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T-Mobile Loads Up LTE Spectrum Ammo

Sarah Thomas

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s transfer of advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum licenses to T-Mobile US Inc. , paving the way for the smaller U.S. operator to deploy Long Term Evolution (LTE) next year. (See T-Mobile Will Launch LTE in 2013.)

T-Mobile confirmed the spectrum transfer, a condition of its breakup from its proposed merger with AT&T, in a statement posted on its website Wednesday afternoon. (See T-Mobile Breakup Causes $6.7B Q4 Loss for AT&T .)

The transfer gives T-Mobile enough AWS spectrum to cover 128 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), including 12 of the top 20 markets in the U.S. It plans to launch an LTE network in these markets in 2013, backing it up with a $4 billion investment in its network modernization strategy, which also covers high-speed packet access-plus (HSPA+) network upgrades that aim to improve existing voice and data coverage. (See T-Mobile Could Still Boost HSPA+ Speeds .)

Why this matters
T-Mobile lags far behind its competitors on LTE, to say the least. The carrier is also refarming its existing personal communications service (PCS) and AWS bands for LTE, but stated that it would still need more AWS spectrum to support its 4G evolution. It has made it clear, however, that it's not interested in purchasing any spectrum that Verizon Wireless might divest as it looks to acquire AWS licenses from a handful of MSOs. (See T-Mobile, Verizon Spar Over Spectrum .)

For more

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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12/5/2012 | 5:35:05 PM
re: T-Mobile Loads Up LTE Spectrum Ammo

Wonder if T-Mobile will reveal its equipment suppliers now. Perhaps at CTIA?

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