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AT&T and Sprint Tussle About Roaming Rules

Article Comments  49  

Jan 25, 2012, 8:39 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Jan 25, 2012, 8:46 AM

Updated: changed wording of first few sentences

AT&T has accused Sprint of taking advantage of changes to the Home Market Rule to avoid building out its network in markets where it owns spectrum and instead roam on the networks of its competitors. The Home Market Rule was put in place to enable rural carriers to compete on a more level playing field. The rule says, as explained by AT&T, "If a carrier owned spectrum, it was good public policy to require them to build out that spectrum and therefore they should not be able to demand roaming from other carriers in those home markets." The FCC abolished the rule in 2010. Sprint recently announced that it will rely on roaming agreements to cover large portions of Kansas and Oklahoma rather than invest money building its own network in those regions, even though it owns spectrum there. Sprint responded to AT&T, claiming that its Network Vision program has doubled the amount of investment it is making in its network. In an email, Sprint spokesperson John Taylor said, "It's disappointing, but not surprising, that AT&T wants to challenge a consumer's right to access email, the Internet and other mobile broadband services wherever they may travel in the U.S. Along with Verizon Wireless, AT&T is the only other wireless carrier in America which opposes the FCC's pro-consumer data roaming decision from last year." The rules are going to be reviewed by the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals later this year.

more info at AT&T (via The Verge) »



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This forum is closed.


Jan 25, 2012, 9:39 PM

what's good for the goose.....

Have you forgot that Sprint accused ATT of the very same thing? Sprint accused ATT on not building out their network to utilize spectrum that they own in certain areas and they even had the balls to say they could show them how! Sprint is showing an even bigger pair, by saying that they will rely on roaming agreements to satisfy coverage in certain areas, instead of spending money to build it out. How hypocritical of Sprint to put that out there and think that ATT was going to just sit back and let that happen, without bringing it to the publics attention. Love them or hate them, ATT has a very valid point and they should make a fuss about it.
NO. Sprint is not trying to create a monopoly/duopoly in not building out its network in Oklahoma. ATT was trying to do that with the merger. But, like Sprint stated, they actually are in the middle of an aggressive network expansion/upgrade so ATT ne...

Jan 25, 2012, 12:47 PM

Eminent Domain

Is there some form of eminent domain clause in spectrum licensing, where a carrier can lose the rights to the spectrum if it is not used (or they cannot show a viable plan for its use)?
FCC makes the rules as they wander through life.
Eminent Domain has no bearing.
Why anyone would think it could possibly apply to unused spectrum is beyond me.

Property does not have to be 'unsued' to be aqcuired by a government entity.

Jan 26, 2012, 3:57 PM

Let's be honest here...

ATT and Verizon are NOT suing to make Sprint build out its network. They are suing to challenge the law that says they have to allow roaming agreements with rural carriers. So attacking Sprint makes no sense here. Thanks for playing, sheeple.
AT&T has MANY roaming agreements.
The objection is to being forced into them, especailly when the carrier trying to force it (Sprint) has the spectrum to build but won't.

Jan 26, 2012, 12:49 PM

Isn't it interesting how the usual Sprint cheerleaders....

aren't touching this topic with a ten foot pole?? Coincidence? Punks ain't got nothing to say now don't ya?
Well since you drew the line... I feel like I just got challenged by an angry cheerleader. "It's already been broughten"

How many double negatives are in that sentence? And it's usually this **** starters with no actual grasp on reality(like yourse...

Jan 26, 2012, 7:12 PM

the AT&T accusations are distorted and hypocritical

Like it did in making a case for the merger, AT&T is once again spreading FUD, not to mention outright disinformation. This morning, I posted this rebuttal: ... »


Jan 25, 2012, 10:49 AM

oh Sprint

Sprint is like the guy that goes to the bar with a bunch of friends. Everybody including sprint orders a drink. Then when they all decide to see a menu for some food, Sprint decides they dont want any food, but proceeds to graze off of everyone elses plates. Get your own food, Sprint.
When Verizon purchased Altell and AT&T purchaesd spectrum in ND, SD, MT. sprint lost coverage there. Today there is hardly any coverage for Sprint customers in the upper Midwest and now in Sprints home state. Sprint this is a huge chunk of the country...
LOL! That is EXACTLY what Sprint is doing!

Jan 25, 2012, 12:50 PM

And why is AT&T complaining...

... you would think Verizon and the regional carriers would be the ones complaining.

Unless AT&T is talking about RoadRunner or some other joint deployment effort for rural areas.
Verizon also complained...when the filed suit to block the deal.
They are complaining because Sprint helped poopoo their Tmobile merger.

Jan 25, 2012, 10:48 AM


now att is going after revenge for everyone who stopped them from buying t-maybe. att is worse for the consumers out there then all the republican canidates running for office...and that says something
Sprint didn't stop ATT from acquiring Tmob, the FCC did.

"going after revenge".... Rolling Eyes

Sprint has made some very bad decisions lately and it's biting them.

The LS deal. Laughing

Taking on the iPhone which the will lose mone...
You're stupid. "Yes, the Republicans are the problem. And so it AT&T. If we flogged all of the Republicans and the CEO's of AT&T, the world would be a better place."

I'm glad you found a scape goat.

As an AT&T customer, I can tell you that I am ...
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