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T-Mobile’s going to have a tough time fixing its biggest weakness

Updated 5 years ago
T-Mobile Vs. AT&T Vs, Verizon Spectrum
Image: Asa Mathat | Re/code

T-Mobile has had a ton of success over the last year thanks to its aggressive “Un-carrier” moves that have given subscribers more value for their money and have been imitated throughout the industry. However, the reach of T-Mobile’s wireless network remains a thorn in the company’s side and it looks like it’s going to be very hard to fix.

 RELATED: T-Mobile went on an absolute rampage in 2014

As The Wall Street Journal notes, T-Mobile got absolutely smoked by AT&T, Verizon and Dish during the FCC’s recent auction for AWS-3 spectrum. In total, AT&T spent $18.2 billion for AWS-3 spectrum licenses, while Verizon spent $10.4 billion and two entities tied to Dish spent $13.3 billion. T-Mobile, in contrast, spent $1.8 billion on licenses, a sum that dwarfs what its major rivals spent.

The AWS-3 spectrum isn’t quite the prime real estate that was up for grabs during the 700MHz auction that T-Mobile never even bothered to bid on back in 2008. So it’s possible that T-Mobile is just saving all of its financial ammunition for the big 600MHz auction that’s set to occur in 2016. That said, we also know AT&T and Verizon will absolutely jump at the chance to gobble up spectrum on that band as well, so T-Mobile has a huge challenge ahead of it.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.