T-Mobile and the CCA ask the FCC to block AT&T's acquisition of 700MHz spectrum

T-Mobile and the CCA ask the FCC to block AT&T's acquisition of 700MHz spectrum
According to AT&T, T-Mobile and the Competitive Carrier Association are asking the FCC to block its acquisition of 700MHz spectrum without having a good reason to do so. The transaction in question will give AT&T two Lower 700MHz B Block licenses from Club 42 CM Limited Partnership. Once the deal closes, AT&T will be able to improve its LTE network in certain markets by using a 10MHz X 10MHz configuration. That will allow the nation's second largest mobile operator to carry more signals, with faster service. The carrier notes that the FCC has ruled in favor of transactions that result in the deployment of 10MHz x 10MHz, saying that they are in the public's interest.

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.

source:AT&Tvia FierceWireless

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