AT&T’s Purchase of T-Mobile and Qualcomm Spectrum Reviewed by FCC

Patrick Nosker August 9, 2011 0

Everybody has heard by now that AT&T is trying to buy T-Mobile. What they may not know is that they are also trying to license some of Qualcomm's wireless spectrum (specific frequencies in the air) to support more bandwidth, allow better data speeds, and provide greater coverage. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal. The FCC would weigh the pros and cons (ie. Better service vs potential monopoly) and decide separately for each topic. Instead, they will be looking at AT&T's acquisition as a whole. Going from AT&T's spectrum to AT&T+Qualcomm+T-Mobile is a huge jump. AT&T has become very aggressive in acquiring spectrum across the USA and the recent acquisitions have turned on a red light. 

It's now up to the FCC to decide whether they will allow either, or both of the acquisitions. And to think much of the need for more spectrum stems from the fact that AT&T wasn't able to provide reliable iPhone service with many dropped calls and slow data speeds. Let's hope the best happens: Continued reasonable cost for service with better coverage.

Read More at the Wall Street Journal

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