Monday, March 21, 2011

Update: Why the AT&T-Mobile is bad for T-Mobile customers

Some details have come out about AT&T's plans for T-Mobile, and one of the details is not pretty. In fact, it's very, very, bad.

When AT&T takes over T-Mobile, it will shut down T-Mobile's 3G/"4G" network because it wants to use the spectrum for its next generation network (LTE.)

AT&T's interest in T-Mobile appears to be because T-Mobile bought a national swathe of what's called AWS. T-Mobile didn't have enough spectrum to roll out 3G, so it bought the AWS spectrum and rolled out 3G (and its "4G" standard which is an enhancement of its existing 3G system) into that spectrum. All T-Mobile 3G phones are designed to work on those frequencies, and very few of them support any other frequencies in common use within the US for 3G.

AT&T wants T-Mobile because it can use that national swathe of spectrum to plug holes in its spectrum, where it's going to be unable to roll out LTE because it doesn't have spectrum in the 700MHz band available.

To put it bluntly: if you have a smartphone on T-Mobile, you WILL have to throw it away when the merger happens - or live with 2G "EDGE" speeds and reliability.

Source: TMOnews/AT&T Press conference

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