Leaked FCC Doc Reveals Details Of AT&T’s Strategy For T-Mobile Deal | TechCrunch
A partially-redacted letter from AT&T lawyers to FCC officials was accidentally posted on the FCC website today, and it reveals quite a bit about AT&T‘s strategy for its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. Unfortunately, the filing has come and gone on the website, but the folks over at Wireless Week took down some notes for us.
Here’s what’s up: AT&T faces heavy competition since its biggest rival, Verizon, has been implementing its LTE network at a much faster pace. Verizon has plans to build out its network to the point where it would provide coverage for up to 97 percent of the population, and the expansion is already underway. AT&T’s initial plan (sans T-Mobile) only provided for 80 percent, and the company has yet to get its first set of cities rolling. So not only has Verizon been moving faster, but it’s also been covering more ground.
According to Wireless Week, the letter from AT&T lawyers to the FCC gives us our first-ever peek into how much it would cost AT&T to match Verizon’s planned LTE footprint, had the company not chosen to acquire T-Mobile. This is going to blow your mind, so get ready. The price of expanding its LTE coverage to rural areas would have cost AT&T $3.8 billion. But the letter also says that the $3.8 billion price tag and the speed at which AT&T would have to deploy made that impossible.