T-Mobile?s privileged and unfair position

John Burnett is a veteran financial services executive who has worked at companies such as Citi, McGraw-Hill Financial, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. This week, he took to the pages of US News to highlight T-Mobile’s quest for a “privileged and unfair” position in the upcoming spectrum auction.

Burnett looked at T-Mobile’s flamboyant CEO John Legere comments and company “pleas to the government for help in competing in the wireless market.”

Specifically, wrote Burnett, “Legere’s T-Mobile is seeking special treatment in an upcoming auction of spectrum, a vital component of the wireless industry, by asking the FCC to set aside more of it for smaller carriers (i.e. not Verizon or T&T).”

But Burnett points out that T-Mobile is doing just fine without any special privilieges or by putting its larger competitors at a disadvantage. He notes that last month T-Mobile declared that it had gained an additional 1.3 million subscribers in 2014 following an aggressive marketing campaign. Legere himself said We continued to take share from our competitors.”

Moreover Burnett pointed to  a T-Mobile FCC filing that quoted Legere saying, “the 600 MHz incentive auction should not be delayed because doing so would only benefit AT&T and Verizon, which hold approximately 73 percent of the low-band spectrum today.”

In other words, asctions which would help make the auction a success – and benefit the public – should be avoided in order to help T-Mobile.

Burnett concludes, “The bottom line is that a rigged auction is a bad idea. It is bad for consumers, bad public policy and bad for the U.S. Treasury. Competition – not crony capitalism – has made the U.S. wireless market the envy of the world. Let’s hope the FCC does the right thing.”

In 2013, Speed Matters reported on efforts of T-Mobile workers to organize for better wages and working conditions – benefits which are available at T-Mobile’s German parent company, Deutsche-Telekom.

Unfair Treatment for the 'Uncarrier' (US News, Feb. 17, 2015)

T-Mobile FCC comment (FCC filing, Jan. 23, 2015)

T-Mobile workers denounce Deutsche Telekom’s double standard
(Speed Matters, Feb. 16, 2013)

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