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AT&T Says T-Mobile Opposing Spectrum Deal On Principle

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Sep 16, 2015, 11:53 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile and the Competitive Carrier Association are asking the FCC to deny AT&T's proposed acquisition of 700 MHz B Block licenses from Club 42. AT&T first filed its request with the FCC last year and now says T-Mobile and the CCA are trying to sink the deal for no good reason. "Without offering any cogent argument or justification, CCA and T-Mobile have opposed the deal, arguing that the Commission should simply prohibit any incremental low-band spectrum aggregation by AT&T and Verizon. Period," said AT&T representative Joan Marsh in a blog post. "They essentially assert that low band spectrum transactions should be deemed presumptively unlawful for any company named AT&T or Verizon." The deal, which AT&T refers to as routine and uncontroversial, will give AT&T a 10x10MHz spectrum configuration in the named markets, which is more spectrally efficient than the current 5x5Mhz arrangement. If approved, AT&T will own more than 45MHz of low-band spectrum in the area. AT&T contends the spectrum is not being used right now and can benefit its customers. T-Mobile and the CCA disagree. "Despite being given every opportunity imaginable, AT&T has yet to meet its burden of proving why it needs so much low-band spectrum in rural markets and how this transaction significantly benefits the public interest," said CCA President Steve Berry in a statement provided to Fierce Wireless. T-Mobile pre Kathleen Ham added, "AT&T simply wants to grab more low-band spectrum to depress competition, reduce investment and stifle innovation." The FCC has yet to step in and say how it will proceed with AT&Ts request.

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