The $2.5 billion sale of wireless licenses held by Aloha Partners to AT&T has been approved by the FCC over the objections of FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. Aloha’s licenses encompass 12 MHz of prime nationwide spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which is considered especially suitable for mobile broadband and other advanced wireless applications. (Aloha’s spectrum is adjacent to, but not part of, the swath of 700 MHz spectrum that is now being auctioned by the FCC.) Last October, AT&T announced its plan to acquire the Aloha licenses, which span 281 cellular market areas (CMAs) that include the top 10 U.S. markets and 72 of the top 100 markets. AT&T, which is also participating in the ongoing 700 MHz auction, said at the time that it would use Aloha’s spectrum in support of mobile video services as well as for two-way voice and data communications. In an order released on Monday, the FCC’s majority concluded that the proposed transaction “would not have an adverse effect on competition in the mobile telephony market.” Commissioner Copps, in a dissenting statement, complained that the order constitutes a “rush to judgment” that is based on “sloppy math and inaccurate assumptions.”
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FCC approves sale of Aloha wireless spectrum to AT&T
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