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Advocates: FCC should limit big carriers in spectrum auctions

Grant Gross | May 31, 2013
AT&T says limits on spectrum bidding may be illegal and would subsidize smaller carriers.

Sprint and T-Mobile both have significant spectrum holdings already, Watts wrote.

But AT&T and Verizon control 78 percent of the spectrum below 1GHz available for mobile service, said Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America. Spectrum below 1GHz is considered the best for high-speed data services because the signals travel farther and penetrate buildings easier than spectrum in higher frequencies, participants in the Thursday forum said.

It would take eight cell sites in the 1.9GHz band to cover the same area as one cell site in the 700MHz band, and 13 or more cell sites to cover the same area in the 2.5GHz band, according to information from CCA and CCIA.

AT&T and Verizon have "got all the good stuff," Cooper said. "They ought to be restricted where they're already fat."


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