AT&T’s (T) bid to acquire T-Mobile USA last year ended up falling apart, and that’s probably a good thing. During the soap opera that ensued following the announcement of AT&T’s intentions, however, the carrier repeatedly claimed the deal was a necessity in order to skirt a daunting spectrum crunch that would seriously hamper its business and the service experienced by its subscribers if left unchecked. Fast forward to November 2012 and despite the failed merger, AT&T now says it is in a great position with plenty of spectrum as it continues to roll out 4G LTE services.
“Even under ideal circumstances, getting new spectrum on the market in the next five to seven years is aggressive,” AT&T chief strategy officer John Stankey said last week during a meeting with analysts. “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.”
DSLreports.com notes that AT&T has completed more than 40 spectrum deals over the past year including a $1.9 billion agreement with Qualcomm (QCOM). The site says “AT&T has a long history of over-emphasizing capacity and spectrum constraints in order to get what they want from regulators and politicians,” and it claims AT&T’s inefficient handling of the spectrum it does possess is at the root of its capacity issues.