AT&T says T-Mobile buy will bring LTE coverage to 97% of population

AT&T (NYSE:T) filed its formal paperwork with the FCC to acquire spectrum licenses from T-Mobile USA, and its future deployment of LTE plays a starring role in the filing.

The operator, which argued that T-Mobile would face a spectrum shortage since it has no clear path to deploying LTE, said its $39-billion acquisition of T-Mobile would enable it to bring LTE coverage to more than 97 percent of the U.S. population--which would cover 55 million more people than AT&T's current LTE rollout plans.  In March, AT&T said the deal would bring LTE to 95 percent of Americans, or 46 million additional people.

In a press conference with reporters in Washington, D.C., Joan Marsh, AT&T's vice president of federal regulatory, said that the company identified additional, unspecified cell sites that could support the LTE buildout. She also said that regardless of whatever divestitures AT&T might have to make as a condition of the deal, the company is confident it will hit the 97 percent coverage target.

Those statistics are likely something the FCC will like to hear as one of its major policy initiatives is bringing high-speed broadband access to rural markets.

For more:
- read this FierceWireless article
- see AT&T's filing with the FCC (PDF)
- see this release

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