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AT&T Cellphones United States Wireless Networking

FCC Approves AT&T's $1.9 Billion Qualcomm Spectrum Purchase 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-needs-tmobile-anyway dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has granted approval for AT&T to buy Qualcomm's wireless spectrum licenses for $1.925 billion. The FCC admitted to having some 'competitive concerns' about letting AT&T snap up such a large swath of spectrum licenses, but were satisfied by simply imposing a number of conditions to prohibit interference on neighboring bands. They also said the deal facilitates their goal of 'expanding mobile broadband deployment throughout the country.'"
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FCC Approves AT&T's $1.9 Billion Qualcomm Spectrum Purchase

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  • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

    by dokebi (624663) on Friday December 23, 2011 @01:25PM (#38473722)

    The spectrum is about 6MHz wide across the country, and 12MHz in NY, Boston, Philly, SF, and LA, in the 700Mhz band. Because of the narrow channel, this spectrum is most likely to deploy LTE (4G) networks outside these areas. It would possible to deploy 3G networks on this spectrum in those four areas, but I would guess not because 4G is more spectrum efficient than 3G.

    So, unless you have an LTE phone, it wouldn't improve your coverage.

    Verizon has been very aggressive in buying larger, contiguous chunks of spectrum (>10Mhz wide) in the last decade, even if they had to pay more money to get them. T-mobile got some (that's why ATT wanted to buy them), but AT&T often sat out (or was out bid). Based on just that, I would guess Verizon's coverage would be better for the next decade.

    In fact, I have noticed AT&T has a history of under investing in their infrastructure in the last decade. Instead of planning ahead, they defer infrastructure upgrades until the last minute, which costs more but get less return (or no return, in the case of T-mobile acquisition). YMMV.

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