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Thread: AT&T wants the FCC to review and potentially limit 5G spectrum Tmobile can acquire

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    AT&T wants the FCC to review and potentially limit 5G spectrum Tmobile can acquire

    Just curious what everyone's thoughts are about this:
    https://www.axios.com/att-fcc-t-mobi...d592fc41a.html

    In a blog post and petition to the agency, AT&T says it wants the FCC to adopt a new, separate spectrum screen for midband spectrum — a swath of airwaves that carriers are using for their 5G services.

    Spectrum screens don't put a limit on how much spectrum a carrier can hold, but instead are used to trigger an enhanced review by the FCC of spectrum acquisitions that could harm competition.

    AT&T argues that a midband screen is justified, since the agency already uses the tool for low and high band spectrum.

    Both Verizon and AT&T complained about the spectrum T-Mobile was amassing last fall.

    T-Mobile said at the time that the FCC's spectrum screen was "woefully out of date" and didn't count airwaves that AT&T uses for its FirstNet Network for first responders.

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    I actually agree with the Death Star for once, albeit with the reservation that T-Mobile does deserve to have its 2.5 GHz licenses reworked to be contiguous. It’s absurd that they’re still so fragmented.

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    Yeah T-Mobile’s spectrum position in my market is insane. They have more low and midband than either AT&T or Verizon. The FCC needs to stop letting carriers amass such a large competitive advantage over the others.

    T-Mobile has 412MHz sub-6 and 800MHz mmWave
    AT&T has 264.8MHz of sub-6 and 1000MHz mmWave
    Verizon has 266.85MHz of sub-6 and 1750MHz mmWave.

    T-Mobile’s midband alone comprises 226MHz of their sub-6 holdings with Verizon at 160MHz and AT&T at 110MHz.


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    ATT does have a point in their argument.

    However it's ironic that the company that has spent the last century doing everything they can to kill competition is now suddenly promoting it.

    The biggest takeaway from this to me is that MaBell intends on participating in Auction 110 if only to slow T-Mobile's momentum.

    This is purely telecom politics at play here.

    https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1923565
    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by EtherealRemnant View Post
    Yeah T-Mobile’s spectrum position in my market is insane. They have more low and midband than either AT&T or Verizon. The FCC needs to stop letting carriers amass such a large competitive advantage over the others.

    T-Mobile has 412MHz sub-6 and 800MHz mmWave
    AT&T has 264.8MHz of sub-6 and 1000MHz mmWave
    Verizon has 266.85MHz of sub-6 and 1750MHz mmWave.

    T-Mobile’s midband alone comprises 226MHz of their sub-6 holdings with Verizon at 160MHz and AT&T at 110MHz.
    Are you counting C-Band and CBRS?

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    AT&T wants the FCC to review and potentially limit 5G spectrum Tmobile can acquire

    Quote Originally Posted by VVivian View Post
    Are you counting C-Band and CBRS?
    Yes I am. I pulled this from Spectrum Omega.



    The competitive advantage T-Mobile has in my county is insane.

    The situation in Denver county has Verizon with an additional 30MHz of midband but AT&T with the same 110 and T-Mobile with the same 226.


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    I wonder if this is causing MaBell a little stress:


    https://www.lightreading.com/5g/airl.../d/d-id/771518

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    If the FCC investigates and finds that T-Mobile is not putting all the spectrum they own to full use in the places where they have it, then yes, what they are not utilizing should be made available to other carriers. It is LONG past time for the "use it or lose it" standards of areal and population coverage to be enforced. Dish has gotten by for years and years with not putting any of the massive amount of spectrum they own into actual use, which has potentially caused more harm than all the spectrum T-Mobile has amassed, because T-Mobile has been putting some of the spectrum into actual use.

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    100% agree. They should do it for all three carriers, IMO.

    In my market, it's actually Verizon who has all the contiguous spectrum, including both cellular bands. I really wish they could at least reorganize PCS and AWS so that AT&T could fit a 20 MHz carrier somewhere. It really hampers AT&T's ability to offer competitive speeds compared to the others.

