AT&T's Facing a Big Catch-22 [telecom]

How much can it really spend at this month's spectrum auction?

By Adam Levy

AT&T needs to spend money to keep up with its competitors, but it doesn't have money to spend.

The FCC's C-band spectrum auction is expected to draw lots of bidders for the low- and mid-band spectrum on the block. It could fill a weak point for AT&T in its spectrum portfolio compared to rival T-Mobile. And while Verizon is in an even worse position for mid- and low-band spectrum licenses, it has a balance sheet that'll allow it to come away with whatever it needs at the auction.

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