Sprint (NYSE:S) fell in morning trade on Monday after the fourth-largest U.S. mobile operator said it will not participate in a scheduled auction of government airwaves set for early 2016.
Shares fell 1.4% to $4.24 at 9.33 a.m. in New York.
The company, based in Overland Park, Kansas said in a statement on Saturday that it has adequate spectrum for its future needs.
“Sprint’s focus and overarching imperative must be on improving its network and market position,” chief executive officer Marcelo Claure said in the statement.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans next year to auction off valuable 600 megahertz airwaves that can travel long distances and penetrate buildings, to wireless carriers, which are clamoring for faster speeds for data-guzzling customers.
Sprint, which has struggled through seven years of subscriber losses and eight years without profit, is the first of the large mobile phone companies to officially indicate it won’t take part in the auction.