T-Mobile, AT&T say it's "too expensive" to prove 5G coverage claims2020-08-21 17:19 by Daniela
Tags: T-Mobile, AT&T, 5G, FCC
AT&T and T-Mobile are fighting a Federal Communications Commission plan to require drive tests that would verify whether the mobile carriers' coverage claims are accurate.
With carrier claims about both LTE and 5G coverage not always reflecting reality, the FCC has said that carriers should have to prove coverage claims. However, both T-Mobile and AT&T are objecting to this, claiming to it would be too expensive for them to do so.
"In order to help verify the accuracy of mobile providers' submitted coverage maps, we propose that carriers submit evidence of network performance based on a sample of on-the-ground tests that is statistically appropriate for the area tested," the FCC proposal issued in July 2020 said.
"AT&T estimates that to drive test just 25% of the square kilometers of its nationwide 4G LTE coverage would cost approximately $45 million each year and that drive testing only 10% of its coverage would still cost as much as $18 million/year," the filing said. This is "simply too costly," especially while carriers are focused on a 5G rollout, AT&T said.
"A blanket requirement to perform regular on-the-ground testing will force providers to spend millions of dollars each year on tests, resources that would be better spent investing in our network and deployment in rural America," T-Mobile explained.
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