T-Mobile's merger with MetroPCS, approved March 11th by the FCC and the Department of Justice, will add more spectrum for 22 of the biggest U.S. markets. It won support from the Rural Telecommunications Group (comprised mainly of smaller carriers), which argued that the combined entity will be a "thriving, LTE-based national competitor to AT&T Inc. And Verizon Wireless." The group also supports Softbank's takeover of Sprint, for similar reasons.
Recently, T-Mobile also proposed that the FCC require interoperability in the 600MHz band now used by broadcasters once it goes up for auction (no sooner than 2014) for use by mobile broadband providers. There's a possibility that this could bring more spectrum into use in underserved areas.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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