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T-Mobile Can Start Deploying Now on Spectrum From Comcast, CFO Says

T-Mobile will be able to deploy service immediately on some of the 600 MHz spectrum it’s buying from Comcast, in a deal announced Tuesday (see 2309120076), T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Peter Osvaldik said Wednesday at a Bank of America financial…

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conference. Markets where Comcast hasn’t deployed the spectrum aren't subject to the “clawback” that’s part of the deal, “but the operating markets potentially are,” he said. The deal encompasses all of Comcast’s 600 MHz licenses except Philadelphia, he said. “It’s structured in the form of a long-term lease, so we can go and deploy that 600 immediately for the benefit of consumers with the option, of course, then to purchase it in 2028,” Osvaldik said. T-Mobile doesn’t need the spectrum, per se, but also didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to add its portfolio, he said, noting 600 MHz is a “great spectrum band” able to penetrate buildings. Osvaldik also touched on the dispute with Dish Network, which is asking for additional time to buy 800 MHz spectrum from T-Mobile. T-Mobile and parent Deutsche Telekom oppose the extension (see 2308280055). The license purchase agreement, which was part of T-Mobile’s buy of Sprint, is “fairly clear from our perspective as to what Dish’s opportunities are,” he said. Dish could either purchase the spectrum by the Aug. 11 deadline or pay the termination fee, he said: “The ball is in their court.” Jon Freier, T-Mobile president-Consumer Group, said with the unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 15 this week “this is always an exciting time for us in our space.” During parts of the year, carriers promote their plans more than in others times, he said: “This is one of those periods … over the last couple of years, where it's been a little bit more promotional on devices.” While the wireless market is “a competitive space,” T-Mobile views it as being “very, very stable,” Freier said. The industry showed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting “economic turmoil,” that wireless is “a tremendously resilient industry, because connectivity is becoming more and more central to people's lives, how the economy works,” Osvaldik said.