Spectrum For Sale: AT&T Acquires Millimeter-Waves and FCC Auction Comes To A Close

Mobile Industry News for the Week of April 10, 2017

This week, the Federal Communications Commission announced T-Mobile, Dish Network, and Comcast as the three big winners of its ongoing spectrum auction. AT&T also acquired more spectrum, just of a different form. This week, the carrier acquired Straight Path Communications, which has an abundance of millimeter-wave spectrum that will bolster AT&T’s plans for 5G deployment. The stories on our minds are below.

Riding A Smaller Wave — In an effort to move its 5G wireless services forward, AT&T this week announced that it will be acquiring Straight Path Communications for $1.6 billion, according to Forbes. Straight Path Communications owns a lot of millimeter-wave spectrum, which is critical for deploying 5G because it can carry large amounts of data over short distances. This certainly gives AT&T a competitive advantage over other carriers, but there are still a lot of aspects to consider with 5G, such as the need for a strong fiber optic network to support millimeter-waves. While still in the early stages, this latest acquisition is proof that AT&T is continually transforming its business to support 5G.

End Of An Auction — The Federal Communications Commission wireless spectrum auction came to a close this week. The auction began last year and continued through several rounds this year. According to CNET, T-Mobile, Dish Network, and Comcast were announced as the big winners, with T-Mobile spending $8 billion and winning the largest amount of network licenses. This spectrum is particularly useful for covering wider distances and providing better indoor coverage. AT&T and Verizon participated more actively in the last low-band spectrum auction in 2008, which explains why T-Mobile took advantage of this auction to catch up with them.

What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.