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AT&T Admits There's No Spectrum Crisis
At Least Until The Next Time They Need Politicians to Do Something
by Karl Bode 10:25AM Friday Nov 09 2012
You'll recall that during their bid to acquire T-Mobile, AT&T repeatedly insisted that there was a terrible spectrum crunch afoot, and they simply would not be able to deploy LTE nationally without gobbling up a major competitor. Roughly a year later and, as we illustrated yesterday, AT&T has shown that they didn't need T-Mobile at all, and was perfectly able to go out and get the spectrum they needed elsewhere. AT&T has completed more than 40 spectrum deals in one year, showing there's really nothing deep pockets can't fix.

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AT&T recently spent $1.9 billion to obtain Qualcom spectrum, another $600 to gobble up Nextwave, while pursuing 51 Lower 700 MHz Band B Block licenses, four Lower 700 MHz Band C Block licenses and six AWS licenses all owned by CenturyLink's CenturyTel Broadband Wireless subsidiary. It looks like AT&T has also now struck a new deal with Broadband Wireless Unlimited for 700MHz spectrum in several markets around the country.

Speaking to analysts, AT&T's chief strategy officer John Stankey yesterday acknowledged the company is now well-positioned on the spectrum front -- even before the company starts moving on their new plan to use WCS spectrum for LTE deployment.

"Even under ideal circumstances, getting new spectrum on the market in the next five to seven years is aggressive," Stankey said. "But what we do know is that AT&T is well-positioned now...These deals give us confidence that we can meet our LTE objectives for next two years and they will allow us to deliver competitive performance."

AT&T has a long history of over-emphasizing capacity and spectrum constraints in order to get what they want from regulators and politicians. Capacity was the primary justification for the company's decision to impose overage penalties on DSL users, despite absolutely no evidence those networks experience meaningful congestion. You should note there is never hard evidence provided by AT&T on this front, but somehow that doesn't stop the technology press from parroting chicken little.

Spectrum capacity is also used as a bogeyman, despite the fact that there isn't so much a crisis as there is an inefficient use of existing spectrum -- with AT&T being a major culprit due to their sluggish refarming of 2G spectrum for LTE. While AT&T and Verizon certainly need spectrum -- the pretense that there's a constant "crisis" helps both companies gobble up more than their fair share of this supposedly-publicly-owned resource, reducing competitive market threats.

So the spectrum crisis has been solved -- at least until AT&T once again needs to scare politicians and a gullible press into giving the company what it wants. It should be particularly interesting to see what new bogeyman rears its head when AT&T begins chipping away at regulations so they can hang up on 25% of their DSL users they're simply unwilling to upgrade.

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Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

No Duopoly Spectrum Crunch

There is absolutely no spectrum crunch for AT&T Mobility, Clearwire, and Verizon Wireless! Others may not be so lucky although Softbank-Sprint-Clearwire could turn the current duopoly into a triopoly. Unfortunately the government repurposing FCC controlled (private sector) spectrum and holding more auctions is unlikely under the present rules to improve competition.
SunnyD

join:2009-03-20
Madison, AL

Spin.

Still, AT&T could just as easily spin those 40-some-odd deals into "See, there was a spectrum crunch. By not approving the merger, you just made us look elsewhere for the spectrum."

I'm not trying to be an AT&T apologist, since all they're doing is hoarding spectrum anyway. I'm just saying that should the need arise, AT&T will just spin this news however they see fit and force feed it to those that are in charge.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Spin.

said by SunnyD:

Still, AT&T could just as easily spin those 40-some-odd deals into "See, there was a spectrum crunch. By not approving the merger, you just made us look elsewhere for the spectrum."

And everyone, except the big corporate haters, says there is and will be a spectrum crunch. So AT&T is just making sure the spectrum shortage doesn't affect them. Good planning on their part.
--
Impeach Obama and tie up government for next 2 yrs

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
·Comcast

1 edit

Re: Spin.

said by FFH See Profile
And everyone, except the big corporate haters...



Who is 'everyone' in relation to the 'big corporate haters'?

Do the 'big corporate haters' not matter? I think everyone matters, including the 'big corporate haters'.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: Spin.

Are 'big corporate haters' :

A) People of large stature that hate corporations
Or
B) People who hate big corporations but not small ones

The term is a little confusing.

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
So you would agree that using LTE as an alternative to wireline service is not feasible, seeing as this spectrum crunch is looming over our heads.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Spin.

said by The Limit:

So you would agree that using LTE as an alternative to wireline service is not feasible, seeing as this spectrum crunch is looming over our heads.

Not necessarily. LTE protocol supports many different spectrum bands. Rural point-to-point connections to replace wireline could use frequencies not conducive to mobile use. Usage of non-mobile frequencies for landline replacement wouldn't conflict with mobile spectrum requirements and any spectrum crunch for mobile use.
--
Impeach Obama and tie up government for next 2 yrs

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2

Re: Spin.

In other words, there's no spectrum crunch.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Spin.

said by The Limit:

In other words, there's no spectrum crunch.

That isn't what I said. But you will believe what you want no matter what anyone says anyway.

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: Spin.

Forgive me, but what's the difference in a "fixed" LTE connection on a PC vs a a mobile LTE connection on a PC? Mobile connections would presumably consume less data right? In other words, what's the difference? I ask the question in all seriousness, not out of trolling. Of course I'm going to believe what I want to believe given the evidence.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)
34764170

join:2007-09-06
Etobicoke, ON
said by The Limit:

So you would agree that using LTE as an alternative to wireline service is not feasible, seeing as this spectrum crunch is looming over our heads.

Until the insane caps go away LTE is not an alternative to wireline services.

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: Spin.

