AT&T Closes Acquisition of FiberTower, Gains mmWave for 5G
AT&T today said it has finalized its acquisition of FiberTower and in the process gained a foothold in the spectrum needed to deploy 5G. Specifically, AT&T now owns 375 MHz of 39 GHz spectrum in the top 100 markets around the country. AT&T said it paid $207 million for FiberTower. The deal was approved by the FCC earlier this week, though Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said the matter was settled without all five commissioners participating in the vote. She accused FCC Chairmain Ajit Pai of ignoring her petition to have all the commissioners present. Clyburn suggests the deal was given the thumbs-up without fully vetting how much spectrum AT&T owns or will own in each market, and whether or not its spectrum holdings will result in harm to consumers. AT&T expects to debut 5G service on a “puck” by the end of the year.
AT&T Says First 5G Device Will Be a Puck
When AT&T launches 5G service, the first device able to access it will not be a handset and will instead be a puck, according to comments made by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. "Getting the handsets at scale penetrated into the market will slow things down," noted Stephenson.
T-Mobile Trying to Block AT&T's 700 MHz Purchase
T-Mobile has filed a petition with the FCC in an attempt to prevent AT&T from purchasing select 700 MHz spectrum licenses. AT&T filed a request to transfer the licenses, which cover portions of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, last month.
Mignon Clyburn, FCC Commissioner, Set to Depart Agency
FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, one of two Democrats on the five-person commission, today said she intends to retire from the FCC. Clyburn has been with the agency for eight years.
FCC Greenlights AT&T Spectrum Deal
The FCC has approved AT&T's request to purchase two Cellular A Block licenses and microwave point-to-point spectrum from Cellular Properties Inc. The spectrum covers 11 counties and parts of two Cellular Market Areas in Illinois.