AT&T has been on a spectrum shopping spree lately, and it’s not hard to see why. After the rejection from regulators regarding the T-Mobile acquisition, AT&T is now trying to claim smaller deals and purchases in order to acquire the spectrum it needs.
AT&T has filed applications with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve several wireless spectrum swaps with T-Mobile. The swap will occur within 55 markets across seventeen states.
The nation’s second largest wireless carrier hopes to grab additional spectrum to expand its current PCS spectrum holdings. The current spectrum runs on 2G, though AT&T is hoping to overlay it for use in its 4G LTE network. AT&T also wants to buy three 700 MHz license from Peregrine Spectrum to meet its current LTE needs.
AT&T has already sought other spectrum purchases in the past. After seeing Verizon’s grab from Leap Wireless and other companies, AT&T was spurred into a panic to soak up spectrum for its network.
The company needs the purchases to augment its 3G capacity while it also builds out its new LTE network. Verizon is in the lead against its competitors, with AT&T the only company close to catching up.
Verizon currently reaches 230 million with LTE, and expects to cover 260 million by the end of the year. In pathetic comparison, AT&T’s LTE reaches 80 million, though it plans to add 70 million more.
AT&T has no hope of catching up, much less winning, unless it is able to get its hands on additional spectrum.