CNET.com’s Kent German questioned in a recent blog post why Sprint’s move to sell the iPhone starting in mid October would not improve AT&T’s chances of getting its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile approved.
That’s because it is about the phones, the operating systems that drive them, and the apps that are developed for a app-hungry consumer. When the FCC talks about promoting a robust wireless ecosystem, they are also talking about the operating system and applications portion of wireless. T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon; all are just platforms for programs and maintenance plans. The U.S. must implement and grow its 4G environment in order to attract new and improved operating systems and apps.
T-Mobile has all but said that they are exiting the U.S. if this acquisition does not go through. The FCC can either grant the licenses now, or auction them off two years later when T-Mobile exits the U.S. market because Deutsche Telekom decided to cut off its allowance. That delay will only cost T-Mobile’s customers more money because they will have to buy services priced in a more spectrum constrained market.