T-Mobile, AT&T deadlock on 3G data roaming deal

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA have reached an impasse in their negotiations for a 3G data roaming agreement, prompting T-Mobile to reiterate its call for the FCC to mandate data roaming.

T-Mobile in November claimed AT&T had rejected its offer to enter into a 3G data roaming agreement. In a filing with the FCC, AT&T promptly responded to the allegation, noting that "we will be more than happy to amend our current roaming agreement to include 3G roaming."

But it seems T-Mobile and AT&T have been unable to iron out the details in the intervening months.

"AT&T did approach T-Mobile with an offer to negotiate," T-Mobile wrote in an FCC filing yesterday. "These negotiations have not made reasonable progress, and T-Mobile and AT&T have not been able to agree on a reasonable rate structure or technical parameters under which AT&T would make 3G roaming available at this time."

T-Mobile isn't the only carrier to complain about an inability to ink a data roaming agreement with AT&T. Last month Wisconsin carrier Mosaic Telecom claimed AT&T abruptly ended roaming negotiations--an allegation AT&T denied. Other smaller carriers have made similar claims against Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ).

The FCC is currently considering whether to apply automatic roaming rules to mobile data. AT&T and Verizon, the nation's two largest wireless carriers, have argued that the FCC should not mandate data roaming agreements, while smaller carriers have argued the opposite.

For more:
- see this T-Mobile filing with the FCC (PDF)

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