Microsoft has made a statement saying that they will be backing the AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile USA, on the grounds that the combined entity will be much better at rolling out a stronger nationwide broadband plan.
Competitors Cry Foul
Competitors like Sprint and non-major wireless carriers have raised questions against such a merger, citing that the nation’s 2nd largest carrier coming together with the 4th largest will be bad for competition and will result in a price hike for consumers.
Microsoft’s spokesperson touched on this issue and said that the even though the number of major carriers in the US will be reduced from four to three, the market will still be multiplatform and there will be room for fair competition. According to him, Microsoft supports this because it believes that the new entity forming out of this merger will have a faster growth curve when it comes to next-generation mobile services. Of course, Microsoft itself is a fairly new entrant in that playing field.
Spectrum Speculations Follow
Microsoft also supports giving FCC the legislative power to conduct incentive auctions in order to free up more spectrum space for emerging mobile technologies. These auctions will be profitable for current spectrum holders like broadcasters, who would voluntarily give up their hold in exchange for a share of the proceeds from the auction.
At the same time, the legislations should not also come in the way of the emerging technologies that are aiming to take advantage of the white space spectrum, which exists between television channels and is unlicensed spectrum.
The spokesperson, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith, also mentioned that his company also urges to make space enough for both licensed and unlicensed spectrum to co-exist without a problem.
Over all, it looks as though Microsoft has its heart in the right place and it will serve all parties quite well if this deal goes through. However, the pricing mechanism might still be concern.