Feeds

AT&T kicks Intel's pet WiMAX project

Sprint-Clearwire tie-up 'defective'

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

True to form, AT&T is attempting to scuttle the Great American WiMAX Merger.

Late last week, the big-name US telco tossed an official petition (PDF) at the FCC requesting a rejection of the proposed WiMAX tie-up between Sprint and Clearwire.

"The applicants have failed to address in any meaningful way the competitive showing traditionally required by the FCC when reviewing major transactions," the petition reads. "Because the applications are therefore facially defective, they should be denied."

Backed by $3.2bn from Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, Sprint and Clearwire have agreed to merge their beleaguered WiMAX networks under the control of a brand new company, also called Clearwire. Together, the two operations hope to blanket the States with "4G" wireless well before the likes of AT&T and Verizon, delivering the mobile internet to laptops and various consumer electronics devices as well as phones.

Sprint's network has rolled out slower than expected. Clearwire's network was originally designed for fixed-location wireless access, not mobile. And the companies' definition of 4G may not cut the mustard. But AT&T stills sees the merger as a threat.

"Clearly, a company that has the largest spectrum position of any mobile carrier, deploying a service that is 'here now,' with financial backing from Google, Intel, and three of the nation’s largest cable television companies is capable of substantially impacting competition in the mobile communications market," continues AT&T's petition.

It's worth noting that the joint Sprint-Clearwire network will be open to any device and any application. Though AT&T likes to say that it has fully embraced openness, this may or may not be true.

According to a message tossed our way by a company spokesman, AT&T "does not fundamentally oppose the transaction." It simply believes that "Sprint and Clearwire should be required to demonstrate that its merger serves the public interest just like any other providers would have to do."

The company argues that in seeking FCC approval for their tie-up, Sprint and Clearwire haven't put all their cards on the table. The FCC requires added scrutiny for transactions that would deliver an unusually large swath of spectrum to a single operation, and AT&T claims that the "New Clearwire" has failed to disclose all its holdings in a portion of the US airwaves known as the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum.

The BRS/EBS spectrum was originally licensed to American schools and colleges for on-campus broadcasting. But in recent years, the FCC has shifted the band to commercial use, letting those schools and colleges lease their holdings to corporate interests, including Sprint and Clearwire - and AT&T.

When the FCC reviewed AT&T's merger with Dobson last year, it did not scrutinize AT&T's BRS/EBS holdings because the band was still making the slow transition to commercial spectrum. But BRS/EBS is part of the 2.5GHz band where Sprint and Clearwire are deploying WiMAX. It only follows, AT&T tells the FCC, that commercialization is very much a reality.

"The applicants have touted this spectrum as being superior for the delivery of mobile broadband to the public. And the major reason the spectrum has not been previously included has evaporated - the applicants note that the BRS/EBS transition is 'nearly complete.'"

So, AT&T wants the applications evaporated too. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?