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Sprint claims AT&T could boost capacity 6X without T-Mobile

updated 12:45 pm EDT, Tue June 21, 2011

Sprint attacks ATT T-Mobile merger through help

Sprint chose an unusual strategy in its opposition to AT&T's proposed buyout of T-Mobile by offering a solution to AT&T's claimed spectrum crisis. An FCC filing (below) claimed AT&T could increase its network capacity 600 percent by 2015 simply by making better use of the network resources it has. Using its large resource of unused spectrum for 4G could improve capacity by 250 percent alone; introducing a mixed-size network with both large and small cells could boost it by 300 percent, Sprint argued.

The carrier believed AT&T's $39 billion asking price for T-Mobile could be better spent on accelerating how quickly it rolled out technologies like LTE. The technique would not only be more affordable but could actually give AT&T more capacity than by what it was proposing with the merger, according to Sprint. It also wouldn't have to wait for approval and integration to start improving its service.

Sprint used the filing to bring in additional criticisms, providing evidence that Cricket, MetroPCS, and many of the other smaller carriers weren't acting as significant competition to AT&T. The rival provider wasn't investing as much in its network as the average for other carriers and that other carriers weren't facing the same problems. Neither T-Mobile nor Verizon had the same capacity problems as AT&T, even in the same areas.

AT&T has already insisted that it was holding the spectrum because it needed more to fulfill a national rollout plan. T-Mobile would be used primarily to help get rural access to 4G, it said. The one-time iPhone exclusive provider has tried to portray T-Mobile as a non-threat whose acqusition wouldn't do harm to the rest of the market and that, in return, about 97 percent of the US population would get LTE.

The carrier hadn't yet answered Sprint's proposed solution to its network problems.

Sprint shot back and saw the LTE expansion as less of a promise and more of a "empty threat" of holding its expansion back unless it got exactly what it wanted. AT&T's contentions also supposedly ignored the hidden costs of the expansion and that, even if the number of carriers remained competitive, it would hurt the chances of getting devices like the iPhone or of keeping prices down.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cell size & necessity

    It's hard to believe that AT&T claimed this: "T-Mobile would be used primarily to help get rural access to 4G..."

    T-Mobile is great in major cities. That's why I have it. But a quick glance at coverage maps reveals that its rural coverage is woefully lacking. This merger won't help Farmer Brown.

    And from what I see around Seattle, the finger Sprint is directing at AT&T could be pointed to almost any cellular carrier. They all prefer the ease and cheapness of a few high towers to shrinking their cells by dropping antenna height and taking advantage of terrain to allow more channel reuse. Only absolute necessity is going to force them down that path.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011


    comment title

    Being that Sprint was the company that started the modern fake 4G c***, by pretending their 6MBPS max WiMax network was true 4G, I wouldn't believe a word they said about anything.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011


    comment title

    Lol I just read the paper, you've gotta be kidding with me. The CDMA monopoly is going to complain about AT&T having a monopoly? Oh Gosh now there not just liars, there hypocrites too. Guess what Sprint both AT&T have something called a SIM card. You know what that is? It allows you to use your phone with another carrier if its unlocked. You know, choice. Ever hear of it? As in, not permanently locked via ESN to a CDMA carrier. Understand?

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