FCC to Review AT&T's T-Mobile and Qualcomm Bids Together
The Federal Communications Commission recently informed AT&T that rather than review its planned purchase of 700MHz spectrum from Qualcomm and planned acquisition of T-Mobile separately, it will review both purchases together. In a letter to AT&T and Qualcomm, the FCC explained, "The Commission's ongoing review has confirmed that the proposed transactions raise a number of related issues, including, but not limited to, questions regarding AT&T's aggregation of spectrum throughout the nation, particularly in overlapping areas. As a result, we have concluded that the best way to determine whether either or both of the proposed transactions serve the public interest is to consider them in a coordinated manner at this time." The FCC did say that this doesn't preclude the acquisitions from being reviewed separately down the road, but given their weight, the FCC says it has to take all the spectrum issues by both deals into consideration at the same time. AT&T and Qualcomm had recently petitioned the FCC to speed up its review of the deal, which was first announced six months ago. This decision is a bit of a setback for AT&T, as it will now have to prove why such a massive set of purchases of spectrum are needed and/or warranted.
More Carriers and Phone Makers Agree to Adopt Google's RCS-Based 'Android Messages' Service
Google today said more wireless network operators and handset manufacturers will use Android Messages, its RCS-based messaging service, as the default SMS/MMS tool on their phones. (Android Messages was previously known as Google Messenger.) Some of the features of RCS, which is a global standard, include group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, advanced calling features, and read receipts.
Alcatel A30 Reaches Amazon Prime for Just $60
Amazon recently added the Alcatel A30 to its roster of Prime Exclusives. This entry-level Android handset includes a 5-inch HD screen and a 1.1 GHz Snapdragon 210 processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage.
Galaxy S8 to Cost $750, S8+ to Cost $850: Carriers Share Launch Details
Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones will cost $750 and $850, respectively. The phones share almost all features other than size and both ship with 64 GB of internal storage.
Sprint, T-Mobile Want FCC to Eye AT&T's Spectrum Spree
Sprint, T-Mobile, and others want the FCC to "carefully scrutinize" a number of AT&T's proposed low-band spectrum acquisitions. AT&T has asked the FCC for permission to purchase 700MHz spectrum from a range of small companies around the country.
FCC Spells Out Spectrum Screen Policies
The Federal Communications Commission today adopted a Report and Order with respect to spectrum screens and how'll they'll be used in upcoming spectrum auctions and other spectrum transactions. Moving forward the FCC will stick to its one-third rule, meaning the FCC will analyze on a case-by-case basis transactions that might result in a wireless provider owning more than one-third of the available spectrum licenses in a given market.