Posted by: Joan Marsh on April 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm
A few weeks ago, AT&T announced an agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA. While some people were surprised by the announcement, the main reason for the deal was obvious to anyone who has been following the rapid growth of the wireless industry – we need more capacity to address the surging demand for mobile broadband.
AT&T’s wireless broadband networks continue to carry a tremendous amount of data traffic. You’ve heard the stats: wireless data traffic on our network is up over 8000% in the last four years and we anticipate it will be 8 to 10 times greater by 2015. The surest, fastest and most efficient path by far to addressing the capacity limitations we face in the near term is to acquire T-Mobile and its highly complementary spectrum portfolio and network assets. It was the deal hiding in plain sight.
The result of the combination will be extraordinary: the denser network of cell sites will drive capacity improvements and speed gains; spectral efficiencies will be gained by the combinations of two 2G networks into one, including less spectrum used for call set up and control, and more opportunities to migrate bands to support mobile broadband services.
Yesterday, AT&T’s Jim Cicconi talked about federal spectrum policies while on a panel at the Brookings Institution here in Washington, D.C. Although there was a question or two (ok, maybe a few more) about our recent announcement, panelists spent a good amount of time discussing the need for incentive auctions.
If you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you know that we’ve been talking for a while now about the critical need for sensible spectrum reform, and how broadcasters should become a part of the solution.
In case you weren’t able to attend yesterday’s event, below is a clip of Jim on why it doesn’t make economic sense to allow broadcasters to continue to sit on such valuable spectrum (which they got for free, btw). He also asks, if broadcasters really need all this spectrum for over-the-air broadcasting, why do they also need must carry – government rules that require competing video providers to carry broadcasters’ signals?
Oh, and be sure to stick around after listening to Jim. Blair Levin has some interesting remarks on this subject as well…
So, we’ve made some news this weekend. In case you missed it, we announced on Sunday we have agreed to acquire T-Mobile USA from German-owned Deutsche Telekom.
The deal will undergo a thorough review by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. We understand that Congress, the DOJ, the FCC, as well as wireless consumers will have questions about the transaction. We look forward to answering and addressing those questions.
We are confident that the facts will demonstrate that the deal is in the public interest (FCC focus) and that competition (DOJ focus) will continue to flourish. For example, a large majority of Americans today can choose from at least five wireless providers offering nationwide service. Also, the transaction will allow us to expand the next generation of mobile broadband to 95% of the U.S. population – up from 80% as previously planned – covering an additional 46.5 million Americans, a key objective of the Administration.
For further information on the transaction, and to stay informed of the latest news and information as the process moves forward, please visit www.MobilizeEverything.com.