The sudden success of T-Mobile has been impressive. With an energetic CEO and some of the most competitive pricing in the industry, the “Un-carrier” has made a big splash, convincing thousands of smartphone owners to drop their plans and make the switch. There’s only one problem: T-Mobile’s coverage still doesn’t match up with that of Verizon and AT&T.
That might be changing soon, as T-Mobile VP of Federal Regulatory Affairs Kathleen Ham addressed in a blog post on Thursday.
“As our competitors well know, arming T-Mobile with low-band spectrum is a competitive game-changer, enabling our service to penetrate building walls better and travel longer distances than we can with the spectrum we have today,” Ham writes. “Imagine a T-Mobile with even greater coverage, offering innovative Un-carrier deals to even more customers in even more places – in direct competition with the Twin Bells!”
Ham explains that although the FCC has reserved low-band spectrum for small carriers in the upcoming auction, it’s not quite enough. If your T-Mobile phone is going to be able to work in spite of all those pesky “walls,” the FCC needs to establish a larger reserve and needs to rethink its minimum sales prices for licenses.
“The FCC wants to maintain four nationwide competitors in the wireless marketplace, maximize the efficient use of spectrum, and recover a portion of the license value for taxpayers,” Ham concludes. “With some fine-tuning of the rules, the chances of achieving those outcomes are much more likely than not.”