AT&T recently filed a public interest statement with the FCC on its proposed T-Mobile acquisition, and in the process of doing so, comes out and says (in not so many words) that its network is ill equipped to handle Apple's iPhone, let alone the barrage of new smartphones and tablets on the horizon. Why would AT&T admit something like this? Let's have a look at the filing.
"A smartphone generates 24 times the mobile data traffic of a conventional wireless phone, and the explosively popular iPad and similar tablet devices can generate traffic comparable to or even greater than a smartphone," AT&T wrote in the filing (PDF)
. "AT&T's mobile data volumes surged by a staggering 8,000 percent from 2007 to 2010, and as a result, AT&T faces network capacity constraints more severe than those of any other wireless provider."
AT&T, you might recall, secured exclusive rights to Apple's iPhone back in 2007, the year that AT&T says kicked off its 8,000 percent mobile data growth. AT&T's angle to the FCC is that the problem will only worsen with time, so it should be allowed to purchase T-Mobile as planned, as it would be the in the best interest of everyone.
"[The T-Mobile] transaction will thus benefit consumers by reducing the number of dropped and blocked calls, increasing data speeds, improving in-building coverage, and dramatically expanding deployment of next-generation mobile technology," AT&T says.
These benefits will come within nine months upon network integration, AT&T claims, and will double the amount of network traffic that can be carried.
If you were playing the part of FCC, what would you do? Does AT&T present a compelling argument, or should the deal be blocked?