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Now the FCC allows AT&T to withdraw merger

S4GRU

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by Robert Herron
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 3:50 PM MST

 

The Federal Communication Commission announced today that they will allow AT&T to withdraw it’s merger application. There were some rumblings coming out the past 24 hours saying that the FCC may prohibit AT&T from withdrawing because they may want to go on record actually denying the merger. AT&T threatened to sue the FCC if it was not allowed to withdraw.

In the grand scheme of things, today’s announcement from the FCC that AT&T can withdraw their application is good news for them. AT&T now is in a Hail Mary type of scenario to still get the merger with T-Mobile approved. They know that the FCC is not the best avenue to fight this out right now. Not to mention the cost and resources of fighting two different agencies. AT&T is still planning to proceed with the Dept. of Justice trial in February. The DOJ is using AT&T on anti-trust grounds.

Though it may be a long shot, it’s believed if AT&T can be successful in the DOJ trial, then it may re-apply with the FCC to merge. And it will have a powerful ruling backing it up. But everyone admits it’s an uphill battle. Even AT&T. As AT&T has now set aside the funds in 1Q-2012 to pay T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom should the deal fail. Likely not something they would do now if they were optimistic.

 

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    • to me rural coverage matters most....because i like being able to make phone calls and send texts in remote areas of the country ...i dont care about speeds i just care about per square mile coverage and over all usability and reliability
    • Tell us how you really feel @MrZorbatron!

      I think that most cellular players exaggerate their coverage. Yes, I suspected a long time ago that T-Mobile was one of the most egregious. Now according to the merger presentation, they will end up with 85,000 macro sites. That will be enough to match the coverage of pretty much everybody.

      Like you, I appreciate not having dropped calls or undelivered texts. In my area on my T-Mobile MVNO, I don't get any but can't say it won't happen elsewhere. Once Charter offers service via their Verizon MVNO, I think I will move my 4 personal lines there. My business line will stay on Sprint/T-Mobile, well, because I can't control that.
    • I do not welcome any part of this.  I don't think T-Mobile really cares about doing anything they say they care about.  I have seen how truly bad their network is in the ways that matter for essential communication, and I want nothing to do with it.  Say what you want about Verizon, but the one thing they have in common with Sprint is that they have historically built out a solid network before trying to make it extremely fast.  I don't care about 50 Mbps to my phone.  I care about calls that don't get disconnected constantly.  I care about that stock trade getting through when I send it, even if carried by EVDO, because EVDO still gets it through. Sprint's "Outdoor coverage" maps might seem exaggerated to some, but T-Mobile's maps are a complete joke.  Maybe Michigan is a bubble, the only state where this is true, but it really is very true here.  T-Mobile is the network of dropped and undelivered calls, mysterious disconnection, and "call failed" error messages. If this goes through, look for me at the nearest Verizon store because price to me is absolutely irrelevant.  I see two things happening if this merger goes through:  1:  Sprint spectrum is used to bolster capacity at T-Mobile sites, and 2:  As much of the current Sprint network as possible goes away, even if it means losing sites that would provide valuable fill-in density.  I saw the latter happen with Sprint and Nextel, after they insisted that all Nextel sites that could serve to increase Sprint coverage would be used.  Similarly, there were locations T-Mobile could have used MetroPCS locations to improve their own coverage but didn't, even where it left holes in their network.
    • Not when Verizon just bought 1GHz of mmwave spectrum. Those were the policies of the past. If it does not get approved, it would the loss of jobs and the fact that it might not be good for consumers. Although when I look at the table on this page, comparing unlimited plans, it is already evident that the other three are not really competing and Sprint's lower prices are not working since they did not manage to steal anybody from the other other three. To me it is evident that were Sprint to remain independent they need massive investment in their network since competing on price is not enough anymore and low prices just deprive their network of investment.
    • And I would definitely say that merger probably or probably not won't be approved. If not I would have to say it would be on the grounds of cellular asset divestiture.
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