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AT&T's $2.5B spectrum deal to expand wireless network

post #1 of 25
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Apple's exclusive U.S. iPhone service provider AT&T said Tuesday it has agreed to purchase spectrum licenses from Aloha Partners LP totaling approximately $2.5 billion, expanding its ability to deliver wireless voice, data and video services to customers.

The deal will enhance AT&T's spectrum position by adding 12 MHz of spectrum at the 700MHz range, covering 196 million people in 281 markets. It will also increase AT&T's coverage in many major metropolitan areas, including 72 of the top 100 and all of the top 10 markets in the United States.

"Customer demand for mobile services, including voice, data and video, is continually increasing," said Forrest Miller, group president of Corporate Strategy and Development for AT&T. "Aloha's spectrum will enable AT&T to efficiently meet this growing demand and help our customers stay connected to their worlds."

AT&T, which has been aggressively expanding its wireless network in recent years amidst customer complaints about service quality, said it anticipates receiving necessary government approvals to close the deal within six to nine months.
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's exclusive U.S. iPhone service provider AT&T said Tuesday it has agreed to purchase spectrum licenses from Aloha Partners LP totaling approximately $2.5 billion, expanding its ability to deliver wireless voice, data and video services to customers.

The deal will enhance AT&T's spectrum position by adding 12 MHz of spectrum at the 700MHz range, covering 196 million people in 281 markets. It will also increase AT&T's coverage in many major metropolitan areas, including 72 of the top 100 and all of the top 10 markets in the United States.

"Customer demand for mobile services, including voice, data and video, is continually increasing," said Forrest Miller, group president of Corporate Strategy and Development for AT&T. "Aloha's spectrum will enable AT&T to efficiently meet this growing demand and help our customers stay connected to their worlds."

AT&T, which has been aggressively expanding its wireless network in recent years amidst customer complaints about service quality, said it anticipates receiving necessary government approvals to close the deal within six to nine months.

These guys are serious. ATT is really making the necessary moves to dominate the handheld market. As devices like the iPhone emerge and demand for wireless content grows, who will be better prepared for the onslaught? I think ATT.

(and Appleinsider is first again to make a relevent report.)
post #3 of 25
Why 700MHz? Doesn't sound like GSM.



And please, do a better job at not plagiarizing news stories.
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post #4 of 25
i don't know the technical benefits of gaining 12 mhz of spectrum, but the United States is far behind on the technologies used on those spectrums. 2.5G vs 3.5G.

...will this add speed to the "top 100" US markets while using edge, or is this an expansion of 3G? ...is AT&T really lacking coverage in 72% of the top US markets?

i have NEVER had a problem with signal, and my friends w/ Verizon service have one more bar than i do when we drive through franconia notch in new hampshire. that is honestly the only place i've ever seen them with more coverage than i have - everywhere we've been in new england.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i don't know the technical benefits of gaining 12 mhz of spectrum, but the United States is far behind on the technologies used on those spectrums. 2.5G vs 3.5G.

...will this add speed to the "top 100" US markets while using edge, or is this an expansion of 3G? ...is AT&T really lacking coverage in 72% of the top US markets?

i have NEVER had a problem with signal, and my friends w/ Verizon service have one more bar than i do when we drive through franconia notch in new hampshire. that is honestly the only place i've ever seen them with more coverage than i have - everywhere we've been in new england.

I doubt they would try and buy it if they didn't need it.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i don't know the technical benefits of gaining 12 mhz of spectrum, but the United States is far behind on the technologies used on those spectrums. 2.5G vs 3.5G.

...will this add speed to the "top 100" US markets while using edge, or is this an expansion of 3G? ...is AT&T really lacking coverage in 72% of the top US markets?

i have NEVER had a problem with signal, and my friends w/ Verizon service have one more bar than i do when we drive through franconia notch in new hampshire. that is honestly the only place i've ever seen them with more coverage than i have - everywhere we've been in new england.

