FCC Approves AT&T Spectrum Transfer To T-Mobile

The Federal Communications Commission has approved the transfer of AWS spectrum licenses from AT&T to T-Mobile USA as of today. The spectrum transfer is part of the break-up fee awarded by AT&T to T-Mobile after the formers failed acquisition of the latter. T-Mobile gains licenses in 128 markets, including 12 of the top 20 markets.

“We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. “Securing this additional spectrum was a key catalyst for our plans to launch LTE in 2013 and is therefore good news for our customers.”

T-Mobile plans to use the AWS spectrum for its coming 4G LTE network, expected to launch sometime in mid-2013. T-Mobile highlights a continued need for more AWS spectrum to “support its 4G evolution efforts and the continued growth in mobile data services.” Perhaps they can stop Verizon’s AWS spectrum purchase and make a play for it? I know I’d like to see that happen.


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  • That was pretty quick!  bring on the LTE build-out Magenta – D

  • Gwapo

    So when are we gonna get 3G on the iPhone 4$???

    •  3rd quarter this year.

      • Gwapo

        Can’t wait!!!!! Galaxy Nexus, SG 4 and Galaxy Note are coming!!!! I do not know if I will just sell my ipHone 4$ (unlocked) :(

        • HalfwayCrook


  • Boogers N Cheese

    Yes I hope they stop it too.  It’s fairly obvious given Verizon’s timing towards the end of the ATT/T-Mobile Breakup that this was a calculated move to try and cripple T-Mobile from competing with 4G LTE.  Furthermore I wouldn’t be surprised if ATT was in cahoots with Verizon and told them they should as they knew by that point they were going to end the deal anyways. Timing here isn’t any coincidence, hopefully the FCC denies this deal also in the name of competition.

    • Drepope100

      I agree

    • AT&T and Verizon are in a collusion to destroy T-Mobile and I suspect Sprint Nextel will also be their next target.

  • Deadeye37

    In the words of Tony Horton: BRING IT!

    T-Mobile LTE FTW!

    • MarcusDW

      T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 4G LTE sounds good to me!

      • Dmac

        think you meant Galaxy S 3 LTE, but I do agree

        • MarcusDW

          Think about.  If the GS3 lands on TMO this Summer/Fall, it couldn’t possibly be LTE.  If the GS4 lands on TMO next Summer/Fall(mid 2013) it could quite possibly be our first LTE phone.

        • Carloslacend

          Tmo galaxy 3 comes in 2013. So quiet that when tmo has its LTE service will do with his version of Galaxy 3

        • MarcusDW

          I don’t understand.

  • MarcusDW

    The FCC is batting 2 for 2 with T-Mobile!  Stop the Verizon deal and we’ll have bases loaded!  LTE will be a Grand Slam for TMO and with my upgrade in August 2013 I will definitely be picking up an LTE phone.

    • chris125

       Except verizon said they were going to sell some of the AWS spectrum they had if the sale went through.

      • MarcusDW

        Except? That’s just good for us.

  • DevilsBishop

    I phone I Phone I phone….. Hmmm i dont want to but I will.

    • Prepare for the iPhone takeover of T-Mobile later this year. I love it and can’t for it to happen. Long overdue. Thank ya, AT&T. Ur totally BOSS!!!

  • TMoFan

    Thanks Randall Stephenson!!!

    This is rebuild year for us. When TMo’s LTE release 10 is deployed it’ll be a force to be recokend with, and that will come with an explosion of compatible devices. Yup, looking forward to the new T-Mobile. It’s already starting to look good with the Note, possible Lumia 900 and (god please) the G4x. Even if they don’t strike a deal with Apple, they can now be known as the destination for iPhone users looking for value. Hopefully they advertise this fact in future ads.

    Verizon’s deal was nothing but a power play, designed to squelch the competition namely T-Mobile since it was expected they would strike a deal with SpectrumCo. Time to clamp down on the spectrum warehousing and call it for what it is: an attempt to artificially inflate the value of spectrum and create an illusion of a “spectrum crunch”.

