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Verizon still isn’t talking enthusiastically about the incentive auction

Verizon continues to look at the incentive auction as a “maybe.”

The auction, with a tentative targeted date of March 29, 2016, will be the last big opportunity wireless companies have to pick low-band spectrum, coveted for its mobile-friendly propagation characteristics. Having one of the big two wireless providers sitting out the auction could depress bidding prices in the forward auction and mean the Federal Communications Commission would have less money to give the Treasury.

While Verizon competitors both large and small have signaled a strong interest, Verizon in contrast, has shown little enthusiasm.

“The need for low-band spectrum for us is not a great need,” Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said Tuesday during the company’s second quarter earnings call.

Shame said the company has “plenty of capacity” to handle its strategies, including the highly anticipated to launch of its mobile-first OTT product late in the summer.

That doesn’t mean Verizon will sit out the auction. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the Federal Communications Commission,” Shammo said.

For now, Verizon seems content to concentrate on increasing its capacity with its current spectrum and building out the AWS-3 spectrum it recently bought in the auction earlier this year. “Spectrum is important, but it’s not the only tool we have in our tool box,” Shammo said.