Back in December 2010, AT&T announced with much fanfare that it planned to take over FLO TV, pending FCC approval. The merger has stirred up a lot of debate both pro and con, with competitors such as Sprint seeing it as a monopolistic chess move and others looking at it as AT&T building out a stronger network than it has already. The problem is the FCC has not moved this forward; it actually has passed the 180-day mark for approval and AT&T wants the FCC to take action now.
AT&T's acquisition of Qualcomm's FLO TV spectrum will cost the company nearly $2 billion, and will afford the service prime 700MHz spectrum real estate to build out an extensive planned LTE capacity boost that will in turn support high-bandwidth services such as mobile TV. Competitors don't want AT&T grabbing such huge chunks of 700MHz spectrum, but the company in turn says it needs the space to expand its growing customer base and remain poised for the future. More concerns arise if AT&T takes over T-Mobile, as the company may prove to be too large and too expanded that competitors will have an unfair competitive advantage. AT&T has filed again in the hopes it can move the FCC to action, it sees its capacity overloaded and this takeover will provide it with much breathing room spectrum-wise for its hundreds of millions of customers across the U.S. AT&T is aiming to use FLO TV's unpaired D Block and E Block spectrum for advanced downlink capacity concerning its LTE network, which is currently set to debut in five cities this summer.
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