Technology

T-Mobile and AT&T don’t want to drive-test their coverage claims





AT&T and T-Cell say it will value tens of millions to drive check their cellular networks yearly.


Angela Lang/CNET

AT&T and T-Cell are preventing again towards a Federal Communications Commission program that could see America’s mobile providers drive test their own networks to double check coverage range. The carriers’ submissions, noticed earlier Thursday by Ars Technica, got here in response to the FCC’s request for touch upon its strategies in July of the right way to confirm carriers’ velocity and protection claims.

“We suggest requiring cellular service suppliers to submit on-the-ground check information,” the FCC’s July 2020 proposal says. “The Broadband DATA Act requires the Fee to confirm the accuracy and reliability of cellular broadband protection information that cellular suppliers undergo the Fee, and we imagine that on-the-ground check information from cellular suppliers may very well be a crucial part of our verification course of”

AT&T’s filing, submitted Tuesday this week, argues that it is inconceivable for “all carriers to make use of the identical parameters and produce maps that precisely predict their particular person community efficiency.” AT&T additionally argued towards the fee imposed on carriers by requiring them to conduct annual drive testing nationwide to confirm their cellular broadband protection maps.

“AT&T estimates that to drive check simply 25% of the sq. kilometers of its nationwide 4G LTE protection would value roughly $45 million every year and that drive testing solely 10% of its protection would nonetheless value as a lot as $18 million/yr,” the submitting mentioned. That is “just too pricey,” particularly whereas carriers are targeted on a 5G rollout, AT&T mentioned.

Equally, T-Mobile’s filing published Monday referred to as drive assessments “extraordinarily costly and burdensome.”

“A blanket requirement to carry out common on-the-ground testing will pressure suppliers to spend tens of millions of {dollars} every year on assessments, sources that might be higher spent investing in our community and deployment in rural America,” T-Cell mentioned.

The FCC earlier this yr mentioned 21 million Americans lack access to broadband — however that this quantity may very well be greater in rural areas the place protection maps aren’t as correct. The FCC’s maps are used to resolve who will get a slice of the $four billion in funding yearly for broadband protection to assist shut the digital divide.

Consequently, the US in March handed a brand new model of a bill designed to improve the accuracy of broadband coverage maps. The Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act requires the FCC to gather extra detailed info on the place protection is supplied, and to “set up a course of to confirm the accuracy of such information, and extra.”





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Author

Corinne Reichert