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    Adequate spectrum caps should be in place to permit four viable, nationwide carriers. No single carrier should be allowed to "corner the market" on spectrum, even if that means some spectrum is left unused for a time.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Att is just a bunch of haters especially here where they can’t put up a decent 5G network worth its soul


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    There needs to be a comprehensive review of spectrum for all the carriers. T-Mobile in many markets has far too much because they were not required to divest sufficient amounts of it as a condition of their Sprint merger under Trump. But there are also local areas of other imbalances, such as Texas and Florida where AT&T ended up with far too much low-band and mid-band from the Cingular merger (due to lax regulation from the Bush Administration). Democrats have traditionally been the more pro-competition political party; time for them to step up and I would hope we see stuff from the FCC pretty soon.

    I think Verizon has overall had a little more supervision from regulators on this front than T-Mobile and AT&T, as the Bush FCC supervised the Alltel merger fairly well, and of course the Clinton FCC forced them to divest several PrimeCo markets including Chicago with the merger that formed Verizon in the first place.

    Agreed with other posters on this front that it's high time regulators did more on "use-it-or-lose-it" rules with spectrum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by photoeditor View Post
    I think Verizon has overall had a little more supervision from regulators on this front than T-Mobile and AT&T, as the Bush FCC supervised the Alltel merger fairly well, and of course the Clinton FCC forced them to divest several PrimeCo markets including Chicago with the merger that formed Verizon in the first place.
    I agree with everything you just said, except this. Looking at markets like Phoenix and Cleveland, Verizon ended up with way too much low-band and contiguous mid-band, to the extent that there are no other practical options for consumers in those markets.

    For example, AT&T doesn’t even have a single contiguous 20x20 MHz slice of spectrum available in the Cleveland and Akron metro areas, which was a former Verizon/Alltel cellular market. Meanwhile, Verizon has two contiguous 20x20 or larger allocations, including all of the cellular band. If you have AT&T or T-Mobile in those markets, you’ll find that both have subpar coverage and are increasingly facing a lot of congestion.

    I would support a spectrum re-balance that includes Verizon, and specifically one that forces AT&T and Verizon to swap or sell one of the two cellular licenses in every market where they hold both. Likewise, a repack of AWS and PCS to move non-contiguous holdings together for each carrier would also help immensely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by photoeditor View Post
    Agreed with other posters on this front that it's high time regulators did more on "use-it-or-lose-it" rules with spectrum.
    That is the most important thing of all. It makes no difference how much spectrum any of these companies owns, it is the fact of whether or not they are actually putting any of that spectrum to use, or whether they have been allowed to own said spectrum for years without ever using one bit of it. Such has been the case of course with Dish Network owning a huge swath of 700 Mhz spectrum for decades yet never using any of it. And they still are not using it. The FCC has been totally ineffective at making the carriers use the spectrum they own and that will continue.

    Now some of the carriers own huge swaths of spectrum such as mid-band and millimeter-wave across large areas of rural America where it will never be of any practical use because of both types of spectrum's extremely short-range capabilities, so this is a separate issue. No carrier would ever use those two types of spectrum in rural areas, so if a carrier is sitting on large blocks of it, it really does not matter much.

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    Millimeter wave absolutely is useful in rural areas. It can be used to backhaul cell sites, provide FWA from tall cell towers that have line-of-sight to nearby roofs, and best of all: To provide service to automated farms. Think about how much bandwidth would be consumed by enough drones to do almost all farm work automatically, with many of them live streaming video to let human workers keep tabs on their progress; and since all of it is done outdoors without any trees in the way, it’s basically the perfect use case for mmW.

    As for midband, I’ve been seeing midband live in rural areas since the early 2010s thanks to its having good enough range to offload a good deal of traffic from the lower bands. Verizon in particular has had Band 4 (now 66) deployed on almost every cell site for years.

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