We have others here who think otherwise, but it's a contradiction because of this looming doomsday. Give the carriers what they want and we will be fine and dandy. smh.
--
"We will evaluate these integrals rigorously if we can, and non-rigorously if we must".
---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 recommendation

Sigh

Why is it that haters insist on there be a spectrum crunch BEFORE companies can act? That's like the morons that prepared for Sandy when it was an few hours away. How did that turn out for them? Are people that prepares for hurricane season in May stupid to you even though there is no threat of a hurricane and may not be one? Or are they being practical?

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

2 recommendations

Re: Sigh

said by 88615298:

Why is it that haters insist on there be a spectrum crunch BEFORE companies can act? That's like the morons that prepared for Sandy when it was an few hours away. How did that turn out for them? Are people that prepares for hurricane season in May stupid to you even though there is no threat of a hurricane and may not be one? Or are they being practical?

Why is it the people who want to let corporate Amerika run roughshod and rip off people for all they are worth call those that want a semblance of honesty and truth to enter the discussion "haters"? There will some day be an oil shortage, so effective tomorrow Exon will be charging YOU $175.00 per gallon of gasoline and limit you to 3 gallons per week. I suppose you're fine with that too.
--
Isn't it sad that those that raise their right hand and swear "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America" are usually the ones most likely to trash it.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
·Sprint Mobile Br..

Re: Sigh

said by meeeeeeeeee:

Why is it the people who want to let corporate Amerika run roughshod and rip off people for all they are worth call those that want a semblance of honesty and truth to enter the discussion "haters"?

+1. I like that description
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
That depends on whether we solve the need by granting every available mhz to incumbents or if there is a need for an alternative that motivates new competitors invest and provide the additional capacity.

If current players don't have a crunch but create one and then proceed to acquire all they can, it leaves competitors with whatever crumbs are left or leasing wholesale capacity from incumbents.

There's nothing wrong with corporations doing all they can to increase their competitive edge. We expect no less from sports teams that exploit every possible talent achieve a winning record. However, when they try to do it by pulling a Jeff Gillooly (Tonya Harding), there has to be a good set of rules and a diligent referee/umpires/judge mechanism to prevent it. If it's already occurred, then they alert the executive branch so they can step in and enforce the rules.

It's also part of every corporation's mission to complain about the rules and, if they can, get them changed to their advantage.

The real question is do we have such rules and such a mechanism to adequately govern telecommunications free enterprise? Maybe we do. Maybe we don't.

In closing, whats wrong with consumers voicing concerns in opposition of corporations that use every conceivable angle to separate us from our money and be successful?
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

1 edit

2 recommendations

said by 88615298:

Why is it that haters insist on there be a spectrum crunch BEFORE companies can act?

Because radio spectrum is finite and the available spectrum (except what's hoarded) is already being used by someone. If you have hurricane shutters, you wouldn't like it if the government said we have to take the hurricane shutters from your house because protecting this richer person's house is more important.

bobjohnson
Premium
join:2007-02-03
Orlando, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
·Sprint Mobile Br..

Re: Sigh

The problem is with the way the spectrum was allocated. If there weren't so many different frequencies and so many different types of service allocated on certain frequencies this would be less of a problem. It's not that the big duo doesn't have enough spectrum, it's that they don't have enough of what they want. T has some 2300 WCS spectrum that they don't have in use yet but they are probably waiting for the right company to swap that to so they can get better spectrum. Just the same as Verizon not using the AWS spectrum that they have. It's all over the place though and makes deploying and making equipment to use all these frequencies more expensive.
--


meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Re: Sigh

A two year "Use it or Lose it" policy with the spectrum holder required to show significant, meaningful progress towards using the spectrum for its intended purpose would solve the whole squatting problem and the alleged "crunch". Unfortunately, since our government is the best that can be bought, don't expect anything like that to happen.
--
Isn't it sad that those that raise their right hand and swear "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America" are usually the ones most likely to trash it.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Bought a lot

AT&T has bought a LOT of 700mhz in the mean time to make up for the loss of the T-Mobile deal. It's going to be painful compared to the T-Mobile merger, as they have to transition to LTE, both handsets and the network, and it's picking up steam, but it won't happen as quickly as getting more PCS for HSPA+.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

I think...........

AT&T is one of the few businesses that can actually get away with and might even be better at lying, even more than our own government!!
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»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/
15444104
Premium
join:2012-06-11

Randell Stephenson.... Greedy money grubber.

said by cork1958:

AT&T is one of the few businesses that can actually get away with and might even be better at lying, even more than our own government!!

The CEO at AT&T, Randall Stephenson is greedy little prick and he certainly has gathered together a fine gaggle of lobbyists to cheat the regulations and get them changed as well.

I made sure to tell the door to door folks that came around trying to pedal U verse that they should tell Mr. Stephenson that I'm not interested in purchasing service from a company that cannot even provide reasonable customer service. I had signed up for DSL and there was an issue with a broken NID on the outside post (AT&T's obligation to repair) I set up an appointment to have it replaced, and the service ticket was CANCELLED, called and they said they did not know why it was cancelled, made another service ticket for the repair, and it too was cancelled! Tried another time, and again the appointment was cancelled!!! OUTRAGEOUS!

I never even was able to have service and luckily I was able to cancel the start of the service before I was billed.

Funny how AT&T has plenty of help to lobby things their way but not enough help or competent help in customer service and repair.

WHAT A JOKE !!!

Randell .... you little money grubbing urchin.
countscabula

join:2010-03-09

spectrum

based on the model of their new deployment it follows with their claims that there is a limit to what you can do with limited spectrum. In the densely populated areas they are using IP dslams and out where the homes are scattered they can use an all LTE network. It seems to show the same theme. Maybe?