FCC receives request to transfer T-Mobile's licenses over to AT&T

FCC receives request to transfer T-Mobile's licenses over to AT&T
Today, the FCC got a request from AT&T and T-Mobile, asking the FCC to transfer T-Mobile's licenses over to AT&T. This is one of the first steps in the arduous process of T-Mobile's acquisition.

But, contrary to how it sounds, the transfer of licenses doesn't mean that the deal is in any way approved.  Rather, it is like a formal declaration of intent with the FCC, forcing the regulator to assess AT&T's and T-Mobile's licenses jointly.

Of course, the primary concern is still the acquisition's effect on competition. But what's entertaining is how these companies are downplaying the significance of their combined force. Of T-Mobile, they wrote: "[T-Mobile has] declining market shares and no clear path to LTE (Long Term Evolution), the gold standard for advanced mobile broadband services." That implied criticism of HSPA+ is pretty hilarious when you consider their ongoing advertising.

And AT&T wasn't portrayed any more positively: "AT&T faces network spectrum and capacity restraints more severe than those of any other wireless provider, and this merger provides by far the surest, fastest, and most efficient solution to that challenge."

Remember, these criticisms are written by AT&T and T-Mobile. They are in a very strange position, forced to overstate their weaknesses in order to convince regulators that they won't become an unstoppable monopoly. But consumers have to get a kick out of the divergent advertising and FCC messages they're sending.

source: FCC via InfoWorld

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18 Comments

1. Rawrzellers

Posts: 224; Member since: Aug 22, 2010

If this goes through I'm just gonna go back on with verizon with my family. I only have T-Moble to feed my japanese and korean phone cravings.

2. joey18

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

Wao verizon or att are the same shiet. Tmo much better best plans ....

5. OsirisRa

Posts: 46; Member since: Dec 17, 2010

Hopefully this deal falls through for the simple fact that I hate ATT. Not to mention that T Mobile and ATT are the only lucrative GSM carriers left in the U.S. I currently own a N900 and will be purchasing an E7. The fact that T Mobile might be no more means no more exclusive unlocked phones. Going to have to settle for a phone that everyone has like a Thunderbolt. Just thinking about it is F*#£$&! depressing.

6. JordanCox

Posts: 21; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

I hope this happens. I love At&t. No matter what anybody says i'll always choose At&t over other carriers just because they're more experienced in situations since they've been around for longer and they've been in the game for longer. If they do join the only thing it could do is make them all the more better because At&t has more than enough to build a whole other carrier. All they could do is improve. People always talk about At&t having dropped calls and stuff but i have had Verizon and i have had At&t for a year now and i have had numerous phones and so far i have only had a couple dropped calls. It's very rare. I also get better reception with At&t than i did Verizon. This is just my personal opinion from experience between the two. I've never had T-mobile but i know that when my friends do get reception it's very good. I think this would be a good thing and it sure would get Verizon and Sprint motivated to improve more.

7. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

"That implied criticism of HSPA+ is pretty hilarious when you consider their ongoing advertising." hey f*ck u. HSPA+ is a 3.5G network thats beating Sprints outdated WIMAX and Verizons premature LTE. P.S. we will all miss T-Mobile...why couldnt this happen to sprint! that cr*p u call a network is a waste of spectrum.

8. Junior

Posts: 52; Member since: Jun 09, 2010

If I were on the marketing team for Sprint or Verizon, I'd be jumping all over these quotes from them.

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

PA Hey look, ya couldnt mention Tmobile without taking yet ANOTHER swype at them. "That implied criticism of HSPA+ is pretty hilarious when you consider their ongoing advertising." Funny huh? Pretty funny that Tmobile's HSPA+ is now up to 42mb/s in some areas, which is faster than the "gold standard" LTE by VZW which runs in the 30s. Pretty sad that Tmo's upgrade path takes HSPA+ to 84m/s by next year if they are still around while LTE will still be at ...30s.. And what of ATT's LTE network? Their only hope is buying Tmobile. Without them, they are stuck at the slowest network speeds of the group. Yet ibots and idiots pay more for their service than any other. Who's laughing now? :)

10. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

thank you!!!!

11. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Actually, T-Mobile is taking a swipe at themselves. PhoneArena said the companies are capitalizing on their weakness (which is odd because in advertising they say quite the opposite...which means they are lying). T-Mobile said that they don't have a clear path to LTE...which means T-Mobile feels as though HSPA+ isn't good enough no matter what speeds they go to. Again, this is T-Mobile saying this, not PhoneArena. What's funny is that I don't remember Verizon talking about any network weakness when it wanted to acquire Alltel. So, why are you really upset? If it's the loss of T-Mobile or even the dissing of T-Mobile...T-Mobile dissed themselves...

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Tmobile didnt diss themselves. They dont have a "clear path" to LTE because they dont need it right now. Their HSPA+ can go to nearly 100mb/s... and get there way faster than LTE can. Yea LTE is the better choice for the long road without a doubt, but for the next 5 years or so it doesnt matter if its LTE or HSPA+, what mattered was speed and bandwith.. both of which TMobile has. We tech geeks get caught up in which tech is which. Consumers will just care about the speed. I wasnt talking about the tmobile path. I was talking about the editors comments following them which is why it was in " " :)

13. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Also, if you look at how many phones and tablets are announcing HSPA support over LTE support or HSPA before LTE for devices, it shows just how much more important HSPA+ is than people like to give it credit for. It is a wider adoption at the current time after all.

21. JeffdaBeat unregistered

So that's the reason why T-Mobile said they don't have a clear path to LTE...because they don't have the spectrum to do it... What the editors were saying is that it's odd the company wants to go to LTE so badly when their commercials diss other companies for having a smaller 4G network. In reality, T-Mobile wants to rebuild into LTE right now, but can't... And I mean, AT&T dissed themselves too. How long have we heard them say, "We don't have network problems" blah blah blah...now they are admitting everything everyone has ever said about them in order to acquire T-Mobile. It's funny how the truth comes out...

20. JeffdaBeat unregistered

No, the reason T-Mobile chose to go with HSPA+ is because they can take their existing network and spectrum and upgrade it. They don't have enough spectrum to support HSPA+ as well as LTE. They'd have to basically replace one with the other...turn off HSPA+ and switch it with LTE without the transition in between. If T-Mobile has the spectrum that everyone else did, they'd be fine to build up their network, but that isn't the case. The problem is the government auctions off spectrum...so whoever has the most money gets the most spectrum screwing companies like T-Mobile over. Sprint has always had a shit ton of spectrum, which is why they didn't participate in the auction a few years ago. Verizon was able to snag a ton in the last auction, which they are using for LTE. HSPA+ can go really quickly, but it isn't as efficient as LTE and it also doesn't solve the latancy problems.

14. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

@jeff. T-Mo does plan to get LTE but like in year 2012 since LTE rightnow is premature and weak. HSPA+ is a better choice for right now since it can be easily upgraded.

15. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

How bout give us that have family and friends free calls to T-MOBILE TO AT&T

18. Dave unregistered

Do any of you know how to read? Apparently JeffdaBeat is the only intelligent person here. T-Mobile and At&t are the ones criticizing their own networks, not PhoneArena. And it is actually hilarious how both companies advertise how great their networks are to the public, but they tell the truth to the FCC. Before you guys jump all over PhoneArena for "dissing" At&t and T-Mobile, try some hooked-on-phonics.

19. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

is this jeff under a different name? Because apparently u cant read either. The comment in question wasnt Tmobile's responce to the FCC but rather the reviewers ad lib poking fun of Tmobile right afterwards. OI.

22. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

Tmobile made it very clear that they can only improve their speed, but not their network...they see that AT&T is moving forward and honestly their technology is the same (Sim Cards). Most people see it as a monopoly, but its not like Sprint joined Tmobile then AT&T bought both of them....THEN IT WOULD BE A MONOPOLY LOL!!! Tmobile wants to improve and they fel that merging with AT&T would be a good idea to keep their service and reputation...Hell, People have been unlocking AT&T phones and using Tmobile's service for years and vice versa so this was becoming inevitable to me. Plus, Tmobile doesnt have anything else to give to AT&T like cable and home internet service so I dont see why people are tripping over this This also puts pressure on Sprint more than verizon because Sprint has good phones on an almost nonexistent network. WiMax wont last 5 years and they have no choice but to go to LTE like verizon did.....speaking of verizon, i know that verizon can hold their own so they're not worried about the AT&T/Tmobile merger

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