Telecom provider AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to have a special screening for the popular spectrum that mobile service providers can use to build the 5G wireless Network.
If the proposal goes ahead, AT&T’s rivals like T-Mobile Us Inc (NASDAQ: TMUS) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) could gain. In addition, it is learned that the two companies have mid-band spectrum holdings in their possession, which is good enough to build a 5G wireless network.
AT&T’s rivals have gained significant mobile spectrum
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The acquisition of Sprint gave T-Mobile a significant spectrum. On the other hand, service provider Verizon gained a considerable share of spectrum licenses in an auction earlier this year. Despite having made some gains, debt has coasted AT&T dearly. It could be one of the reasons why an additional screen for mid-band spectrum sales could work in AT&T’s favor who does not wish to lose out in the rat race for 5G coverage.
AT&T’s official conveys through a blog post about the 5G spectrum acquisition
Through a blog post, Joan Marsh, AT&T’s executive vice president for federal regulatory relations, conveyed that a mid-band spectrum screen could be similar to the chunk already in place for other types of spectrum. Marsh wrote that it would not limit the amount of spectrum a respective company can have in its possession. Instead, according to her, the agency will gain a chance to take a closer look at the potential damage to competition. Adding that a screen would be initiated if a spectrum acquisition would give an individual company more than one-third of related frequencies in a prescribed market area, Marsh wrote:
“To the extent that such blocks become unduly concentrated in the hands of one or two licensees, 5G competition is likely to falter.”
Despite democratic state attorneys general expressing concern that monopoly could be in the hands of a few when the merger of T-Mobile with Sprint was proposed, the court of law allowed the deal to be inked after Trump Justice Department approved it.
In the backdrop of these developments, no one on behalf of FCC, T-Mobile, and Verizon acknowledged requests for a comment.
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