Ehh... service is kinda hit-and-miss here in the midwest. That's the one way my friends are able to get me back when I start teasing about how I've got an iPhone. They tease me about my service. I've got a cousin in florida who has the same problem, though. Anything AT&T can do to increase service.... *high five* to them.
post #7 of 25
is this supposed to help with problems such as the one I encounter at my home in Florida (metro area) where i can't place iPhone calls from inside because most either won't go through or are quickly dropped? (signal strength bounces from 4 or 5 bars to zero). My phone's been repaired (or at least sent off and checked for problems) by Apple. ATT says they know of the signal problem and are trying "to re-aim a tower" but they've been saying that for several months. That sounds like a mechanical fix you either do, or don't do, quickly.

At my other home, in kentucky, i more confidently place calls but am disappointed every two or three days when one is dropped or i can hear the caller but the caller can't hear me. My prior service, with Sprint, was near perfect in both these markets.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

ATT says they know of the signal problem and are trying "to re-aim a tower" but they've been saying that for several months.

Seems like Standard Operating Procedures from the wireless carriers... T-Mobile quoted me the same thing when I complained about weak signal strength and losing bars in my neighborhood and house. If I move literally a mile up the road, problem solved! 5 BARS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

My prior service, with Sprint, was near perfect in both these markets.

My prior service before T-Mobile was with Alltel and also was near perfect for my situation and locations.

Just the luck of the draw, I guess. If you switched from Sprint to AT&T for the iPhone and got this, who knows, you can switch from AT&T to Alltel and have great service in FL and lousy in KY and so you switch from Alltel to Verizon and have great service in KY but problems in your FL location, (an example of what might be NOT what is). Just saying, no matter who you hook up with some where, some day, some place, some time the service you thought 'was the absolute' will let you down.

Like someone else said, anything to help improve coverage, I too am all for it!

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post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

ATT says they know of the signal problem and are trying "to re-aim a tower" but they've been saying that for several months. That sounds like a mechanical fix you either do, or don't do, quickly.

And that, my friends is the price of monopoly. Since you live in Florida, you must be aware of the monopoly Comcast has on TV (due to neighborhood regulations prohibiting dishes) and this makes them lazy, and un-caring to the problems their customers have. Similarly, AT&T is becoming a monopoly and just like Microsoft, they're getting to a point where they don't have to care for your or any one elses problems. If you don't like their service, try to find a working alternative. Otherwise, put up or shut up.

BTW they are confident this purchase will go through the FCC. The FCC will approve AT&T buying out everyone because AT&T is the most transparent phone company when it comes to giving up customer information to the government (you scratch mine, I scratch yours).

This is proven by the silliness that is the continuing FCC stalling of XM and Siruis merger as being bad for consumers.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Why 700MHz? Doesn't sound like GSM.

Modern GSM networks use HSDPA over UMTS.

Currently, the UMTS standard is available worldwide for use in 850, 900, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, and 2600 MHz bands. Additionally, it is expected the standard will be expanded for uses in the 450 MHz and 700 MHz bands

http://www.3gamericas.org/English/Te...enter/umts.cfm
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Why 700MHz? Doesn't sound like GSM.



And please, do a better job at not plagiarizing news stories.

Are you 40 and live in your parents basement?
post #12 of 25
The story doesn't specify which part of the 700MHz range AT&T is getting, but the lower the better. Lower frequencies can penetrate walls better which is the main complaint with AT&T is that people can't make calls inside their home.

I find it interesting that Aloha, which is one of the largest investors in spectrum would be selling these 12 MHz just before the big auction of the mid band C block which they will probably be bidding on. I would guess that the spectrum AT&T is getting from them is probably in the higher 700s.

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post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicnac View Post

And that, my friends is the price of monopoly. Since you live in Florida, you must be aware of the monopoly Comcast has on TV (due to neighborhood regulations prohibiting dishes) and this makes them lazy, and un-caring to the problems their customers have. Similarly, AT&T is becoming a monopoly and just like Microsoft, they're getting to a point where they don't have to care for your or any one elses problems. If you don't like their service, try to find a working alternative. Otherwise, put up or shut up.

