After sitting on the sideline for the FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction, Sprint (NYSE:S) says it won't participate in next year's spectrum auction either. But the upcoming spectrum auction will consist of spectrum in a much lower band, 600 MHz, which is able to reach farther and penetrate buildings much better. Why Sprint isn't participatingSprint's claim that its spectrum portfolio is already in good shape is a flimsy excuse for its lack of participation. The company hasn't turned a profit since 2007, and it's bleeding cash in efforts to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Not all of that money was spent on customer promotions, however, as Sprint has ramped up its spending to deploy its existing spectrum and improve its network.
But Sprint simply doesn't have enough money to buy up what's sure to be the most expensive wireless spectrum licenses ever sold and build out its network with existing spectrum.
A big win for T-MobileT-Mobile stands to gain the most from Sprint's decision not to participate.
T-Mobile's biggest competition will likely be Dish Network, which has been accumulating spectrum licenses since 2008. T-Mobile has long had its sights set on acquiring a good chunk of the 600 MHz spectrum coming available next year. With one less bidder, AT&T and Verizon may be able to pay less than initially anticipated for the 600 MHz spectrum.

The next billion-dollar iSecret The world's biggest tech company forgot to show you something at its recent event, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn't miss a beat: There's a small company that's powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. Adam has been writing for The Motley Fool since 2012 covering consumer goods and technology companies. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure says the company is happy with its current spectrum portfolio, which consists largely of 2.5 GHz spectrum it acquired in the acquisition of Clearwire in 2012. This makes it much more valuable for wireless carriers since coverage is better and it costs less to deploy per capita.
Last quarter, the company burned through $2.2 billion in cash, but it ultimately fell behind T-Mobile to become the smallest carrier among the top-tier providers. RootMetrics saw a significant jump in Sprint's network reliability in its most recent report. What's more, its ability to tap the debt markets is hindered by a recent downgrade from Moody's to B3 -- two notches below its previous rating. At this year's AWS-3 auction, the company bid more than $13 billion on various licenses, outspending T-Mobile by more than $10 billion. Investors should expect heavy participation from T-Mobile, but with juggernauts AT&T and Verizon bidding on the unreserved spectrum, T-Mobile may have to settle for less in order to preserve capital. That's key after the two largest carriers spent much more than expected in the AWS-3 auction.

And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early, in-the-know investors! He spends about as much time thinking about Facebook and Twitter's businesses as he does using their products. Sprint can't afford to spend money now on something that won't realize any returns for five years.
To be fair, T-Mobile already has plenty of spectrum licenses in the same range as the AWS-3 spectrum. They'll have until the end of March to reload their war chests to compete with T-Mobile and Dish. Cellular and C Spire Wireless will be able to bid, neither can seriously compete with T-Mobile. It's also worth noting the FCC has rules in place to prevent any single company from acquiring all 30 MHz of reserved spectrum. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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