T-Mobile, AT&T File Application With FCC For Spectrum Swap

The FCC announced yesterday that AT&T and T-Mobile have filed an application to swap PCS (1900 MHz) licenses and one AWS (1700 MHz) license. According to the report, the two companies would exchange equal amounts of spectrum in 35 markets with AT&T gaining spectrum in 12 markets. In another 8 markets, T-Mobile would gain 5-10 MHz of PCS spectrum. Along with that, T-Mobile would pick up another 10 MHz of AWS spectrum covering Spokane, Washington.

“Preliminary review of the applications indicates that the proposed transaction would result in the assignment and/or exchange of PCS and AWS-1 spectrum in 55 Cellular Market Areas (“CMAs”) in 17 states. Specifically, AT&T would acquire and/or receive in an exchange 5 to 20 megahertz of PCS spectrum in 54 CMAs. T-Mobile would acquire and/or receive in an exchange 10 to 20 megahertz of PCS spectrum in 43 CMAs. Our preliminary review further indicates that in 35 CMAs, AT&T and T-Mobile would exchange equal amounts of PCS spectrum; in 12 CMAs, AT&T would gain 10 megahertz of PCS spectrum; and in 8 CMAs, T-Mobile would gain 5 to 10 megahertz of PCS spectrum as a result of the proposed transaction. Finally, T-Mobile would also acquire 10 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum in 1 CMA (CMA 109 – Spokane, WA).”

Phonescoop via FCC

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  • Paul

    how does this new spectrum benefit Magenta? I get, to some extent, that bandwidths are dedicated to certain carriers. How can Magenta use this to improve their networks?


    • These will give T-Mobile more contiguous blocks of PCS spectrum. Contiguous blocks of spectrum on PCS means that T-Mobile can deploy dual-carrier HSPA+ on PCS, meaning iPhones can operate at the highest speeds there.

      • TMOTECH

        And all other DC HSPA+ phones that have the PCS band…

      • Paul

        Much appreciated, that explains the promos for the unlocked iPhones.

      • bleeew

        Whats dual-carrier HSPA+? Sorry for me being a spectrum noob.

    • MagentaMadness

      Continuous blocks like previously mentioned…easy explanation: if TMO has blocks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and ATT has blocks 5, 8, 9, 10, 11…they’ll swap the 7 and the 5…this allows the carriers to do more with it…even though its the same amount, they can do more with it being its continuous.

  • MisterBlue

    Can we have a phone swap as well. We’ll take the Lumia 920 and they can have the 810

    • Noel

      LOL…that’s a good one. As an avid Android fan i will not mind owning the 920 as an escape device for fun.

    • i rather swap for the htc one x+

  • sagisarius

    I love how the FCC has a deadline for filing oppositions, but in no way will tell you where the spectrum swaps are.

    • JP

      If you look, SunCom is in NC/SC predominantly, also Puerto Rico is listed too,, so you at least have some areas in NC and, or SC, and Puerto Rico.

    • philyew

      All documents are filed for public scrutiny, so the FCC won’t tell you what they contain, but you can examine the documents yourself and work it out.

  • sidekicker89

    I thought T-Mobile needed more AWS spectrum… glad they are filling in the gaps though but can either company afford to lose ANY spectrum?… I guess what they lost would have been unused anyway? or what? Where is TmoTech when you need him? :) haha

    • Mirad77

      He is busy lighting up HSPA+ on the 1900 Frequency.

  • Guest

    At&T is buying some of the specturm they lose back costing them more money in the long run. Win win for T Mobile

    • JustSaying

      I thought they are swapping not buying..

  • Fswe2

    Does it mean T-mo lose some coverage for getting a high speed? I am kinda confused with this arrangement. AT&T gains more markets = more coverage??? T-mo gains more MHz of PCS spectrum = more speed but poor coverage?

    Please correct me!

    • MagentaMadness

      Its only a spectrum swap making it a win/win for both parties. The end user won’t notice anything different, other than possibly eventually getting more/better coverage in some areas(again for both parties). Repost what I put earlier: easy explanation: if TMO has blocks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and ATT has blocks 5,
      8, 9, 10, 11…they’ll swap the 7 and the 5…this allows the carriers
      to do more with it…even though its the same amount, they can do more
      with it being its continuous.

  • tmo_tk

    Is any St Louis spectrum involved? How about a map or chart of the affected spectrum?

    • Justin

      Hey this is kinda off topic but I’m in StL and I’ve been getting 3G on my iPhone 4 also in the city too.

  • JBM0329

    I obtained an unlock code for my GS3 and used a friend’s AT&T microSIM card (iPhone) to unlock it, and after it was unlocked, I was getting 4G on a T-Mobile device in Birmingham, AL

  • RO

    Are there any maps showing where TMo will be using AT&T spectrum it got? I am looking for where that will be for speeding up my “unlocked” Dell Streak 5 that seems to have been made for AT&T networking, and only runs on TMo’s Edge network (esp hoping for Raleigh-Durham coverage…).

  • Jane

    AT&T-Mobile Shared [Spectrum] Plan?

  • T-Mobile is on the spectrum prow !