Isn't Verizon's FiOS TV service spreading throughout Florida this year? That should be an easy way around any no-dish rule.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicnac View Post

And that, my friends is the price of monopoly. Since you live in Florida, you must be aware of the monopoly Comcast has on TV (due to neighborhood regulations prohibiting dishes) and this makes them lazy, and un-caring to the problems their customers have. Similarly, AT&T is becoming a monopoly and just like Microsoft, they're getting to a point where they don't have to care for your or any one elses problems. If you don't like their service, try to find a working alternative. Otherwise, put up or shut up.

BTW they are confident this purchase will go through the FCC. The FCC will approve AT&T buying out everyone because AT&T is the most transparent phone company when it comes to giving up customer information to the government (you scratch mine, I scratch yours).

This is proven by the silliness that is the continuing FCC stalling of XM and Siruis merger as being bad for consumers.

Nice rant, but your facts couldn't be more baseless. First, AT&T may be purchasing a lot of smaller wireless telecommunication companies, however Aloha Partners has nothing to do with cellular service; they're based in television. The 700 MHz spectrum is now being offered for sale, or auction, because television stations must switch to a digital signal by 2009. On a side note the 700 MHz spectrum is beneficial for wireless companies because its waves travel a greater distance, especially in areas with obstructions (e.g., buildings, hills, and mountains).

Secondly, if you look at the FCC docket for the XM and Sirius merger you'll see several comments filed by other parties. The FCC must review these comments/complaints, and discuss the merger with all parties before granting consent of a merger. The FCC has at least 180 days to review all information, and comments. So, you might have to wait 56 more days to learn the outcome of the XM/Sirius merger.
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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicnac View Post

And that, my friends is the price of monopoly. Since you live in Florida, you must be aware of the monopoly Comcast has on TV (due to neighborhood regulations prohibiting dishes) and this makes them lazy, and un-caring to the problems their customers have. Similarly, AT&T is becoming a monopoly and just like Microsoft, they're getting to a point where they don't have to care for your or any one elses problems. If you don't like their service, try to find a working alternative. Otherwise, put up or shut up.

BTW they are confident this purchase will go through the FCC. The FCC will approve AT&T buying out everyone because AT&T is the most transparent phone company when it comes to giving up customer information to the government (you scratch mine, I scratch yours).

This is proven by the silliness that is the continuing FCC stalling of XM and Siruis merger as being bad for consumers.

Not sure where you are getting your info? Where I live in Florida Comcast has lost its monopoly and I have Verizon's FiOS for phone, very high speed (up to 50 Mb/s) internet and fabulous HD TV.

Also no neighborhood can ban the use of a modern (i.e. small not the 20 foot variety) satellite dishes, even if the local laws try, since State Law (and maybe Fed Law but not sure) overrides this ... and that says we can have them.
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post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i don't know the technical benefits of gaining 12 mhz of spectrum, but the United States is far behind on the technologies used on those spectrums. 2.5G vs 3.5G.

...will this add speed to the "top 100" US markets while using edge, or is this an expansion of 3G? ...is AT&T really lacking coverage in 72% of the top US markets?

i have NEVER had a problem with signal, and my friends w/ Verizon service have one more bar than i do when we drive through franconia notch in new hampshire. that is honestly the only place i've ever seen them with more coverage than i have - everywhere we've been in new england.

Bars are not equal measurements of signal strength from phone brand to phone brand or cell provider to cell provider. So counting bars on one phone can't be compared to the bars on another phone.
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post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Seems like Standard Operating Procedures from the wireless carriers... T-Mobile quoted me the same thing when I complained about weak signal strength and losing bars in my neighborhood and house. If I move literally a mile up the road, problem solved! 5 BARS!

I have it worse that you, even.

I live less than a mile from a cell tower. There is a hill between my house and the tower... it's not even a big hill. It's just a hill. I get very very weak service in my house... 0 - 2 bars depending on the day. If I exit my house and walk 40 feet, I will have full bars. No exaggeration.

Ridiculous.

I should call and ask them to re-aim their tower.



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post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I should call and ask them to re-aim their tower.

