AT&T is finally putting all that T-Mobile unpleasantness behind it with a new filing at the FCC. AT&T and T-Mobile have filed for approval to transfer about $1 billion in AWS spectrum holdings to T-Mobile as penance for failing to ram the $39 billion acquisition through. AT&T has already paid $3 billion in cash to T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom AG.
As AT&T fights valiantly to save its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, at least one company is waiting in the wings for it to fail. America’s second largest satellite TV provider, Dish Network may enter into a partnership with T-Mobile to form a more robust carrier. It just so happens that Dish has gobs of the one thing that T-Mobile is lacking: wireless spectrum.
Wireless spectrum: it’s what powers mobile communications and wireless carriers have an insatiable taste for more, more, MORE of it. The need for more spectrum is the reason Sprint keeps bailing Clearwire out of financial hot water and why AT&T is pushing so hard for a merger with T-Mobile. Verizon has pretty much been the only major carrier that hasn’t engaged in major spectrum-related deals this year – until now, that is. Today, Verizon announced it has reached a $3.6 billion deal to gobble up 122 spectrum licenses from three major cable companies.
It’s no secret that the wireless spectrum around us is filled with all manner of signals, some of which can interfere with each other. But Microsoft has been toying with ideas for using the “white space” spectrum for a number of years. Now Redmond is suggesting an ambitious plan to expand wireless connectivity. The project would be called, aptly, SpecNet.