AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is whining about the “open access” rules the FCC put in place governing the coveted 700mhz spectrum that is to be auctioned off in the near future, hinting that AT&T might not take part because the rules make buying the spectrum unprofitable.
“Is there a business model there? I’m not sure if there is or not,” he said during a Q&A at the Web 2.0 Summit. “It’s a huge opportunity. It’s beachfront property. When it comes to buying spectrum, it’s the best you’re going to find for a long time,” Stephenson said.
AT&T just paid $2.5 billion for a company that owned a chunk of wireless spectrum. “It’s the first time, I think, that we’ve ever paid $2.5 billion for a company that had no revenue,” Stephenson said.
“It’ll be interesting to see if somebody can go in and pay $4.5 billion for the spectrum, then build a network, then build OSS [operations support systems] and all the other systems,” remarked Stephenson, “then turn that loose, can you make money at it? I don’t know.”
Web 2.0 Summit: AT&T’s Stephenson Doesn’t See Business Model For 700 MHz [InformationWeek]
AT&T undecided about bidding in 700-MHz auction [Computer World]