LightSquared on Tuesday issued a letter to the Federal Communications Commission ostensibly demanding approval to build out its 4G LTE network. LightSquared executive vice president of regulatory affairs and public policy Jeff Carlisle argued that the GPS industry has had almost 10 years to address issues that cause GPS satellite signals to partially transmit on spectrum that LightSquared has licensed. The letter was written in response to an announcement earlier this week from federal officials, stating that they were still concerned about interference LightSquared’s network causes with GPS equipment after conducting a new investigation into the matter. “LightSquared has had FCC authorization to build its network for over eight years and that authorization was endorsed by the GPS industry, and fully reviewed and allowed to proceed by several other government agencies,” Carlisle wrote in the letter. “Commercial GPS device-makers have had nearly a decade to design and sell devices that do not infringe on LightSquared’s licensed spectrum. They have no right to complain in the eleventh-hour about incompatibility when they had ample opportunity to avoid this problem.” A link to LightSquared’s full letter follows below. More →
AT&T is in such need of spectrum following the collapse of its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA, that one analyst thinks the carrier may soon seek to acquire Dish Network. “Dish and AT&T aren’t direct competitors, and at the end of the day, the government wants to see spectrum used,” Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Christopher King told Bloomberg Tuesday. “It’s highly unlikely regulators would block two AT&T deals in row,” he added, noting that AT&T is “desperate for spectrum.” AT&T wasn’t the only company eyeing a deal with T-Mobile USA, however; Dish Network chief executive officer Joseph Clayton recently said that his company was interested in working with T-Mobile USA to create a national wireless network of its own. Read on for more. More →
The antitrust division of the United States Justice Department will investigate Verizon Wireless’s plans to acquire spectrum from Comcast and its partners for $3.6 billion. Verizon Wireless announced in early December its intentions to purchase 122 AWS spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The carrier said it plans to use the additional spectrum to build out its 4G LTE network, pending government approval of the purchase. The Justice Department has the power to block the deal, although it is unclear when the investigation will be concluded. More →
Deutsche Telekom recently detailed the breakup terms AT&T agreed to following the deterioration of its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Deutsche Telekom will receive $3 billion in cash and T-Mobile USA will benefit from fresh AWS spectrum as well as a new 7-year 3G roaming deal with AT&T. “As part of the break-up fee, T-Mobile USA will receive a large package of AWS mobile spectrum in 128 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), including 12 of the top 20 markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle),” Deutsche Telekom said in a statement. “The UMTS roaming agreement for the U.S. in T-Mobile USA’s favor has a term of over seven years and will allow the company to improve its footprint significantly among the U.S. population and offer its customers better broadband coverage for mobile communications services in the future.” The company also said that T-Mobile USA’s 3G network will grow from blanketing 230 million potential customers to covering 280 million people. Deutsche Telekom’s full press release follows below. More →
Cox Communications on Friday announced an agreement that will see Verizon Wireless purchase its 20MHz AWS spectrum licenses for $315 million. Verizon announced a deal to acquire 122 AWS spectrum licenses from Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House earlier this month for $3.6 billion, and this new deal is similar in structure. Verizon Wireless and Cox will sell each other’s residential and commercial products as agents, and Cox may have the option to sell Verizon Wireless service as a wholesale partner in the future. “These agreements provide Cox customers with key enablers to mobility, such as access to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network and iconic wireless devices,” said Cox Communications president Pat Esserin a statement. “We look forward to the many benefits this will bring to customers.” Cox’s full press release follows below. More →
An image and some purported specs for the LG Spectrum leaked recently, and the phone will reportedly soon launch on Verizon Wireless. According to Pocketnow, the handset will be very similar to AT&T’s LG Nitro HD smartphone complete with a 720p HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera and support for 4G LTE. The LG Spectrum also resembles the Nitro’s external appearance, although it looks like it has more rounded edges and a bit more texture on the back. A possible release date and pricing for the device are still unknown. More →
Dish Network is interested in partnering with T-Mobile USA should AT&T’s planned acquisition of the carrier fail to gain regulatory approval. Dish Network chief executive officer Joseph Clayton revealed the news during an interview with Bloomberg on Monday. Clayton believes Dish could combine its spectrum with T-Mobile’s existing network, giving it enough muscle to compete with Verizon Wireless and AT&T. “We’re not interested in making money on selling our spectrum,” Clayton told Bloomberg. “We want to use it to create a national wireless network, video, voice and data. We’ve got expertise in satellite-TV, and we will in satellite broadband. The voice part, we’ll need some help with.” Dish is among several companies that have expressed interest in purchasing assets from AT&T or T-Mobile, should the companies decide to divest assets in an effort to gain approval from U.S. regulators. More →
Comcast president Neil Smit confirmed during a UBS investor conference on Monday that his company will begin to bundle Verizon Wireless products with its services in early 2012. Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks announced late last week that Verizon Wireless had agreed to purchase spectrum from SpectrumCo, joint venture created by the three firms, for $3.6 billion. Verizon Wireless will use the spectrum to build out its 4G LTE wireless network and agreed to allow each company to sell its products and services through wholesale channels. Smit told Reuters that Comcast will still compete head-to-head with Verizon Wireless’s parent company, Verizon Communications, which owns the 55% of the carrier in a joint venture with Vodafone. Time Warner Cable CFO Irene Esteves said Time Warner Cable will also sell Verizon Wireless’s current products very soon but she was not specific which products TWC plans to sell.
