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Bloomberg REALLY Wants AT&T to Buy Somebody
AT&T Really Needs Spectrum (Except When They Don't)
by Karl Bode 04:31PM Wednesday Jan 18 2012
Last month we noted how some analysts on Wall Street have gotten the press to relentlessly push the narrative that with the T-Mobile deal scrapped, AT&T really needs to buy somebody. Since AT&T couldn't get T-Mobile's spectrum, the logic goes, AT&T is on the hunt for somebody else to acquire -- like Dish Network. Both Wall Street analysts and the press seem oddly insistent on ignoring that considering the Qualcom deal and eventually repurposed spectrum, AT&T doesn't need to acquire anyone. AT&T own data shows they didn't even really need T-Mobile's assets to reach uniform LTE coverage to begin with.

Yet here we are, a week later, with Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner convincing Bloomberg to run yet another stock-pumping story based on the premise that AT&T oh-my-god-needs-to-buy-someone-for-spectrum-or-the-world-ends story:
quote:
“AT&T wants to get more spectrum,” Roger Entner, a Recon Analytics analyst in Dedham, Massachusetts, said in a telephone interview. “They are a year behind Verizon in the LTE race. Dish would undoubtedly be a good combination and it would solve a lot of AT&T’s problems."
Nowhere does Bloomberg note that AT&T has plenty of spectrum, squats on more spectrum than nearly any other company, never needed T-Mobile to complete their LTE deployment, and will have plenty of spectrum for the next decade if they use existing spectrum efficiently. Alongside anti-competitive concerns, these are reasons why the government rejected the deal. You'd think that the fact AT&T doesn't really need more spectrum would be important to mention in a story about AT&T needing spectrum. Instead, Bloomberg seems happy to pump a decade-old unfounded Dish acquisition rumor on command.

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mist668

join:2011-02-15
Middleburg, PA

Uhmm

Granted reading this story and following along, how the hell is dish supposed to solve att's problems?
jp16

join:2010-05-04
united state

Re: Uhmm

Maybe Dish owns some spectrum that At&t could use. I duna...

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Uhmm

I'm sure Lightsquared would like someone to buy their tainted spectrum, even at a discount.

HaloFans

join:2006-12-18

Buy Verizon and rename it to AT&T

Done.

That move will create jobs plus improve the economy.

Also AT&T is paying the media again for positive press.

HaloFans

join:2006-12-18
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

Other Bloomberg story: AT&T Raises Prices, Caps on Wireless

»www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-1 ··· ans.html

Yay investors rejoice! AT&T will have new record-high quarter earnings! MILK THOSE EVIL CUSTOMERS

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS WRONG

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101

well...

they bought me for another year of service does that count? but only just one year!!

Paladin
Sage of the light

join:2001-08-17
Chester, IL

Key problem is spectrum

AT&T only has greenfield spectrum for 80% of the country. With agressive deployment plans in 2012 they'll either be using most of their "underutilitzed" spectrum or Verizon and Sprint will eat their lunch. That still doesn't help the ares where no greenfield exists. These areas will require spectrum refarms that require different handsets than the rest of the country. How is that an ideal technical solution for AT&T? There's a reason why the engineers rejected the marketing people's solution... they did not have the spectrum. Ulitmately what leaked to the FCC was inaccurate. AT&T cannot complete their network to more than 80% of their footprint without either more greenfield spectrum. Period.

Dish spectrum would pair with Qualcomm spectrum and go a long way to solve AT&T's problem. That's why this talk is happening in the first place. It would actually be less painful than the T-Mobile deal was, AT&T might luck into doing the right thing here.
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Key problem is spectrum

Correct, without the Qualcomm spectrum. I don't think that spectrum re-farming is coming in the foreseeable future, because they need that spectrum for HSPA+, so they will have to rely on that "4G" in those areas that don't have greenfield.

The Qualcomm spectrum will eventually provide greenfield in LTE, but it's not very much (Verizon's C Block is 22mhz alone), and it requires TD-LTE to work in the first place, which, AFAIK, doesn't exist as of now...

DISH, however, would make sense for AT&T, as DISH isn't going to be able to use or build-out anything meaningful. If they bought the DISH spectrum in exchange for an agreement to resell to rural areas through DISH, and some rural build-out requirements from DISH, it would hugely benefit both parties. It also wouldn't raise any more regulatory red flags than the Spectrumco purchase by Verizon, as DISH similarly doesn't actually own a terrestrial wireless network, unlike T-Mobile.

macher

@comcast.net
Ok AT&T needs more greenfield spectrum which is a fact. How much will buying Dish move them from 80% of the country?
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Key problem is spectrum

Well, the Qualcomm already covers the whole country, but it's only 6mhz, the DISH spectrum would give them 12mhz nationwide, all unpaired, but that's at least a start, especially considering they already have paired SMH or AWS in all the major markets, so it would largely be filling in coverage, not capacity. It would also be a much better use of the spectrum than DISH owning it, as they're not going to do anything with it.

macher

@comcast.net

Re: Key problem is spectrum

I'm in the situation where if I wanted to I could switch from AT&T to VZW. Will AT&T be able to catch up to VZW in quality of LTE and coverage?
BiggA
Premium
join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Key problem is spectrum

Not directly. But the combination of LTE and HSPA+ may be VERY compelling. Remember, in more rural/exurban areas, AT&T's HSPA+ is insanely awesome, and in the urban areas, they do, by and large, have the spectrum to deploy LTE. However, for straight up LTE, Verizon is going to DOMINATE.