Busting Myths Part 3:
MHz and Fuzzy Math

Posted by: Joan Marsh on May 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

In our latest installment of our series debunking myths, I’m going to address Sprint’s throw-it-on-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks claim that AT&T currently has the largest licensed spectrum holdings of any wireless carrier and that, rather than deploying our spectrum, we are warehousing it

The first is a particularly odd accusation coming from Sprint given that Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse, has repeatedly boasted that Sprint has the best spectrum position in the industry.  Keep in mind that Sprint is a 54% owner of Clearwire, so it not only has access to its own near-nationwide portfolio of PCS spectrum, but it also has access to Clearwire’s spectrum holdings as well – which is the spectrum supporting Sprint’s 4G products and services.  

Outside the beltway, Sprint is not hesitant to brag about its strong spectrum position.  Last July, for example, Mr. Hesse said, “We have the spectrum resources where we could add LTE if we choose to do that, on top of the WiMAX network. The beauty of having a lot of spectrum is we have a lot of flexibility.”  

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AT&T Statement on Lieberman,
McCain Public Safety Bill

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain yesterday introduced the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011, legislation that would allocate additional spectrum to public safety.  The following statement may be attributed to Tim McKone, AT&T’s Executive Vice President of Federal Relations:

“Senators Lieberman and McCain have introduced a thoughtful and comprehensive bill that lays out groundwork for first responders to be able to effectively communicate during times of need.  AT&T is very encouraged by the growing bipartisan support for meeting the critical needs of the public safety community.”

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Mythbusters Part 2: Sprint’s
Unthinking Reflex on Wireless Backhaul

Posted by: Bob Quinn on May 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

My colleague, Joan Marsh, has done a concise job of addressing the question of whether it is really a good idea to require tens of millions of consumers to have to go out and buy new cell phones.  Now, I’d like to address, less concisely, but just as importantly, some of the statements made during last week’s hearing on our merger with T-mobile by Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (no relation to Renata Hesse, new most important person in my life) on backhaul.

But first, I need to point out that T-Mobile doesn’t provide special access, and indeed has made significant strides to move away from local landline carrier special access. In fact, last year, T-Mobile projected that by 2Q11, 75% of its cell sites would be served by alternate providers. 

What this means is that this merger has absolutely no impact on the issue of special access/wireless backhaul.  But despite that, Mr. Hesse brought it up anyway as an issue in this merger. 

Specifically, Mr. Hesse asserted that, “Two companies would control most of our nation’s wire line infrastructure and the critical last mile that Sprint and the rest of the industry need [my emphasis] to provide affordable rates and quality service.”  And that special access “is a huge piece of our cost structure and the cost structure of all wireless carriers.”  He further went on to say that,  “What we pay roughly – if you will, 30 percent of the cost of putting in a new cell site goes back to a local landline carrier in the form of payments for special access and those payments are very, very high.”

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Mythbusters Part 1: Courting Disaster
in the Name of Spectrum Efficiency

Posted by: Joan Marsh on May 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

A lot of myths were perpetuated by some witnesses at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing last Wednesday regarding our proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.  The enemy of myth is, of course, fact, and over the next several days, we will debunk these myths in a series of blogs.  So, stay tuned. 

To start, I want to address Public Knowledge’s argument that AT&T should “stop operating” three different types of technologies, a system which they view as “inefficient” and spectrally “wasteful.”  Let’s play that out and see precisely what that world looks like.  

First, AT&T would promptly shut down its 2G GSM network – a network that currently supports tens of millions of devices, including handsets for our pre-paid products that are particularly important to fixed and low income customers.  As a result, all those handsets would go dark and that customer base would be required to go purchase new mobile broadband (UMTS) handsets, which are generally more expensive.  

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Keeping Our Commitment
To Consumer Safety

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm

By Gail Torreano, AT&T SVP-Employee Communications and Global Sponsorships 

AT&T has a long history of encouraging responsible phone use behind the wheel.  This is particularly important because motor vehicle crashes still remain the leading cause of death of young people, according to statistics released at the launch of the first UN-Sanctioned Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020), which took place on Wednesday during the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) kick-off event for National Youth Traffic Safety Month

As part of our ongoing commitment to consumer education and empowerment, we announced at the NOYS event a four-year plan to contribute a total of $1 million to help spread the word about our “Txtng & Drivng…It Can Wait” campaign.  NOYS is the first beneficiary of AT&T’s new financial pledge for this cause, with a donation of $95,000 towards the organization’s efforts to remind students that text messaging can – and should – wait until after driving.  Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta recognized our commitment during the program, where leading transportation, health and safety experts convened to discuss ways to reduce traffic-related fatalities. 

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TOPICS: Consumers, Wireless
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