AT&T grabs more WCS spectrum for LTE buildout

AT&T (NYSE:T) is seeking FCC permission to acquire two WCS 2.3 GHz licenses from San Diego Gas & Electric, saying they will enable the operator to expand its wireless broadband capacity and provide more robust mobile broadband services in San Diego. 

The proposed transaction would assign 10 MHz of C and D Block WCS spectrum to AT&T in San Diego, according to an FCC public notice.

The FCC is already reviewing reviews AT&T's proposed purchase of nationwide 2.3 GHz WCS spectrum licenses from Comcast, Horizon Wi-Com and NextWave Wireless, which AT&T intends to use for extra LTE capacity. Comcast proposes to assign 13 WCS licenses (A, B and C Blocks) to AT&T. Horizon proposes to assign eight WCS licenses (A Block) and NextWave proposes to transfer control of 30 WCS licenses (A, B, C and D Blocks) in addition to 12 AWS-1 licenses, all to AT&T.

Speaking yesterday at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said those spectrum transfers, along with Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) 700 MHz B Block spectrum--which Verizon intends to sell and AT&T plans to bid for--could give AT&T a solid spectrum position for the next three to five years.

The FCC has consolidated all of AT&T's WCS and AWS-1 license applications, including this newest one in San Diego, into a single docket. The commission said that after this transaction, AT&T would hold 30 MHz of WCS spectrum and 120 MHz of spectrum in total, assuming that the other pending applications in this docket are granted.

Under the FCC's pleading cycle for AT&T's proposed acquisitions, petitions to deny are due Oct. 1, 2012, while oppositions are due Oct. 11 and replies are due Oct. 22.

For more:
- see this FCC public notice

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