Sprint Corp plans to opt out of bidding

PRIST

Leaving the field clear for Dish Network Corp to buy the spectrum, Sprint Corp. opted out of bidding for the government’s “H Block” of licensed airwaves.

The analysts had still expected Sprint to bid for the H-Block spectrum since it is adjacent to other Sprint spectrum holdings.

However, Sprint CFO Joe Eutener said the Overland Park-based company was concerned with the rules governing the auction and had already acquired significant spectrum through its acquisition of Clearwire Corp back in July.

Sprint announced the decision a day after No. 4 U.S. mobile provider, T-Mobile US Inc, said it too had decided against participating in the $ 1.5 billion deal.

Dish, which earlier this year lost a battle with SoftBank Corp to take over Sprint Corp and smaller operator Clearwire Corp, has said it wants to eventually use the wireless airwaves it owns to offer mobile video services.

Almost a year after receiving U.S. government approval to go ahead with a wireless service, Dish was yet to announce a firm plan.

Sprint’s decision to skip the auction is good news for Dish Corp and Dish has already told the Federal Communications Commission that it would bid a base price in the auction if the FCC grants it waivers of conditions related to its existing spectrum licenses. The U.S. government had set a November 15 deadline for applications for the auction.

Also the other competitors like T-Mobile US Inc, the No. 4 U.S. mobile service provider, said it would sell 66.15 million common shares, so that it could use the proceeds to buy airwaves to bolster its network capacity for wireless data services.