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DISH Wireless and T-Mobile are Now at Odds Over 12 GHz

DISH Wireless logo on a smartphone

DISH Wireless and T-Mobile seem to be in a bit of a disagreement on many things lately. T-Mobile’s plans to shut down its CDMA network could pose a threat to DISH’s Boost Mobile subscribers. The two have not seen things the same and now DISH Wireless is looking to have the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) step in to analyze the terms of T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint,

 and the sale of Boost Mobile to DISH Wireless as it argues against the shutdown. But now, T-Mobile is adding to the feud as it looks to spark interest in a spectrum auction for 12 GHz spectrum…so long as it means DISH Wireless doesn’t automatically gain a huge advantage.

As it stands, DISH Network has been using 12 GHz after winning the rights to the spectrum years ago for its multichannel video and data distribution service (MVDDS). DISH has officially entered the wireless industry and is wanting the FCC to change the rules of use for 12 GHz as are other wireless companies. Though MVDDS is allowed, companies are wanting to use the spectrum for two-way 5G wireless communication. With DISH Wireless standing to gain a tremendous advantage in the space should the rules change and now the company is acting as a dire competitor to T-Mobile, it is easy to see where the different points of view come into play.

This is amplified by the fact that DISH already paid for the rights through an auction. Having another auction feels unfair to DISH Wireless, but things are complicated still. T-Mobile is arguing that for the C-band spectrum, the FCC rejected a variety of scenarios before deciding to hold a recent auction. “Not only has the Commission recently rejected that approach, but it would essentially provide MVDDS licensees with an undeserved windfall,” said the “Un-carrier” to the FCC.

Demand continues to grow for 12 GHz and beyond as companies continue to push wireless communication and look for ways to access the mmWave spectrum. mmWave is the spectrum capable of delivering the best of 5G and there are other spectrum bands T-Mobile is interested in including the 13 GHz and 17 GHz bands. 

Now that DISH Wireless has taken actionable steps towards a nationwide 5G network with the launching of its cloud-native 5G network in Las Vegas, it feels as if the push for more mmWave spectrum is coming in full force. The FCC wants to allow operators to gain the access they need while balancing incumbents that use higher spectrum, but is also SpaceX, an opponent to 5G use in 12 GHz as it uses the spectrum for its Starlink project, to continue its plans “at its own risk.” DISH Wireless came to life because the government wanted to protect consumers from monopolization of the wireless industry to allow for four major carriers to inspire competition. Allowing higher spectrum bands will help facilitate the network’s growth and deliver faster speeds to millions of consumers. T-Mobile may not be a fan of DISH Wireless receiving so much spectrum, but if the commission is looking to spark competition and cover more Americans, it just might be the right move to accelerate these goals.

Source: Fierce Wireless

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