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AT&T Ditching its Band 71 Licenses

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Jan 7, 2018, 7:14 PM   by Rich Brome

AT&T is selling $1 billion worth of recently-acquired radio spectrum licenses to an obscure Virginia company, according to documents filed recently with the FCC. The spectrum in question is all (or nearly all) of the 600 MHz (band 71) licenses that AT&T acquired in an FCC auction just one year ago. 600 MHz is radio spectrum previously used for over-the-air TV channels 38-51. T-Mobile owns the most 600 MHz spectrum in the U.S., and has already started deploying LTE service in that band. AT&T is selling the licenses to LB Spectrum Holdings, an affiliate of Columbia Capital that apparently raised nearly a billion dollars to bid in the FCC's 600 MHz auction as Columbia Crest, but failed to secure any licenses. The licenses being sold include many major metro areas, including San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. AT&T's sale may be motivated by the recent success of FirstNet in securing the participation of all 50 states. FirstNet will be a new, unified public-safety LTE network operated by AT&T in 700 MHz spectrum known as band 14. Operating FirstNet gives AT&T the right to use part of that band for its own commercial purposes.

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Jan 8, 2018, 8:28 AM

Oh Lawd, not another squatter

Expect these licenses to lie fallow and unused for many years until the buildout deadline gets near.
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