FCC delays major spectrum auction until mid-2015

|By:, SA News Editor

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler discloses a much-anticipated auction of broadcast TV spectrum to mobile carriers won't take place until mid-2015. Under prior chairman Julius Genachowski, the commission had set a June 2014 target date for auctioning the airwaves, which reside in the rural-friendly 600MHz. band.

Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS), who badly need more low-frequency spectrum to expand their rural coverage, have been hoping the auction would happen sooner rather than later. Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), who own ~75% of all sub-1GHz. U.S. mobile spectrum, currently offer better rural coverage in many regions.

Earlier this week, Wheeler hinted the FCC's auction rules will favor the likes of Sprint and T-Mobile, who have been calling for restrictions to be placed on how much spectrum Verizon and AT&T can purchase.