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AT&T’s spectrum crunch said to have been overblown, company admits it is now well-positioned

Published Nov 13th, 2012 4:48PM EST
AT&T Spectrum Deals

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.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.