile is the only top four carrier that has been deemed eligible to bid on reserve spectrum in all 416 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs). Verizon had been named eligible in 112 PEAs.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)