AT&T, Qualcomm oppose merging MediaFLO deal with T-Mobile acquisition

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) filed a letter with the FCC urging the commission not to combine its evaluation of AT&T's proposed $1.93 billion purchase of Qualcomm's MediaFLO spectrum with the commission's evaluation of AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

The letter is a response to a petition filed by Cincinnati Bell Wireless, MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS), Ntelos, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), the Rural Cellular Association and the Rural Telecommunications Group asking that the FCC combine the proceedings. These parties are all vehemently opposed to AT&T's acquisitions, arguing they will give AT&T too much market power.  

AT&T late last year announced it would purchase Qualcomm's 700 MHz licenses for $1.93 billion, and in March the company announced its intention to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. Both transactions are pending before the FCC.

In the letter, AT&T and Qualcomm argue the commission has refused to consolidate, transfer and assign other proceedings under similar circumstances. The companies also said the licensed involved in the proceedings are different and the transactions are not related.

AT&T has argued its purchase of T-Mobile will allow it to address subscriber demands for data and role out LTE network technology.

As for its purchase of Qualcomm's spectrum, AT&T hopes to double the speeds of its planned LTE network by essentially combining the 700 MHz spectrum it wants to purchase from Qualcomm with its existing AWS, 1900 MHz or 850 MHz spectrum holdings. The carrier plans to use carrier aggregation technology--which is a key element in the specifications for LTE Advanced, WiMAX 2 and future iterations of HSPA+--to make it work, and if it is successful the action could have a major impact on the future design of wireless networks.

For more:
- see this FCC filing

Special Report: Carrier aggregation: How AT&T will use Qualcomm's MediaFLO spectrum to double LTE speeds

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