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.
Alcatel's Modular A50 Parties with Light Up LED Accessory
Alcatel today followed through on its promise to bring the A5 LED to the U.S., though it has changed the phone's name to simply the Alcatel A50. The phone, first revealed in February, is compatible with a handful of modular accessories, the most significant of which features an LED-covere panel that can blink a few dozen LEDs with color.
Alcatel's A30 Plus Bumps Up the Screen, Processor, Camera and Battery
Alcatel today announced the A30 Plus, an improved version of the A30 we saw earlier this year. This entry-level Android handset includes a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen (up from 5.0 inches) and a 1.5 GHz quad-core MediaTek processor (up from 1.1 GHz) with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage.
Samsung Makes the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 Available Unlocked
Samsung today added the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 to its list of unlocked smartphones. The two inexpensive handsets will be available to purchase directly from Samsung's web site as well as select retailers starting July 28.
Apple Watch Series 3 Supports Carriers' One Number Calling and Messaging
Apple this week announced the Apple Watch Series 3 with an optional cellular radio. The LTE radio makes it possible for the smartwatch to connect to cellular networks on its own, without a nearby iPhone.
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.