Over the last few months there has been massive speculation surrounding both T-Mobile and Dish Network. The speculation has revolved around whether the two would partner up in some sort of merger to best make use of Dish's spectrum stockpile and T-Mobile's cellular user base. Although, any details on this possible partnership has somewhat subsided recently, which now seemingly highlights a slowdown of interest on the sides of both parties.
Well, it also seems that a lack of a partnership forming between the two is now starting to take its toll as the two companies revert back to competitors for future auctions. One of the reasons which has been thought to be behind the lack of a partnership between the two companies, is the ongoing battle Dish is having with their already purchased spectrum. Although, they were the big winners of the AWS-3 spectrum auction, they almost immediately saw accusations from AT&T and Verizon regarding the way in which they handled and bid on these spectrum licences. Since then, the FCC have stepped in and most recently some of Dish's Designated Entities (DEs) have had to relinquish a bunch of the spectrum licenses they had obtained.
In a letter from T-Mobile to the FCC last week, T-Mobile clearly states that they would like to see Dish forbidden from being able to bid again on any spectrum that they have lost the license too. In fact, T-Mobile wants both Dish and their DEs to be forbidden from re-bidding on any spectrum. T-Mobile goes on to suggest that for the upcoming 600 MHz auction, if Dish (or any of their DEs) wish to bid on spectrum, then they should have to provide a 50-percent upfront payment due to their level of defaulting that on their lost AWS-3 spectrum. Of course, T-Mobile does have an agenda here when it comes to the spectrum in question. Obtaining any sort of injunction against Dish will effectively remove one more competitor from spectrum that the company needs to expand its own network. Not forgetting that if there is no Dish and T-Mobile deal on the horizon, then T-mobile will be in even more need of obtaining such spectrum.