Today was the final day for people to enter comments on the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger, and Sprint went out with a bang. Currently sitting in my inbox is a 299 page filing the carrier submitted to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) about how AT&T could increase its capacity by 600 percent by 2015. As they said in their cover email, this is a detailed technical analysis of how this could be accomplished without purchasing T-Mobile which they strongly feel is not in the public interest.
Sure you could read the entire PDF and possibly question your own sanity when you completed it … or you could look at the image they sent along that summed up the entire thing.
I started reading the full tome, and have to admit they lost me fairly quickly. It was not a page turner to say the least.
T-Mobile followed up not long after with a short email stating their side of the argument.
The opponents of the AT&T-T-Mobile merger have had their final say as part of the FCC’s formal pleading cycle and, not surprisingly, they have failed to offer any credible arguments to support their view that the Commission should deny the transaction. What is surprising, however, is their repeated head-in-the-sand insistence that no spectrum crisis exists. As part of their application, AT&T and T-Mobile provided a compelling showing of their need for more spectrum to continue to provide quality service to customers and roll out new technologies in the future. And the two companies have demonstrated that a combination of their networks and spectrum holdings is by far the best way to solve this problem and ensure improved service and enhanced innovation. The FCC has long acknowledged the harmful consequences of ignoring the spectrum crunch, and we are confident it will approve our proposed market-based solution.
While I admit I didn’t make it through the entire 299 pages, what I did read did not strike me as an opponent of this merger with their head stuck in the sand about a spectrum crisis. What I took away from it is that there are alternative solutions and creating essentially a duopoly of the cellular market between AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon wouldn’t exactly benefit the consumer.
It’s difficult to predict if the government is going to approve this merger or not, there are a ton of pros and cons to this enter proposal, and sorting them out is going to take ages. We’re now down to the long road part where not much can be said publicly as the FCC goes over it with a fine tooth comb. All sides have had their say, and now it’s time for the government to make its call.
What do you think? Are you in favor of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger? Why or why not?