Last week, a partly redacted document about the AT&T-Mobile merger was oh-so-briefly posted on the FCC's site by Arnold & Porter LLP, a law firm working on the deal for AT&T. Outlining some of AT&T's confidential LTE plans, it was quickly taken down. Well, here it is.
The document essentially lays out AT&T's plans for its 4G LTE rollout with a lot of very specific numbers squeezed in between the helpful bumpers [Begin Confidential Information] and [End Confidential Information].
The gist: Under AT&T's current one-year accelerated plan, it's going to cover 70 million Americans by the end of this year, 170 million by the end of next, 250 million by the end of 2013. And they're going to do that by upgrading 44,000 nodes to LTE: 8,000 this year, 16,000 next year, and 20,000 in 2013. The 97 percent of Americans they're promising to cover if the T-Mobile merger goes through? That'll be within six years of the merger closing—so if it closes in 2012, you're talking like 2018 as a deadline. (Oh and previously, AT&T didn't plan to hit 250 million people covered until 2014.)
Also, it lays out how AT&T claims T-Mobile transaction makes it more palatable for it to cover 97 percent of the country in LTE, given the new economies of scale at play with the merger—previously, senior management had thought it was untenable to cover more than 80 percent of the country with LTE, even though AT&T's marketing department thought otherwise. (AT&T marketing wants its network to be better perhaps more than any other segment in AT&T, I'd imagine. So they're on our side.) Oh, and as previously mentioned, the pricetag for expanding the coverage from 80 percent of Americans to 97 percent is in truth $3.8 billion.
AT&T was saying last week the document is no big deal and doesn't reveal anything new, so I'm sure they won't mind you taking a quick jaunt through the six-page document in its entirety. If you hate the gallery format, just click here, and click on the thumbnail to embiggen.