If you like to track the carrier wars, you’ll know that spectrum is like the dodgeball in the middle of the court they’re all chasing after. Spectrum is the cornerstone of a great carrier, as coverage is one of the major concerns for any customer, potential or existing. An upcoming spectrum auction is already causing T-Mobile to sound off in the court of public opinion.

The AWS-3 spectrum is a stronger MHz frequency, which is ideal for strong LTE service in a limited area. In addition to the AWS-3, an FCC official is saying there will be two sub-bands included in the auction. This is where it gets tricky, and lines in the sand are drawn.

The sub-bands are being broken into both 5MHz and 10MHz blocks. The 5MHz blocks (1695-1700MHz) are structured in such a way that they benefit smaller carriers — like T-Mobile. The smaller block brings a lower price tag. The larger 10MHz sub-block (1700-1710MHz) are in what’s called “Economic Areas”, which is fancy slang for “Metropolitan areas of interest to carriers because that’s where people have (and spend) the most cash.”

Analyst Walter Piecyk of BTIG had the following to add regardign the spectrum breakdown:

The 10×10 MHz blocks will appeal to AT&T and Verizon because they are larger and being auctioned in fewer geographic regions, making it easier to build a nationwide spectrum position. The 5×5 MHz block will appeal to T-Mobile, which owns the adjacent spectrum in 20 of the top 35 markets.

T-Mobile has voiced their opinion via a blog post, cautioning the FCC to position the spectrum auction at 5MHz blocks rather than 10MHz. “This approach will bring in more bidders and increase auction revenues as a consequence” said T-Mobile Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Kathleen Ham. The FCC is set to make a ruling on the matter March 31st.

Via: Fierce Wireless