TVN TECH

Repack Phase Zero? You Could Be In Trouble

By now, most broadcasters should be quite familiar with the FCC’s 10 phases for repacking television spectrum. Karl Voss, chief engineer of KAET Phoenix, says they better get up to speed fast on what he calls “Phase Zero” — any channel in 600 MHz or above that is not protected.

T-Mobile Enticing Stations To Repack Early

Wireless carrier T-Mobile has big plans for its newly acquired 600 MHz spectrum — a nationwide 5G network deployment by 2020. However, there’s a hitch. The repack of the TV band needed to clear the spectrum for wireless use won’t be finished until the middle of that year. So, the wireless carrier is trying to speed up the repack by enticing some stations to move their new channels earlier than required.

COMMENTARY BY PATRICK MCFADDEN

FCC Should Dismiss T-Mobile Repack Claims

NAB’s Patrick McFadden: T-Mobile “has a small problem with accuracy, or what some might call the truth. Let’s not forget that T-Mobile is the company that went to absurd lengths in stomping its magenta sneakers about the need for the FCC to set aside spectrum in the incentive auction for everyone not named AT&T and Verizon, going so far as to come up with the world’s most pathetic superhero movie to try to make its point.”

T-Mobile, Dish Network Big Auction Winners

Of the $19,768 billion in gross proceeds bid in the auction, those two companies alone accounted for some $14.2 billion — or approximately 72% — of the winning bids. Other major winners in the auction included Comcast, which spent $1,724 billion.

FCC Auction May Mean Better Cell Service

The biggest spenders in the FCC’s $19.8 billion TV spectrum incentive auction were T-Mobile with $8 billion, satellite TV company Dish Network at $6.2 billion and Comcast with $1.7 billion.

PTC Calls Out T-Mobile For Sponsoring ‘The Mick’

The Parents Television Council said today it has contacted T-Mobile to urge the company to reconsider sponsoring Fox’s The Mick, a new sitcom that PTC says “routinely features minors smoking, drinking, swearing and having sex.” T-Mobile has advertised in six out of nine episodes, which aired as early as 7:30 p.m. in half the country. “We […]

TVN FOCUS ON WASHINGTON

Symons: FCC Focusing On TV Band Repack

Howard Symons of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force says that work is proceeding apace on a computer program that will calculate when stations have to move to their new channels in the TV band repacking that will follow the incentive auction. He promises ample opportunities for broadcasters and other stakeholders to vet the program this summer and suggest changes. What is unlikely to change, however, is the time for completing the entire repack. “At this point, we see no reason that 39 months won’t work.”

TVN TECH

ERI Expanding Antenna Facilities, Workforce

Antenna and RF component manufacturer Electronics Research Inc. is on track to increase its antenna production capacity by 800% before the end of the year after entering into an agreement with wireless provider T-Mobile to facilitate the expansion. Above, an aerial view of ERI’s Chandler, Ind., antenna manufacturing facility. The company plans to add three new buildings and more than 100 employees by year’s end. (ERI photo)

ERI, T-Mobile Partner To Help Speed Repack

Electronics Research Inc. will work with T-Mobile to ensure the availability of equipment and installation crews to accelerate completion of the mandated television channel changes following the conclusion of the FCC’s broadcast incentive auction.

JESSELL AT LARGE

A Regional Repack Is Reasonable Way To Go

The bickering in Washington over how long TV broadcasters should have to move to new channels after the incentive auction has not been productive. It’s time for the FCC to listen to AT&T and NAB, dump the current 39-month deadline and adopt a regional phase-in approach. It makes the most sense for wireless carriers as well as for broadcasters and their viewers. For once, let reason prevail.

 

DTC Challenges T-Mobile Repack Claims

Digital Tech Consulting takes issue with T-Mobile’s contention that 39 months and $1.75 billion will be adequate to insure a smooth repack following the FCC’s incentive auction.

NAB: T-Mobile Repack Study Is ‘Misleading’

The trade group says T-Mobile’s earlier study supporting the government-mandated time frame and cost of relocating broadcasters following the spectrum incentive auction is wrong. NAB picks apart some of the specific findings, namely, the utility of broadband antennas and the availability of qualified and trusted tower crews.

TVNEWSCHECK FOCUS ON WASHINGTON

Slow Going For Broadcaster Repack Relief

NAB is pressing Congress for more time and money for broadcasters to move to new channels following the spectrum incentive auction this spring, but key policymakers are signaling that such relief will not come, if it comes at all, until after the incentive auction when the full dimensions of band repacking are better known.

T-Mobile: 39 Mos., $1.75B Plenty For Repack

The wireless carrier, which is expected to bid for spectrum in the FCC’s spectrum auction, says that there are no grounds for NAB’s request for more time and money to move to new channels in the post-auction repacking of the TV band. According to its study, the carrier says, the current deadline (39 months) and reimbursement fund ($1.75 billion) are more than enough.

 

T-Mobile Exempts Video From Some Caps

T-Mobile already exempts many streaming music services from data limits, but now it says streaming video from Netflix, HBO and other leading services will no longer count toward data limits under T-Mobile’s higher data plans.

Dish Talks Funding With Banks For T-Mobile

Dish Network Corp. is in talks with banks about funding a bid for T-Mobile U.S. Inc. that would include as much as $15 billion in cash, in the latest sign the takeover effort is progressing. Dish is considering borrowing between $10 billion and $15 billion for the cash portion of a bid that would primarily be composed of its stock, according to people familiar with the matter.

Dish Network, T-Mobile In Merger Talks

Dish Network Corp. is in talks to merge with T-Mobile US Inc., people familiar with the matter said, a deal that would accelerate a wave of consolidation across the U.S. media and communications industries. The two sides are in close agreement about what the combined company would look like, with Dish CEO Charlie Ergen becoming the company’s chairman and his T-Mobile counterpart, John Legere, serving as the combined company’s CEO, the people said.

Source: Sprint To Buy T-Mobile For $32B

Sprint Corp. has agreed to pay about $40 per share to buy T-Mobile US, a person familiar with the matter said, marking further progress in the attempt to merge the third- and fourth-biggest U.S. mobile network operators. The $40 price represents a 17% premium to T-Mobile US’s closing share price on Wednesday, giving it a valuation of more than $32 billion and the shares have more than doubled in price since the group bought smaller rival MetroPCS a year ago.

T-Mobile Hangs Up ‘Deceptive’ Ad Campaign

The wireless carrier must now rethink its strategy after Washington state’s attorney general put the kibosh on its marketing approach.

Web Heavyweights Trash AT&T Deal

Sprint CEO ‘Concerned’ About AT&T Deal

The stifling of innovation and putting too much power in the hands of too few are at the heart of concerns expressed by Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel Corp.

Despite Claims, AT&T Has Lots Of Spectrum

The T-Mobile acquistion isn’t likely to result in fresh airwaves becoming available. T-Mobile’s spectrum is already in use, and AT&T has an ample supply that it plans to use.

Media Downside to AT&T and T-Mobile Deal?

When the No. 3 U.S. ad spender, AT&T, makes a bid to acquire a marketer that spends $500 million-plus domestically, the media world braces itself. But AT&T’s $39 billion bid for T-Mobile could mean fewer ad dollars for U.S. media companies — if the deal goes through.

AT&T Deal May Get A Year of Scrutiny

AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Faces DC Hurdles

The $39 billion transaction — one of the largest since the onset of the financial crisis — is expected to start a fierce battle in Washington as regulators scrutinize the impact of the deal on competition and consumers. The deal would leave just three major cellular companies in the country: AT&T, Verizon and the much smaller Sprint Nextel.