Great Spectrum Chase of 2012 begins

The demise of AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA has pretty much sent the industry into panic mode regarding the potential for spectrum shortages in the near future. Though AT&T received approval for a smaller spectrum deal with Qualcomm, there are still concerns that the federal government is not moving quickly enough to make more spectrum available through the white spaces concept or other proposals, and that large mobile carriers like AT&T might be kept from making the acquisitions that would give them more spectrum.

These concerns have led to companies with unused spectrum, such as the cable TV companies, Clearwire and Dish Network, getting a lot of attention because of their spectrum holdings. Verizon Communications is looking to buy cable company spectrum, but even that deal is getting sharp scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice.

As the new year begins, the industry is wondering whether policy decision, acquisitions or partnerships-or perhaps all three-will take center stage in what could be the Great Spectrum Chase of 2012.

For more:
-see this Financial Times report on the spectrum scramble
-read this story at The Hill arguing for spectrum action
-check out this Mobiledia post on expectations for 2012
-see this GigaOM post on spectrum holdings

Related articles:
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse isn't panicking about spectrum
Dish and Clearwire have been drawing attention over spectrum

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