    •  Now that the spectrum will be in place from the re-farming, you can BET Apple wants a piece of the 30+ Million T-Mobile subscribers base.  I don’t especially want to buy it, but I recognize it is a very important piece of T-Mobile’s rebuild this year.

      • MarcusDW

        The New iPhone is gonna own, it’s gonna be crazy I bet.  Samsung and Apple are climbing all over each other to reach the top and I really hope TMO gets in on the action or its gonna be pretty sad.

        • DMac

          You will never see the iPhone SOLD by t-Mobile (at least not in the foreseable future) so stop asking for it or thinking it will magically happen!! They wont pay the 15 billion Sprint did to sell it. They will just update their network so the hspa+ in the iPhone will work on T-Mobile.

        • MarcusDW

          That’s plausible of course be we shall see.

    • ogopogo

       Good point. All of the griping about “we don’t have this”, or “we don’t have that” will be silenced when TMO rolls out 3GPP Release 10. At that point, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint will be playing catch-up to TMO.

      It should be apparent to everybody that by waiting, and getting delayed by the AT&T acquisition attempt actually helped TMO in the long run.

  • 2 words: iPhone!! 

    • Brad

      Typical iPhoner, doesn’t know 1 from 2.

      • MarcusDW


        • Adam


      • Scarfacemario

        Haha hilaroius

      • moises1204

        hahaha you are right, that is because steve jobs change the number 1 for number 2.


      Hack it,,,,Tweek it….  Root it ,,,,Customize it,, Thats why android will always be a better choice…

      • TmoNews_Inuyasha

        That first part of your comment seriously made me think of Daft Punk’s song Technologic, lol.

  • Guest2

    In case you didn’t notice, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile LTE networks WILL NOT be compatible with each other..

    • TMoFan

      at&t is deploying lte on 700 and AWS.

      “Once Apple opened its portfolio to CDMA last year, T-Mobile became the orphan of the U.S. wireless industry, as no version of the iPhone supported HSPA in its AWS bands. T-Mobile, however, will be in the exact opposite position with LTE. By this time next year, T-Mobile will have completely reconfigured its network, moving a chunk of its HSPA+ network to PCS (which all versions of the iPhone support) and launching a new LTE network in AWS. Basically, T-Mobile’s networks will have nearly the exact same configuration as AT&T’s, and any phone that can work with Ma Bell will be able to work with T-Mo.”


    • Wrong, AT&T and Verizon (If they receive the licenses from the cable companies) are both going to use the AWS spectrum that T-Mobile is using. The only oddball will be Sprint.

      However, as LTE becomes the standard, I’m sure new LTE chipsets with multiple frequencies will become available, being able to work across all LTE networks. Except Sprint of course, since Sprint Nextel will not be using sim cards for their LTE. Good luck for them keeping their network closed.

  • rwc1792

    When will the data roaming agreement with ATT be in place? 

  • Jmsmz136

    So this will mean better service right???

    • No. U will have to switch to Sprint or Verizon for that. 


        Sprint is well known to be more expensive and the slowest internet of the big four…

        • moises1204

          well sprint slow 3g internet yes i am not so sure about been more expensive than tmobile any more, at least not to new customers, tmobile keeps on capping the internet so once you reach your data allowances they trotted you to death, so is not cheaper than the true unlimited sprint network.

      • Scarfacemario


        • Scarfacemario

          Rapist on bail is a troll I mean seriously I dont know how sprint even has more customers than Tmobile there speeds are so awful its funny

      • fixxmyhead

        sprint? u gotta be kidding with there non existing 4g and dial up 3g speeds

        • Spanky

          In my neck of the woods, Sprint is even worse than T-Mobile. At least I can get voice signal with T-Mobile.

  • Smh at T-Mobile not getting LTE for another whole year. Amazing! Then ppl wonder why Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint will continue to own Magenta and lose its customers to the big 3 as well.

    Embarrassing! I may have to jump ship…

    • “U should jump off a bridge instead”. Just wanted to say that before some smartass does. 

