We found out just this Tuesday that T-Mobile will soon be getting a chunk of AT&T wireless spectrum to bulk up its network, but apparently that still isn't enough bandwidth for the outmatched magenta carrier. They are currently looking to aggressively buy more spectrum at upcoming government auctions, and are concerned about being outbid by much larger (and richer) carriers.
This is due to some new legislation in Congress that would prevent the FCC from excluding AT&T and Verizon from the auctions based on the amount of spectrum they already have. In response to the perceived threat, the company's VP of federal regulatory affairs made this statement:
"Eliminating the FCC’s authority to establish competitive rules, just as Congress is poised to authorize significant new auctions, could discourage participation by bidders other than the largest carriers, ironically driving down auction revenues and potentially undermining the very economic development Congress hopes to gain through its legislation."
Obviously, T-Mobile basically wants to exclude the big carriers so they can buy the spectrum for cheap, but in this case that probably is the best thing for consumers as well. T-Mobile's network has lagged behind AT&T, Verizon, and even Sprint, so even though the AT&T acquisition has fallen through, a GSM monopoly could still emerge if T-Mobile can't compete.
As such, even though it seems unfair to block the larger carriers from the auctions, overall it will probably be the best thing for consumers. Hopefully T-Mobile can win some of these battles and get back into the wireless race, because having another strong competitor (who currently has the cheapest prices as well) can only be good for the market.[T-Mobile Blog]