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Without T-Mobile, AT&T's LTE Will Cover Only 80% of U.S.

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Jun 2, 2011, 1:52 PM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Jun 2, 2011, 2:24 PM

AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega today noted that if the company's planned acquisition of T-Mobile fails, it will still be able to cover about 80% of the country with Long Term Evolution 4G. If it acquires T-Mobile, it will be able to cover 97% of the country with LTE. Answering questions at the AllThingsD conference, de la Vega said he believes the acquisition process will take about a year to be approved, despite the understandable objections for other industry players. He also said that he expects it to take two to three years before AT&T's LTE network is "indistinguishable" from Verizon's LTE network.

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Jun 2, 2011, 3:41 PM

Clarification: Without T-Mobile, AT&T will CHOOSE to cover only 80% of US

AT&T has extant spectrum to cover greater than 80% of the US population. But, if the T-Mobile acquisition is blocked, then AT&T will DECIDE to limit its rural LTE deployment to a smaller population base. With or without T-Mobile, AT&T has a CHOICE. AT&T's claim to the contrary is little more than a disingenuous threat.

"Give us what we want. Otherwise, screw you guys. We're taking our ball and going home."

Not exactly. QWhat they mean is they've GOT the spectrum assets today to cover 80% of the US population with 4G LTE with options to fallback to HSPA+ in more rural areas. not too shabby....but they WANT to deploy 4G LTE across the entire AT&T networ...
AT&T's current spectrum for LTE is extensive, but it definitely does NOT cover the whole country:

https://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=18 ... »

Jun 2, 2011, 4:47 PM

Oh Really AT&T?

Between the 80% coverage you "say" you can cover without T-mobile and the 98% you "actually" have to do so, I have 0% trust in you and it's no wonder that your satisfactory rating is the lowest at 72%. This is the reason I give 100% of my business to the carrier roughly 40% your size.

John B.
At&T's 4G network ONLY exists on paper at this time. It's not even planned to roll for at least another year or two. That's just one reason why Verizon is killing them on 4G phone sales. AT&T is a company that's full of sh1t and always has been. T...

Jun 3, 2011, 10:07 AM


4G isn't real, it's a marketing ploy. That's not to say it won't be real in the near future... but, for those of you buying the "latest" and "Greatest" 4G devices... don't waste your time. Well, I mean, the devices claiming to be 4G are great devices... but, in 2 or 3 years you'll be upgrading to a real 4G device... so, that being said... I lost my train of thought.

Hmmmm... these numbers need an "*" next to them. 80%* of US. That looks better.
4G IS REAL on Verizon in major metropolitan markets RIGHT NOW. I have one of their latest 4G phones, and IT DOES EXIST and IT DOES WORK. As far as AT&T goes, you're 100% correct!

Jun 2, 2011, 2:09 PM


a little hard to believe it will cover 90% of the country. That's alot of country!
They usually go by the percentage of the population covered, not physical area. Yes, probably because they realized that this allows them to use bigger numbers.

Jun 3, 2011, 8:33 AM


LTE uses much less spectrum than UMTS.
It's just a freaking excuse!

Jun 2, 2011, 2:27 PM


I don't know about this deal... AT&T should've tried purchasing a way smaller carrier than T-Mobile... maybe US cellular e.t.c... if they can cover 80% of the country with LTE they only need 15 percent more T-Mobile is pretty large... I think this ATT/TMOBILE deal is just to get the top spot and know out Verizon...
US Cellular is CDMA technology....not a match at all for AT&T. Verizon/US Cellular OR Sprint/US Cellular would be a MUCH better match....but we both know that Verizon chose to purchase Alltel instead.

Jun 2, 2011, 2:29 PM

So what?

That only proves that the merger would be better for AT%T, because they get to sell service to people in those areas instead of T-Mobile.

As a consumer, which is a bigger problem? That HSPA isn't fast enough, or that your carrier is taking advantage of our already-limited options by dictating which phones we can use on which plan, installing non-removable software you don't want, locking it to their service, signing exclusive deals to link specific phone models to their service, etc?
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