      • Tun

        hey you smart one. by the t-mobile have the fastest 3g and HSPA+ comped to Verizon and AT&T and Sprint… and one more thing you people there on those services are crowded like ants

    • I’m perfectly happy with HSPA+ so far, it’s extremely fast and keeps up with the quickness of Verizon and ATTs LTE networks. The only problem I’ve ever had with Tmobile (and continues to this day) is spotty service but when I get service it’s great.

    • Jose Hernandez

      If you are this embarrassed by T-Mobile, please jump already. You have a choice as to who you choose as your wireless carrier. I am happy with the service, and can wait until they lunch a “more” advance LTE service on 2013. If you can’t, you are well within your rights to not want to and move to something that might work better for you.

    • tmoeno

       Besides, why are you on a TMOBILE news site trolling? Go to vzw or att forums.

    • MarcusDW

      Resident troll.

    • moises1204

      I am not a tmobile customer in fact i am a sprint one, but believe me tmobile HSPA + 42 is plenty fast faster then sprint, so why are you upset because their lte network wont be ready until 2013, it could be worst!! like sprint 4g wimax.

      • No rush for LTE, I’m getting over 10MB down during the day and over 16 at night. Those speeds are better then 70% of all LTE, I know because I also have Verizon’s LTE. My sister has AT&T LTE and the same thing. T-Mobile’s HSPA+  in areas with good coverage is ass kicking fast and you get great battery life. Battery life on LTE is a no go. Getting those speeds on HSPA+ is fantastic and we should be very happy, I sure am.

    • v

      happy with hspa+ on tmo. I use the wireless n/w for all app updates – still stay within the data limit. Xfers are quite fast, sometimes faster than the wifi hooked up to cable broadband !

      don’t need no stinking lte. In fact, I often switch to 2G to save battery and I can still browse/use google+ effectively most of the time.

      may it rain $heet on verizon for time to come – they are evil, more so than m$ and crapple put together.

    • HeLLO

       I see you’re not done posting nonsense.If you really dislike T-Mobile pay the ETF and go fuck off.Sick and tired of people like you coming on here posting “I’m jumping ship’ no one really gives a shit about you leaving or not.One less idiot on T-Mobile.

    • Tomnewtn

      TMO is plenty fast. No way I’m going to dump a loyalty plan so I can be robbed with my eyes wide open.

    • Verhouze


      Personally, I am totally happy with T-Mobile and my plan.

    • Freak4Dell

       In what nutty world is Sprint continuing to grow? That company has been rolling downhill for the past 5 years.

    • Honestly, I think we would all be happy (& I’m sure half of people here would agree) if you jumped ship. You always complain, please jump ship, do us a favor.

      • Scarfacemario

        I agree 100% with D the Artist

  • Like most people here I’m all for us getting the iPhone just cause it’ll make us more competitive, but I have zero interest in it. I’ll stick with Android.

  • haters on the rocks plz

    Thats good now they should deal with verizon buying more aws spectrum.

  • Nuh

    Does anyone know which Markets are going to benefit from this spectrum>?

  • I Want a LTE lumia 900 now…Neon Orange or maybe a Red (not magenta, I really liked the red image I saw somewhere)

  • Has there been any mention of the possible merger with Dish Network?  They were said to have spectrum to bring to the table!

    • UMA_Fan

      There would be no point to move forward in that direction if Dish’s spectrum is determined to be unusable just like Lightsquared.  I don’t think Dish could afford T-Mobile USA.  Very few companies could.  If anything they could form a partnership.
      The thing is, T-Mobile’s position now is quite different than what it seemed a few months ago.  With the at&t spectrum, T-Mobile can roll out LTE advanced all on it’s own.  They are getting the towers to do so as we speak.  This will get LTE coverage in the biggest cities in the country and HSPA+ 42 everywhere else.  This is assuming they don’t purchase any more spectrum from anywhere else on their own.  This is different than before where it seemed T-Mobile would HAVE to partner with someone else for LTE, that’s not necessarily true anymore.   So in any partnership talks it gives T-Mobile the upper hand because they don’t ‘need’ the help necessarily.  Dish has no foot in the door with the wireless market.  If they want to put their spectrum to use they need T-Mobile more than T-Mobile needs them.