Sprint: AT&T can solve capacity crunch without buying T-Mobile

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) claims that one of AT&T's (NYSE:T) justifications for its proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA is unfounded. In a detailed filing with the FCC, Sprint said AT&T can increase its network capacity by more than 600 percent by developing unused spectrum the company has warehoused, deploying a network architecture with greater site density and upgrading from HSPA+ to LTE.

"Sprint's filing demonstrates, once again, that AT&T's purported rationale for the proposed merger--that there is no other way to meet its projected data service demand growth--is simply unfounded," Vonya McCann, Sprint's senior vice president for government affairs, said in a statement. "AT&T could increase its capacity by developing its warehoused spectrum, accelerating its 4G network buildout, and implementing a more efficient network architecture, just as other wireless carriers around the world are doing today."

AT&T has said it needs T-Mobile's spectrum holdings to help it meet the demands of mobile broadband data users. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said earlier this month that the company will spend $8 billion over three years to expand LTE coverage to 97 percent of Americans. AT&T executives have said the company will consolidate T-Mobile's and AT&T's 2G networks and aggressively migrate 2G customers to more advanced devices. AT&T also will use T-Mobile's 1700 MHz AWS spectrum for LTE, and migrate T-Mobile customers to AT&T's 1900 MHz spectrum.

AT&T responded to Sprint's filing by pointing out that Sprint has outsourced the management of its own network to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC). "A company that has outsourced the management of its own network shouldn't be giving advice to others," an AT&T spokesman told Reuters.

For more:
- see Sprint's filing
- see this Reuters article
- see this Cnet article

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