AT&T's 5G project is set to continue with more spectrum acquisitions, the telecom giant revealed in this week's filing with the Federal Communications Commission. The Dallas, Texas-based company will be pursuing new spectrum holdings both through "secondary market transactions and future auctions," the new comments read, reiterating the firm's need for a vaster portfolio meant to support a wide variety of use cases at once. AT&T also used the latest filing to formally oppose T-Mobile and Sprint's proposed merger, stating that the two have been making steady progress on the 5G front on their own and dismissing their claim about being incapable of competing in the field of next-generation communications unless they combine their operations.
AT&T's formal opposition to the proposed consolidation isn't in line with its public remarks made on the subject of T-Mobile and Sprint's attempted tie-up. In late May, Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson predicted a "tough" merger road ahead of its two rivals but declined expressing an opinion on whether the deal valued at approximately $26.5 billion should be approved.
AT&T's new communication addressed to the FCC also ignores an April study suggesting China is currently leading the 5G race and instead cites an IHS Markit survey from earlier this month which puts the United States at the forefront of the new wireless revolution, albeit using a different methodology. AT&T is set to participate in the FCC's first millimeter-wave auction scheduled to take place in November and some additional M&A activity aimed at acquiring new spectrum licenses may also be part of the company's plans in the coming months, as suggested by the new filing. The telecom giant will be launching a limited 5G service in select U.S. cities later this year but with no 5G-ready handsets on the market, its customers will have to resort to wireless hotspots in order to utilize the new technology.