Most cell companies don't own their towers, they lease and/or share them. Who does? http://www.cellreception.com/

Of course you could build your own: http://www.steelintheair.com/Buildin...hone-tower.htm

And lease it back: http://www.privateline.com/Cellbasic...nfo.htm#anchor

To help reception, check out getting a cell phone booster sticker or a passive repeater: http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...reception.html
post #19 of 25
Crap....

It's just that much more of the 'sweet-spot' 700Mhz band that will be owned and controlled by the old guard players and/or that much less of the spectrum that Google will have access to...

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post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicnac View Post

BTW they are confident this purchase will go through the FCC. The FCC will approve AT&T buying out everyone because AT&T is the most transparent phone company when it comes to giving up customer information to the government (you scratch mine, I scratch yours).

welcome to the AT&T/FCC Skynet

http://colbertondemand.com/videos/Th...The_new_ATandT


correct me if i'm wrong, but aren't HIGHER wavelengths the ones that penetrate obstructions, that's why good old 5.2 and 2.4 GHZ cordless phones are clearer than 900mhz cordless phones, and why 700 mhz is better than 450, but not 1800, etc etc etc?
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicnac View Post

And that, my friends is the price of monopoly. Since you live in Florida, you must be aware of the monopoly Comcast has on TV (due to neighborhood regulations prohibiting dishes) and this makes them lazy, and un-caring to the problems their customers have. Similarly, AT&T is becoming a monopoly and just like Microsoft, they're getting to a point where they don't have to care for your or any one elses problems. If you don't like their service, try to find a working alternative. Otherwise, put up or shut up.

BTW they are confident this purchase will go through the FCC. The FCC will approve AT&T buying out everyone because AT&T is the most transparent phone company when it comes to giving up customer information to the government (you scratch mine, I scratch yours).

This is proven by the silliness that is the continuing FCC stalling of XM and Siruis merger as being bad for consumers.

You rant against monopoly and yet you seem to favor creating a monopoly in
satellite radio, by merging the only two competitors. Please elaborate.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Why 700MHz? Doesn't sound like GSM.



And please, do a better job at not plagiarizing news stories.

Google is bidding on the WiMax area that 700Mhz is targeting within. Clearwire [founded by McCaw Cellular/later AT&T Wireless] is in on the same bandwidth.

Come the auction time, Google will have a war chest of funds to take that auction.

AT&T is buying a portion of spectrum to make sure their customers aren't cut out.

They are spreading themselves thin financially, so is Verizon and Sprint, not to mention T-Mobile with their enormous expenditures on their last auction.

Google is going to own that piece.
post #23 of 25
This nice article explains the benefits/uses of the 700Mhz spectrum:

http://gigaom.com/2007/03/14/700mhz-explained/
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

correct me if i'm wrong, but aren't HIGHER wavelengths the ones that penetrate obstructions, that's why good old 5.2 and 2.4 GHZ cordless phones are clearer than 900mhz cordless phones, and why 700 mhz is better than 450, but not 1800, etc etc etc?


No... all else being equal (tower distance, power, handset used), higher frequencies penetrate buildings/walls LESS well than lower freqs. In fact, this is something that 'all-PCS' band carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile regularly get dinged on, 'cuz the 1900 MHz signal on their native networks doesn't give some customers good indoors reception, as compared to the 850 MHz 'cellular' band that carriers like Verizon and ATT often have (though they have some 1900 MHz towers as well).

However, you do get some of that nice wall-penetrating lower freq coverage even with PCS-band carriers, via their roaming partners... if you're in an area where your PCS-band carrier doesn't have native coverage.

Far as your cordless phone example goes, I suspect the newer high-freq phones sounded better because they're digital, while the old 900 MHz cordless phones were often analog.

.
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post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

This nice article explains the benefits/uses of the 700Mhz spectrum:

http://gigaom.com/2007/03/14/700mhz-explained/

This Picture from the article seemed to sum it all up for me...



No wonder AT&T is salivating at the thought of getting into this spectrum. Better coverage, for a lot less money. Even if the costs are a bit high up front to actually buy the spectrum.
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