AT&T CEO cites importance of unlicensed spectrum

AT&T's business depends upon licensed as well as unlicensed spectrum, said CEO Randall Stephenson, who reiterated a call for the government to make more spectrum available. Speaking at the Silicon Flatirons Center's Digital Broadband Migration conference in Boulder, Colo., Stephenson said unlicensed spectrum plays an important role for AT&T, which was the first mobile operator to demand device makers install a Wi-Fi client in their devices so customers could offload their data use from licensed spectrum and onto Wi-Fi. He said having a Wi-Fi client in the handset is critical to the customer experience, particularly with usage-based pricing. Addressing another subject, Stephenson predicted Dish Network will probably end up partnering with a wireless company instead of building an LTE Advanced network on its own using the AWS-4 spectrum that it holds. For more on Stephenson's comments, see this FierceWireless article.