The Federal Communications Commission finished its largest auction of millimeter-wave spectrum by collecting $715 million in bids for licenses in the 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands through two rounds on the first day. "I would be pleasantly surprised if Auction 103 crosses the $2 billion threshold," said Sasha Javid, a former FCC official.
AT&T will look across the board to cut costs next year, Chief Operating Officer John Stankey told an analyst conference saying, "No place is safe. We are looking across the entire business." Stankey said the carrier could reduce labor expenses by improving the "effectiveness" of various sectors while also looking to the "rationalization" of AT&T's wireline footprint.
T-Mobile Chairman Timotheus Hottges denied in federal court accusations that the company sought to merge with Sprint to curb wireless price wars testifying that the carrier wanted access to more spectrum and needed broader scale. Separately, T-Mobile executive Mike Sievert told an investor conference that the carrier could still reach a settlement with the states who are suing to block the merger.
Less than 10% of smartphone buyers pay $1,000 or more to buy their devices, The NPD Group says in a new Mobile Phone Tracking report which notes that the top 10 markets accounted for 39% of the $1,000 phones in service. More consumers are aware of 5G with NPD finding 73% were aware of the technology compared with 44% in mid-2018.
The federal judge overseeing efforts by 14 states to block T-Mobile's merger with Sprint signaled he wants a speedy trial as testimony began on Monday, telling lawyers to begin calling witnesses immediately rather than making opening arguments. The states presented text messages between Sprint executives that suggested users' prices could go up under the merger.
A second government agency has asked federal regulators to turn down Ligado's proposal, backed by some carriers, to deploy the spectrum in its L Band to create a 5G terrestrial wireless network. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration's letter supports critics who say the network would interfere with neighboring GPS signals.
AT&T sketched out its plans to start testing integrated access and backhaul technology during 2020, saying it can prove a reliable backhaul alternative to fiber in certain cases, such as expanding millimeter-wave locations to reach more isolated areas. Verizon also confirmed, without adding any details, that it plans to use IAB, which is part of the 3GPP Release 15 standard.
States attorneys general head to federal court today to try to stop T-Mobile from merging with Sprint, arguing the deal will reduce competition even with provisions the companies made to satisfy the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice. The wireless providers will assert that there is plenty of competition within the industry and that the merger will hasten the deployment of 5G networks.
Network slicing will bring wireless carriers new sources of revenue as 5G becomes widespread, said executives at T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, all companies that hope to start deploying the technology next year. They pointed to a variety of specific ways to allocate a network's capabilities and create revenue using excess capacity.
The content lineup for the mobile-based short-form service Quibi is starting to take shape after founders raised about $1 billion to secure programming from famous A-listers as well as more obscure social media influencers. The service, which will launch in April 2020, is targeting daytime audiences for much of its viewing base.
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