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AT&T targets T-Mobile's current 3G spectrum for expanded LTE capacity

AT&T has gotten hammered over the years (well, really just since the iPhone 3G came out ...) due to a congested network. As such, it should be no surprise that AT&T can barely contain its excitement at getting its hands on T-Mobile USA's significant spectrum holdings -- especially their 1700 MHz "AWS" bands, which currently hold the carrier's 3G signal. The slide you see above (from an early morning press conference) confirms that AT&T wants to use it in order to bolster their available spectrum for the upcoming LTE rollout.

They specifically mention that HSPA+ will continue to be supported on both networks in addition to LTE. As both carriers have been marketing their HSPA+ networks as "4G" to compete with Sprint and Verizon, one would wonder what they would call LTE to differentiate it. 5G, maybe? [AT&T (opens in new tab)

  • That's actually a pretty good start
  • I like AT&T mentality. If you can't get subscribers to be the #1 compnay just buy them
  • I doubt this will go through. If it does, they will probably have to divest so many markets that their customer base won't grow by much. They will just get spectrum and a few million new customers.
  • This is such an unfortunate outcome.... I've heard SO many people, from facebook friends to tech blogs everywhere saying that they will be switching because of the merger. T-Mobile WAS the second best (Value wise) and this, I think, will flip that around to make them even more expensive, ATT and T-mobile alike.
  • Not a bad plan. too bad their plans are expensive and their data is capped
  • Definitely a crap move. Kinda sucks because it leaves me virtually no option if I ever became unhappy with Sprint. AT&T with their locked phone policy, no sideloaded apps, data caps and high prices... no way no how, I'll go pre-paid before I'll ever go to AT&T-mobile
  • Rumors about the death of AT&T have been greatly exaggerated. Kudos to them not just rolling over and dying. Not to sat that it is not a desperate move.
  • You know the drill...
    As a T-Mobile customer this means your shiny new 3G/HSPA+ phone will stop working for anything beyond EDGE. You'll then be forced to migrate to an orange+blue plan, SIM and phone, because your "magenta" SIM card and phone will not connect to the orange+blue 3G/HSPA+ network. This is deja-vu of "blue" customers (original AT&T Wireless) all over again!
  • Isn't HSPA+ closer to 3.5G than 4G? If so, then AT&T-Mobile could still call LTE 4G, but they would have to say that they've been lying about HSPA+
  • BTW: I'm done posting in this site and it's CAPTCHA prompts to registered users. This is the last CAPTCHA I'll ever answer on this website before I switch to some other Android-related site and delete this one from my Bookmarks.
  • BTW: bye... I cant wait to see what will happen ... I doubt they will admit to the 3g/4g mix up, but their marketing people will figure it out somehow.
  • I called this move yesterday. Every one whining about having to get new phones seem to forget the fact that at&t is buying the towers, the systems, the spectrum, and the current phones of t-mobile. They aren't going to shut any of that down. The 1700 band will probably be added to future att phones. This is good news for t-mobile customers. If you want to bitch, use this opportunity to write the ftc about some of att's practices like the crapware they load onto their phones and stuff.
  • I don't know, the language about "Free up high-quality AWS spectrum for LTE" and "Migrate subscribers to AT&T's 3G and 4G networks" sound a little ominous. It almost sounds like they'd like to repurpose T-Mobile's AWS entirely.
  • Damn You AT&T Damn You To Hell
  • AT&T LTE network will be called the "Bieber 6G Fever"
  • I vote they call the LTE network, uh, LTE. Ha. Then there's no confusion and since we'll be on LTE for awhile (and speeds will just increase over time) that should be fine. As an AT&T subscriber, I'm excited about this. The one thing I'm hoping to gain from this is better customer service. TMobile is reported to have pretty good customer service. Considering the fact that I already have a quality network and have never dropped a call, I'm not all that interested in the network betterment that will come from this. I will be happy if it positively affects the speed and range of the LTE network deployment, though. I could see, however, where TMobile customers will not be as happy. I'm assuming this will end UMA and unlimited data plans (which I'm not sure TMobile even still had). Hopefully, though, this will lead to better Android phones on AT&T (though I'm not sure it will and only time will really tell) which might be an option since TMobile will still have a say in what happens (as was explain in them keeping a share in the company). I would love to have a G2 that worked on the AT&T 3G bands.
  • You say you're excited due to customer service. But what happens when AT&T puts the axe on the T-Mo customer service division and replaces it with their craptastic service? This sort of move is def in their playbook.
  • This sucks. I've been on T-Mobile for the last eight years. Over a year ago, I switched to their 'Even More Plus' plan to give myself maximum flexibility and save money on service. I bought a rooted MyTouch 4G recently (I had Blackberry curve previously). I wonder what is going to happen to this phone's usefulness in a year when this deal is done. The only way I'll stay with AT&T is if they maintain the contract-less plans at around the same rate. I'll never again sign a two-year contract with a carrier. Buying phones is the way to go. More people need to stop being slaves and fork out some more money for a phone initially for ultimate freedom.
  • Don't give them ideas about having them call LTE 4G 5G .
  • pardon me, but isnt LTE verizon's 4G network?
  • I wonder if UMA will make it and if that's a feature that they can continue to build out and expand on. Only thing about TMo I ever liked, and the lower monthly bills of course.