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T-Mobile says it couldn't reach a 3G roaming deal with AT&T, AT&T says otherwise

Chris Ziegler

There's a pretty hilarious conversation going on between execs at AT&T and T-Mobile USA's lawyers right now in arguments being made with the FCC as the commission debates data roaming policies -- we don't think it means much in practical terms, but it's a good read nonetheless. In brief, T-Mobile casts the first stone by saying that it "has not been able to achieve a 3G roaming agreement with AT&T" despite the fact that AT&T has established agreements with a number of foreign carriers. AT&T wastes no time firing back a response, saying that it isn't aware of any request to establish such an agreement... and here's where it gets good: they politely remind T-Mobile that the two carriers operate on incompatible 3G spectrum, and therefore AT&T doesn't "have a current desire" to set anything up, but if T-Mobile really wants something, they'll be more than happy to amend their current agreement as such. We suspect this is probably all a misunderstanding on several levels -- T-Mobile's initial argument was filed not by a T-Mobile employee, but by one of its lawyers, and it's entirely reasonable to think that the lawyer didn't realize they had no agreement simply because of the incompatibility (AT&T uses 850 / 1900MHz, T-Mobile uses AWS). Drama!

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