Aug 12th, 2011

This doesn’t help AT&T at all. Not one bit. A recent filing submitted to the FCC has had a portion redacted by AT&T. No big deal, I thought. Somewhere in that redacted statement, though, they revealed that they’d only need $3.8 billion to bring 4G LTE to 97% of their subscribers at the current state of things.

Consider that – $3.8 billion. Yet, at the same time, they say they absolutely need T-Mobile at a cost of $39 billion due to their limited spectrum and other problems with trying to build their network. Sprint tried to refute that AT&T needed T-Mobile to build a 4G network and even gave them a quick idea of how it could be achieved. AT&T declined to listen, and instead insisted that they needed T-Mobile. The same T-Mobile that would cost them $39 billion to buy. Doesn’t add up, does it?

Let’s go over this one more time. AT&T says the $3.8 billion is too high a price to bring LTE to 55 million additional Americans who would otherwise have to stick with 3G. Yes, according to Ma Bell, $3.8 billion to bring LTE to the rest of their coverage area is financially unjustifiable. But $39 billion to buy out T-Mobile isn’t.

They claim T-Mobile’s spectrum is needed for the task of bringing LTE to more Americans, yet the redacted portions of the accidentally-publicized documents contradict that in every way. My apologies for repeating all of that. I just had to make sure that it all made sense. After further review, it doesn’t.

I’m sorry, AT&T, but we aren’t fools. And you have to think that the Department of Justice aren’t, either. This isn’t helping your case in the anti-trust investigation at all. You probably would have been better off not redacting your FCC filing because now you just look plain guilty on top of the blatant incrimination. Unfortunately, we won’t know how much this will hurt AT&T for a bit further down the road. Read ahead for AT&T’s response.

“There is no real news here. The confidential information in the latest letter is fully consistent with AT&T’s prior filings. It demonstrates the significance of our commitment to build out 4G LTE mobile broadband to 97% of the population following our merger with T-Mobile. Without this merger, AT&T could not make this expanded commitment. This merger will unleash billions of dollars in badly needed investment, creating many thousands of well-paying jobs that are vitally needed given our weakened economy.”

Am I the only one not seeing an answer to the real question at hand somewhere in there? [Electronista, Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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