AT&T: T-Mobile’s Spectrum Needed to Future-Proof 4G Networks

March 22, 2011



ORLANDO, Fla. — In his numerous panel appearances Tuesday here at the CTIA Wireless show, AT&T Chief Technology Officer John Donovan had a simple, one-word answer for the reason behind the proposed purchase of wireless competitor T-Mobile: “Spectrum.”

Specifically, Donovan said in a brief interview with Sidecut Reports following one of his panel appearances, T-Mobile’s big swath of AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum and the role it might play in AT&T’s 4G network of the future is a big reason why it makes sense for AT&T to offer the big bucks — $39 billion of them — to buy T-Mobile outright.

“It’s all about the future,” said Donovan in the interview, explaining both his and AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega’s insistence that Ma Bell is facing a potential “exhaustion” of its existing licensed spectrum assets. While some industry observers have accused AT&T of hoarding a big patch of unused spectrum while crying wolf, Donovan said AT&T already has plans for all the spectrum under its current ownership, including plans to use both its own AWS spectrum and its 700 MHz spectrum for its forthcoming LTE network rollout.

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Donovan: AT&T has ‘Hundreds’ Working on DAS

March 22, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. — Remember that outdoor distributed antenna system (DAS) AT&T wants to deploy in Palo Alto that we told you about earlier this month? At the CTIA Wireless show here Tuesday AT&T chief technology officer John Donovan confirmed that Ma Bell has a new team focused solely on DAS deployments, with a headcount in the hundreds.

“I won’t tell you exactly how many, but we do have hundreds of people working on DAS [deployments],” said Donovan in a brief interview following one of his many panel appearances Tuesday. According to Donovan AT&T already has several DAS deployments operational, including another outdoor one in Chicago where the small DAS antennas are attached to light poles.

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AT&T’s Donovan: Verizon’s Early LTE Device a ‘Fat Brick’

March 22, 2010

Just in time for CTIA, we have a money quote to kick off the you’re-too-early-with-LTE war we had foreseen between AT&T and Verizon. This time, Ma Bell delivers the first kick in the shins, courtesy of an interview with AT&T chief technical officer John Donovan, who told the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that Verizon’s implemenatation of Long Term Evolution services was outpacing the production of decent devices, and would result in Verizon having to go to market with combo 3G/4G handsets that might be better suited to grout. From the WSJ story:

“Right out of the chute, it’s going to be difficult to engineer,” Mr. Donovan said of the first LTE handsets. “It’s going to drain the battery like crazy, and it’s going to be a fat brick.”

So much for the LTE kumbaya! This is more like it, and certainly more fun.