Monica Alleven

UScellular grapples with cable's rise in wireless

The good news is UScellular ended 2023 with 114,000 fixed wireless access (FWA) customers. The bad news? The company lost about 53,000 postpaid phone customers, exacerbating a string of previous losses. Besides competing with the Big 3 mobile carriers, UScellular, a regional wireless carrier, is grappling with the rise of cable companies in wireless.

Consumer groups seek unlocked phone condition as part of T-Mobile/Mint deal

Consumer advocates want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose a phone unlocking condition on T-Mobile’s proposed acquisition of Mint Mobile, the operator made famous by part owner Ryan Reynolds. T-Mobile struck an agreement in 2023 with Ka’ena Corporation to acquire Mint Mobile and its affiliate brands, Ultra Mobile and Plum, for up to $1.35 billion.

T-Mobile’s network chief awaits remaining 2.5 GHz

T-Mobile has yet to take possession of the 2.5 GHz spectrum that it acquired via auction in 2022 to fill holes in rural territories across the US, but it’s ready to roll when the spectrum does become available. Congress passed legislation requiring the Federal Communications Commission to release the 2.5 GHz spectrum from Auction 108 and President Joe Biden signed the 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement (SALE) Act into law in December 2023.

Dish cuts more jobs amid spectrum reshuffle

Dish Network already is spinning more heads than some companies do in an entire year. Among the revelations: More layoffs at Dish Network, affecting employees at its Colorado headquarters. Dish is transferring certain spectrum licenses to an EchoStar holding company.

T-Mobile chronicles 5G achievements since Sprint merger

There’s not much new in T-Mobile’s latest report to the Federal Communications Commission on the progress it’s made since its merger with Sprint. The report, submitted on January 2, centers on the network milestones that T-Mobile has accomplished with respect to its 3-year commitments for nationwide 5G deployment, which includes low-band and mid-band 5G coverage, 5G sites, download speeds and more.

Lack of auction authority stymied FCC in 2023

Although the Federal Communications Commission did not have its auction authority for most of 2023, some important events came to pass. The wireless industry lobbied much of the year for reallocation of spectrum in the 3.1-3.45 GHz band, which didn’t happen. The Biden Administration delivered a plan for a National Spectrum Strategy, which includes further study of the 3.1-3.45 GHz band.

Dish cites T-Mobile’s low-band spectrum stash in bid for new FCC policies

Dish Network is re-upping its calls for the Federal Communications Commission to update spectrum holding policies, saying the agency’s current spectrum procedures have enabled incumbents like T-Mobile to amass too much low-band spectrum to the detriment of new competitors and regional carriers. Dish EVP of External & Legislative Affairs Jeff Blum and other Dish lawyers met with FCC representatives to discuss the current competitive landscape and importance of spectrum availability in giving new entrants a chance to compete. Dish pointed to comments from AT&T, Public Knowledge, and O

Verizon’s TracFone to pay $23.5 million in Lifeline, Emergency Broadband Benefit settlement

Verizon’s TracFone Wireless subsidiary reached a settlement with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Enforcement Bureau to resolve an investigation into whether the company violated the agency’s Lifeline and Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program rules.  According to the FCC, TracFone’s internal systems: 1) improperly considered a subscriber’s receipt of an inbound text message to constitute qualifying Lifeline usage and 2) improperly claimed support for a group of customers who were enrolled jointly in both the Lifeline and EBB programs, but did not use one of the services in

T-Mobile, Verizon back new 4.9 Gigahertz public safety coalition

The Coalition for Emergency Response and Critical Infrastructure (CERCI) wants to keep the 4.9 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum under the control of public safety and critical infrastructure industry users and out of the hands of FirstNet, whose 700 Megahertz network is run by AT&T. T-Mobile, Verizon and UScellular are among the founding members of the CERCI, along with the Competitive Carriers Association, National Sheriffs Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, and Edison Electric Institute.

T-Mobile faces private antitrust lawsuit over Sprint merger

US District Judge Thomas Durkin in Chicago ruled  a lawsuit filed by customers of AT&T and Verizon over T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint may proceed because the plaintiffs “plausibly” argued that higher prices “flowed directly” from the $26 billion merger. The proposed class action was filed in 2022 and seeks a range of penalties, including undoing the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. The class-action suit was filed by seven AT&T and Verizon subscribers on behalf of millions of customers who were affected.