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T-Mobile and MetroPCS want Dish to give up half of its spectrum

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Both MetroPCS and T-Mobile are urging the FCC to make Dish give up half of its wireless spectrum.

T-mobile store logo (1020)
T-mobile store logo (1020)

Dish is still in the process of working with the FCC on the terms for building out its own LTE network, but if T-Mobile and MetroPCS have their way the company will be giving back half of its spectrum for auction. In two separate FCC filings, both T-Mobile and MetroPCS urged the commission to "reassign" 20 MHz of Dish's portion of the 2 GHz band, which would then be auctioned off to other providers. The arrangement would allow Dish to keep the other half of its spectrum assignment for building out a network, and T-Mobile claims that such a move would "promote competition for mobile broadband services and further the public interest."

It would also prevent Dish from selling off all of its unneeded spectrum to the likes of Verizon or AT&T, which appears to be a huge concern, with MetroPCS saying that it would provide Dish an "unwarranted and unprecedented windfall." According to the company, the 40 MHz of spectrum Dish acquired for $2.8 billion would today be worth at least $8.4 billion. If Dish does manage to get past all of the FCC's regulations, its LTE network could launch as early as 2016.