Following T-Mobile‘s move to re-purpose 2G GSM spectrum, it looks like rival carrier AT&T will be doing the same as bandwidth constraints will become an issue with 4G LTE deployment and consumers using more data than before thanks to more Internet-connected services, cloud storage solutions, and faster mobile broadband spurring increased content consumption on capable mobile handsets. AT&T has begun sending out letters to customers who use 2G EDGE devices on its network to begin switching to a 3G or 4G handset. The carrier warns its aging EDGE customers that voice quality will worsen and data transfer speeds will be slowed down as it converts some of its 2G spectrum for use on HSPA or LTE technologies, which delivers faster and more efficient data.
AT&T had most recently, and more controversially, attempted to purchase additional spectrum by acquiring rival carrier T-Mobile USA, a move that was unsuccessful and was met with strong opposition. AT&T had justified its attempts by saying that it would be able to deliver 4G LTE service to more Americans and it would help the carrier grow its network, coverage, and quality.
It’s unclear still how AT&T will handle the switchover to give it more spectrum for faster, more efficient technologies. In the past, AT&T’s Cingular had charged users on the aging TDMA network a $5 fee for utilizing the older network. Despite still offering service on TDMA, many users were in effect forced to switch to the dominant GSM technology that AT&T was offering to avoid the grandfathered service with its $5 fee.
Re-allocating spectrum seems to be a logical choice for AT&T–and rival T-Mobile–as both networks will be able to deliver faster 3G and 4G services to smartphone users.
Via: Phone Arena