T-Mobile and the CCA ask the FCC to block AT&T's acquisition of 700MHz spectrum
On its blog, AT&T says that T-Mobile acts as though "low band spectrum transactions should be deemed presumptively unlawful for any company named AT&T or Verizon." We should point out that such low-band spectrum does travel farther and penetrates buildings better. T-Mobile has also been arguing with the FCC in reference to next year's auction of 600MHz spectrum. To prevent Verizon and AT&T from using their riches to increase ownership of such highly prized low frequency airwaves, T-Mobile fought to have a certain amount of spectrum in each market held aside for smaller operators. T-Mobile's latest request to have even more spectrum held aside was turned down last month by the FCC.
AT&T says that the deal has been pending for over a year, and that it is time for it to close. CCA president Steve Berry says that AT&T "has not complied with the standards of review and has presented no real evidence of increased public interest." Kathleen Ham, T-Mobile's senior vice president for government affairs, says that "AT&T simply wants to grab more low-band spectrum to depress competition, reduce investment and stifle innovation."
T-Mobile itself has been using its own 700MHz spectrum to improve its signal in specific markets. The nation's third largest carrier calls it T-Mobile Extended Range LTE and currently offers it in 170 markets.