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After nine months of pursuing T-Mobile USA, AT&T has pulled out of bidding. This comes soon after the FCC and Justice Department started to get involved to ensure consumer choice and controlled prices in the market. We have all been following this merger and expected it to end this way once the Justice Department got involved.
AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson says that this in no way will slow the success of AT&T nor will it stop future investments.
“To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest… However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs.”
Friday AT&T stated that they need to manage their users “exploding demand” for data. Many users that have been with AT&T for any amount of time have grandfathered in their unlimited data plans. Since these users (Android Advice included) are among the top data users on their network AT&T has decided to throttle those unlimited users that use the most data.
AT&T was the first carrier to implement tiered data in an attempt to reduce the amount of data passing through their mobile network. They have said that this will only effect a small amount of their overall users and many of us may not even notice it. Those of you that love to watch streaming movies and music on the go will only notice the reduction in data near the end of your billing cycle. This throttling of data will then reset at the beginning of the next cycle.
AT&T tries to blame this action on the T-Mobile merger that seems will never take place. This being said Sprints CEO (who was formerly at AT&T) claims that AT&T has the resources but wants to fight it out by customer outcry. AT&T states that the T-Mobile merger would solve all of the issues that they are currently throttling for:
“But even as we pursue this additional measure, it will not solve our spectrum shortage and network capacity issues. Nothing short of completing the T-Mobile merger will provide additional spectrum capacity to address these near term challenges.”