T-Mobile and the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) have joined forces in an effort to block AT&T’s proposed acquisition of two Lower 700MHz B Block spectrum licenses in California, AT&T federal regulatory vice president Joan Marsh said in a Tuesday blog post.
According to Marsh, T-Mobile and CCA have “no real argument” against the merits of the deal and “fundamentally misconstrue the FCC’s new enhanced factor analysis,” a new ruled passed in May 2014 which subjects any transaction resulting in a carrier controlling one-third of spectrum below 1 GHz in any given market to an enhanced review.
In their filing to the FCC, T-Mobile and CCA sought to curtail what they called AT&T’s spectrum “buying spree” and said the FCC has a responsibility to protect “consumers from the harmful effects of further low-band spectrum aggregation by the two dominant nationwide providers.”
However, Marsh argued that T-Mobile and CCA were making unnecessary alarmist statements and said the deal will simply “improve spectral efficiency, increase network capacity and enable us to offer faster, higher quality services.” According to Marsh, the FCC has a history of approving transactions that enable 10 x 10 MHz LTE deployments to serve the public interest.
Marsh said AT&T is looking to follow that precedent and move forward to approval of the deal, which has been pending for more than a year.
T-Mobile’s latest filing is the most recent in a series of attempts by the Un-Carrier to prevent AT&T and Verizon from accumulating additional low band spectrum.
In June, T-Mobile and Sprint sought to have the FCC increase the reserve of 600 MHz spectrum in the upcoming incentive auction.