Verizon Wireless announced Friday that it plans to acquire 122 advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture formed by Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks, for $3.6 billion. The spectrum covers 259 million POPs. Comcast owns 63.6% of SpectrumCo and will take home $2.3 billion from the spectrum sale, Time Warner owns 31.2% of the company and expects to receive about $1.1 billion, and Bright House Networks will make roughly $189 million on the deal. As part of the agreement, Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks will eventually have the option to sell Verizon Wireless service through wholesale channels. Read on for more. More →
AT&T has pushed back the date it expects to close the books on its planned merger with T-Mobile and spectrum purchase from Qualcomm, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The carrier had originally planned to close both acquisitions by March of 2012, although it now expects the required approvals to take as much as three months longer to gain. The carrier now says the deal should be approved by the end of the first half next year. AT&T recently ran into speed bumps with both deals. In August the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would review both AT&T’s spectrum purchase from Qualcomm and its merger with T-Mobile USA at the same time. Later that month, the U.S. government sued AT&T in an effort to block the T-Mobile acquisition. AT&T has argued that the T-Mobile purchase will provide jobs and improve wireless service for Americans. It also responded to the FCC lawsuit, saying it will “vigorously contest [the] matter in court.”
MetroPCS is interested in purchasing spectrum and subscribers from AT&T and T-Mobile, Bloomberg said Friday. Leap Wireless and Dish Network were also approached and Leap may still be interested in making an offer. The deal with MetroPCS would likely amount to less than $4 billion. In August, The Wall Street Journal revealed AT&T had hired Bank of America’s Merill Lynch to advise it on selling as much as $8 billion in assets. Later that month, the United States government sued to block the planned merger when the U.S. Justice Department said the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the U.S. wireless market. Read on for more. More →
Clearwire is in discussions to sell sell some of its wireless network capacity to Verizon Wireless and AT&T, Bloomberg reported recently. “All those discussions are under way,” Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch told Bloomberg. “I’m confident we’ll bring in new wholesale partners. Our message to the industry is that we’ve got the capacity to handle their needs.” However, it is more likely Clearwire is approaching the carriers in an effort to raise cash for its 4G LTE network plans. On August 3rd, Clearwire announced its intentions to build out a nationwide 4G LTE network but said those plans were “subject to additional funding.” Clearwire needs $600 billion to build its 4G LTE network. “We want to be the Switzerland of mobile broadband,” Prusch said, noting that his company is talking to, and willing to work with, anyone who needs network capacity.” In mid-August reports surfaced that Sprint was in talks to buy Clearwire outright in order to build its own LTE network. We expect we could hear more on Sprint and its Clearwire plans during a “Strategy Update” event on October 7th in New York City, where BGR will be reporting live. More →
AT&T has hired Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch to advise it on the sale of as much as $8 billion in assets in an effort to gain the government’s approval of its planned T-Mobile acquisition. According to The Wall Street Journal, AT&T will try to sell off its network assets in an attempt water down its market power, but most of of the assets could actually be T-Mobile’s holdings. “As we said on the day we announced the merger with T-Mobile USA, we anticipate there will be some divestitures, as we have had in past mergers, but any speculation about the amount of divestitures is premature,” an AT&T spokesperson told The Journal. On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission pumped the brakes on the merger when it announced that it will roll in AT&T’s planned acquisition of Qualcomm’s FLOTV spectrum into its overall decision on the T-Mobile purchase. AT&T has said that the acquisition is on schedule for approval in March of next year.