The statement below may be attributed to Carri Bennet, RTG’s General Counsel.
The Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) supports the decision of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to approve the merger between T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile) and MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (MetroPCS). By combining forces, T-Mobile and MetroPCS will have the capital and spectrum resources to create a thriving, LTE-based nationwide competitor to AT&T, Inc. and Verizon Wireless. While the combined subscriber count and spectrum assets of the new T-Mobile will still be dwarfed by the “Twin Bells,” RTG remains optimistic that this urban and suburban-centric “market disrupter” will not just fill a retail niche for consumers in urban areas but also simultaneously offer a supportive and compelling EVDO, HSPA and LTE roaming option for rural mobile carriers and their rural consumers. While industry consolidation is generally considered a threat to consumer choice, this union between two maverick mobile carriers gives consumers a glimmer of hope that the new T-Mobile will carry forward the banners of consumer choice, common sense spectrum utilization and commercially reasonable roaming relationships. By approving this merger, the FCC and DOJ have slowed the devolution of the industry to just two remaining large market players, each with highly disproportionate spectrum assets, which would result in fewer options for all Americans, especially those who reside, work or travel in rural markets.
About RTG – Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) is a trade association representing rural wireless carriers who each serve less than 100,000 subscribers. RTG’s members have joined together to speed delivery of new, efficient and innovative telecommunications technologies to remote and underserved communities. ruraltelecomgroup.org @RTGwireless
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