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Is Genachowski hedging his bets on AT&T, T-Mobile USA?

Posted November 22nd, 2011 in antitrust, AT&T, FCC, Government Regulation, T-Mobile USA, wireless communications and tagged , , , by Alton Drew

The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that the Federal Communications Commission plans to put an order for an administrative hearing on the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA. This hearing might occur after the conclusion of the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against AT&T.

Interesting view on the part of Mr. Genachowski of the role the FCC has in antitrust. I thought all the FCC did was approve the transfer of licenses. If AT&T does win the lawsuit, will it try not to approve the license transfers?

I guess the FCC is feeling emboldened by the Senate’s failure to kill net neutrality rules.

Maybe Mr. Genachowski is hedging his bets. Why seek a hearing on the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA unless you thought there was a good chance that AT&T is going to win approval? He could have waited for the conclusion of the lawsuit before signaling a hearing was forthcoming.

Instincts tell me not to count AT&T out yet.

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TDI makes case for why AT&T, T-Mobile good for broadband deployment

Claude Stout, executive director of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), yesterday made the following comments  to the Federal Communications Commission on why it believes that AT&T’s bid to acquire T-Mobile serves TDI’s constituency.

“AT&T has indicated that its proposed merger with T-Mobile would permit it to accelerate the deployment of the latest mobile 4G Broadband technology to 55 million Americans that otherwise would not, and in many instances could not, readilybe served by either AT&T or T-Mobile on a stand-alone basis.   If this fact bears out in the final analysis, a great percentage of this under-served population includes our constituents living in rural areas across the country who are deaf and hard of hearing.

As a result, approval of the merger would inarguably further the national goal of promoting broadband infrastructure deployment, and expand the availability of highly valued mobile broadband access to all Americans, which would be a boon for deaf and hard of hearing consumers.   This is an end result that fills me with hope for what people with hearing disabilities could do with increased access to high-speed wireless Broadband.”

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T-Mobile USA results show it’s just matter of time.

Posted November 10th, 2011 in antitrust, AT&T, T-Mobile USA and tagged , by Alton Drew

It’s earnings season and fall is probably the appropriate back drop for the earnings of T-Mobile USA.

According to Yahoo! Finance, while T-Mobile USA was able to increase its number of non-contract subscribers but lost the more lucrative contract subscribers. It gained 126,000 subscribers in the third quarter as a result of combining cost cutting measures with value packages.

Your first thought may be , “Cool. The Justice Department can say that T-Mobile USA really is a competitor that we have to keep AT&T-free and in the market.” T-Mobile USA is still an injured animal.

Cost cutting can only keep you in the game but for so long. Sooner or later you will have to make the big investments necessary to keep you rocking the block or risk hitting your head on it, and by analysts’ accounts, T-Mobile USA is going down for the count.

The company is bleeding revenues and contract subscribers and its parent, Deutsche Telekom is not willing to throw out the life line, especially given Europe’s economy.

Lord only knows what Angela Merkel has in store for her German corporate citizens.

The only life line being offered is coming from AT&T, but the Justice Department is squeezing on that oxygen tube; squeezing so hard that T-Mobile USA may not be able to get enough air in time.

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Local business in Biloxi would like the FCC to get out of the way of its economic development

The Greater Biloxi Economic Development Foundation, Inc., let the Federal Communications Commission know that local business in Biloxi, Mississippi supports a transfer of licenses from T-Mobile USA to AT&T, Inc.

The Foundation argued in a letter received by the FCC on 4 November 2011 that AT&T’s additional $8 billion in 4G network investment would go a long way to making Biloxi competitive with urban centers like Atlanta and Dallas.

The FCC can take advantage of the cover that the U.S. Department of Justice is providing with its lawsuit against AT&T. The Justice Department wants the court to stop the acquisition much, it appears, to Biloxi economic detriment.

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Is the cost of adding one more competitor to the wireless market worth the benefit

Posted November 1st, 2011 in AT&T, spectrum, T-Mobile USA and tagged , , by Alton Drew

Hal Singer’s recent blog post in Truth on the Market rebutting a New York Times’ piece on wireless competition raises the question as to the marginal costs society must bare in order to have one more competitor in the wireless market.

To make additional and effective spectrum available to a new entrant, you would have to take another source of spectrum, a current provider, offline. How much are we willing to pay the existing source and user of spectrum to get off line?

Are we prepared to address complaints about more dropped calls if a current carrier cannot provide a continuity in transmission from cell site to cell site? Is society willing to pay the price for denying existing carriers additional space to generate radiation in order to add an additional carrier?

Maybe we can address the questions through technology, but I have not been hearing too much of that particularly in the debate regarding whether AT&T should be allowed to purchase T-Mobile USA.

Could policy makers have headed off this debate?