A Return to Permission-Less Innovation

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

The latest chapter of the Wi-Fi vs. LTE-U saga unfolded this month as the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) announced that, after many months, it was finally closing in on an approved LTE-U coexistence test plan but surprised everyone by suggesting that the test plan should also include LTE-LAA. To understand why this is so aggravating, we…

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Reaching a Sound 3.5 GHz Framework

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

We’ve been watching with interest as a Further Order on the 3.5 GHz band plan is being considered by the FCC’s 8th floor. The Order proposes to preserve a Priority Access License, or PALs, scheme that has been broadly rejected by almost everyone who had advocated for the PALs approach. Given this opposition, it’s hard…

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A Note from Base Camp

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Last week while speaking at a spectrum conference, Gary Epstein, Chair of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force observed that progress on the incentive auction can be compared to climbing a mountain. With the rules complete and as we move toward the auction start date, the collective group of auction climbers are essentially now at…

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Another Magenta Herring

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

A few weeks ago, T-Mobile filed an ex parte suggesting that AT&T had contradicted statements made to the FCC in connection with the acquisition of certain 700 MHz licenses in a few rural markets in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.  As we explain in a filing today, T-Mobile’s claims are flatly incorrect. AT&T is continuing…

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The Wi-Fi / LTE Unlicensed Debate: A Path Forward

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Much ink has been spilled to date on the question of whether and how, and under what conditions, Wi-Fi and LTE unlicensed technologies can peacefully co-exist in existing and new unlicensed bands.  I don’t propose to add to that growing body of literature.  I write instead to endorse a path forward: One that side-steps the…

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When is a Defaulter Not Really a Defaulter? And Other Auction 97 Questions

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Last week, the latest chapter of the saga that is Auction 97 unfolded in all its messy, unpredicted and unpredictable glory – Dish and its affiliate DEs surrendered over $3 billion of AWS-3 licenses back to the FCC.  Before we get to the selective default, let’s quickly review the bidding to date. First, Dish took…

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The FCC’s Enhanced Transaction Review Standard

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Over a year ago, AT&T filed an application seeking to acquire two Lower 700 MHz B Block licenses from Club 42 CM Limited Partnership. AT&T’s ownership of 700 MHz B Block licenses is wholly uncontroversial – we purchased many in the 700 MHz auction and have been enhancing our B block footprint through small deals…

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Getting the Incentive Auction Right

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Today, the FCC cast a series of votes that set the stage for the incentive auction to move toward its slated March 2016 start.  The results of the votes, however, are a mixed bag and leave significant wireless industry concerns unanswered. On the one hand, the FCC has finally resolved the protracted debate on the…

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Stop the Magenta Madness: A Word on the Spectrum Reserve

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

We don’t have a slick cartoon full of super heroes and telecom villains.  We aren’t generating a raft of identically-worded robo-letters.  And we aren’t tweeting apocalyptic rants about the demise of wireless choice.  But we do care about the 600 MHz spectrum auction – a lot – and we support the Chairman’s decision to deny…

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T-Mobile Should Stop Complaining and Start Investing in Rural America

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Today, T-Mobile filed a petition to deny a spectrum acquisition by AT&T in three rural cellular market areas (CMAs) in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. The purchase will give AT&T the needed spectrum footprint to deploy up to a 10×10 MHz LTE network in these markets, which will enable AT&T to offer faster and higher…

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