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AT&T adds 11 new LTE markets

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 2:45pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

AT&T announced today that it has expanded its LTE service to 11 new markets, bringing the total to 26 markets covering 74 million points of presence (POP). The new markets include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Austin, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Orlando.

John Stankey, AT&T's president and CEO of the carrier's business solutions unit, made the announcement at Citi's conference in San Francisco, which was broadcast online via Citi's website.

Aside from the announcement, Stankey took time to shed some light on AT&T's recent failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA, saying it was "unfortunate we didn't get this done." He said AT&T had "no second guesses" about having attempted the merger, placing much of the blame for the failed deal on decisions made by the regulatory agencies.

"We gave it our best shot, pushed as hard as we could, and it became apparent to us that there were two agencies that were opposed to the idea," Stankey said, adding that AT&T felt those agencies did things "different than how it's been done in the past," with respect to the T-Mobile deal.

In the long run, Stankey said that the death of the T-Mobile acquisition is unfortunate for the industry and the consumer and will hinder AT&T's network capacity going forward.

Stankey said the carrier decided to back away from the deal because it would have been "unhealthy" for AT&T's business to remain in a state of limbo. He said the company will now look for other ways to acquire spectrum but added that none of them will be as cost-effective as buying T-Mobile for $39 billion.

"I believe that was the fastest way for us to put more capacity on the market. I believe that was the fastest way for us to improve service," he said.

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