FCC demands explanation from AT&T regarding spectrum shortages, coverage overlaps

31 May 2011

According to Reuters, United States telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has requested that AT&T supply it with more information concerning its planned merger with T-Mobile USA, with a particular focus on spectrum shortages, coverage overlaps and any projected plans to close down surplus facilities. In March 2011 AT&T announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with German telecoms group Deutsche Telekom to acquire its T-Mobile USA unit in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at approximately USD39 billion.

In its 21 April filing with the FCC, AT&T claimed that it ‘faces network spectrum and capacity constraints more severe than those of any other wireless provider’. It is believed that the FCC’s request for information came in the form of a 78-page document that was sent to AT&T on Friday demanding detailed data on its pricing plans, spectrum holdings and any alternatives the company considered to solve its alleged capacity constraints. In addition, today marks the initial deadline for supporters or opponents of AT&T’s controversial T-Mobile takeover to submit formal comments to the FCC. As previously noted, the FCC must green-light the merger in order for it to go forward.

United States, AT&T, AT&T Communications, T-Mobile US