AT&T gave some New Yorkers a boost recently, upgrading 2G bandwidth to 3G and 4G, in support of higher-speed users, which the spectrum wars are all about.
AT&T and New York City mobile subscribers haven't always
been on the best of termscrummy iPhone coverage can do thatbut on May 23
AT&T did New York a solid, reallocating some 2G bandwidth to far speedier
3G and 4G networks.
capacity to our advanced wireless networks will help more of our customers
in New York City have a better experience overall," Tom DeVito,
vice president and general manager for AT&T in New
York and New Jersey said in a statement. "By re-allocating
network resources from our 2G network to support our newer, advanced networks,
we're moving capacity to support the voice and mobile Internet services our
AT&T added that it needed the higher-speed bandwidth to
support the exploding growth of its smartphone- and tablet-toting subscriber
base. It's also reaching out to individuals with 2G devices, offering them
details about their options for an upgrade as well as how to keep their mobile
Which is nice. Though of course, the more subscribers it can
scoot along the road to 4G, the better.
The newer networks offer AT&T a more efficient use of
its bandwidth, and eventually it intends to, however slowly, get
everyone migrated over to data-share plans
the new style of data billing
that it plans to launch this summer.
The plans will usher the industry toward a
new way of measuring success
, Fran Shammo, CFO of Verizon Wireless,
explained at a JP Morgan conference this month. Rather than focusing on revenue
per user, the plans will focus on accounts. Or, put another way, the buckets of
data that will be shared by multiple users or the devices owned by a single
user. Verizon also plans to introduce shared data this summer.
AT&T expanded its 4G LTE coverage to New Orleans, Baton
Rouge and Naples, Fla., the carrier announced May 17. The Long-Term Evolution (LTE)
network now covers 38 markets, and more than 260 million people are covered by
Verizon Wireless, as if not to be outdone, on May 17
extended its LTE network to 28 new markets. Oxford, Miss.; Erie, New Castle,
Oil City and Franklin, Penn.; Toledo and Canton and Bucyrus, Ohio;
Fredericksburg, Va.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Eugene and Springfield, Oregon; Mitchell,
S.D.; several towns in West Virginia and a number of other places an
unpleasantly far drive from New York City.
Verizon's LTE coverage leads the industry, and to keep it
growing, it's in the process of trying to purchase wireless spectrum from four
cable companieswhich has proven controversial. Most recently, it prompted the
release of an official statement from the Alliance for Broadband Competition.
On May 23, the Alliance, in response to the FCC's request
for additional information on the Verizon's announcement of an open sale on a
different type of spectrum, complained:
Despite its effort to cast itself as a good steward of its spectrum, Verizon's math simply doesn't add up. In the
letter, Verizon fails to mention that the spectrum licenses it seeks to purchase
from the cable companies cover the entire nation, while the lower MHz holdings
provide only incomplete coverage. The spectrum Verizon is so willing to offload
requires costly upgrades by 2013. The spectrum from the cable companies does
not. The FCC must consider these transactions accordingly, which is to
comprehensively assess their impact on the entire mobile industry, and not
simply facilitate horse trading between the Twin Bells.