Mobile Future

T-Mobile: Captain Underdog versus Captain Marvel

It looks like the “uncarrier’s” self-proclaimed Captain Underdog has fled Washington for Wall Street, taking a break from his lobbying crusade to tout T-Mobile’s lofty second quarter earnings. Emerging from the telephone booth as Captain Marvel, he has been quick to abandon the “woe is me” refrain of doom and gloom he has delivered to policymakers to deliver a much rosier (pinker?) narrative to the Street.

Yesterday, T-Mobile beat Wall Street’s estimates with its Q2 performance, with CEO Legere tweeting “Check out $TMUS Q2 2015 earnings, and then hand our competitors a tissue.” Ironic then, that they would be asking the FCC for special treatment in the auctions. Particularly when T-Mobile’s own Investor Factbook shows that the company owns an average of 84 MHz of spectrum across the top 25 markets in the U.S.

In his earnings call yesterday Mr. Legere said, “Overall, I think our results speak for themselves.” We couldn’t agree more.

For months, T-Mobile has tried to rally consumers to its self-serving cause, and federal regulators to its rent-seeking pleadings, calling for the feds to ensure that American taxpayers would give his company and its gigantic parent Deutsche Telekom a massive leg-up in the upcoming 2016 spectrum auctions. After convincing the FCC to set-aside 30 MHz in the auction just last year, apparently that just wasn’t enough of an advantage. Now the company is again asking for even more, while bragging to Wall Street about its successes.

From expanding the set-asides, to modifying the auction trigger, T-Mobile is trying every trick in the book to give the company even more of an advantage at taxpayer expense. T-Mobile’s pleadings for yet more handouts from taxpayers and special treatment from the feds is a prime example of why it is so important that policy makers ensure the upcoming auctions both are fair and successful, and not succumb to T-Mobile’s serial requests to have our government lower their costs of doing business.