Bloomberg REALLY Wants AT&T to Buy Somebody
AT&T Really Needs Spectrum (Except When They Don't)
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
“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
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.