Over the past year, the FCC has made a lot of questionable decisions. Whether it be denying the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, blocking LightSquared's LTE network, which they had previously approved, or their decision to only fine Google $25,000 for the Street View disaster, they have been ruffling a lot of feathers, including Congress.
This week, they gained a little bit of favor back, at least with the German company Deutsche Telekom, parent of T-Mobile USA. Part of the original exit strategy for the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile was a transfer of a lot of money and a lot of spectrum. While there is no requirement that the FCC approve cash transfer, there is for spectrum transfer.
In an uncharacteristic move, the FCC made their decision quickly. What was the decision and how did T-Mobile respond? Hit the break.
The FCC has approved the transfer of spectrum from AT&T to T-Mobile. Somehow this seems like the FCC is backing T-Mobile in all of this. The approval, or lack thereof, of the merger took ages, but the approval of the spectrum transfer seems nearly immediate in comparison. Obviously, being the receiver of the spectrum, T-Mobile is pretty excited about this. Neville Ray, chief technology officer, said,
We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses. Securing this additional spectrum was a key catalyst for our plans to launch LTE in 2013 and is therefore good news for our customers.
So, now T-Mobile has AT&T's money and their spectrum. All of this will, of course, culminate in T-Mobile's new ACTUAL 4G network, which they plan to "broadly deploy LTE in 2013." Only time will tell, but this might be the move that T-Mobile needs to become relevant in the wireless market.