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Carrier Group Pushes Sen. Rockefeller on Data Roaming

06 декабря 2010

Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA and a bevy of regional carriers representing more than 100 million wireless subscribers are pushing Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) to support mandated data roaming agreements.

The operators want the senator, who chairs the influential Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, to back regulations that would make the automatic roaming agreements currently in place for voice traffic apply to data traffic as well. AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the country’s two largest operators, are opposed to the deals.

“If the FCC does not act promptly to implement a data roaming requirement, consumers will suffer, investment will wane and jobs will be lost, slowing down economic recovery,” the companies wrote in a letter to Rockefeller dated today.

The group is calling itself the “Wireless Industry Representatives” in a show of unity on the issue. Its members include Cellular South, Clearwire, Cricket, Sprint, T-Mobile, the Rural Cellular Association and several other regional carriers and trade groups. In addition to the letter sent specifically to Sen. Rockefeller, the group also sent a general letter on the same issue to members of the House and Senate.

Data roaming agreements have become an increasingly tense subject between the country’s top two operators and their smaller competitors as next-generation mobile broadband networks begin to deploy.

Many operators, including T-Mobile and Cellular South, have criticized AT&T for allegedly blocking  its smaller competitors from reasonable data roaming agreements. AT&T has denied T-Mobile’s claim.

The FCC has made little progress on data roaming agreements since an April 21 notice that sought further comment on the subject. The agency has yet to issue an order on data roaming.  

AT&T and Verizon claim that the FCC can’t impose automatic data roaming agreements because it lacks authority to regulate mobile broadband Internet services.

Источник: Wireless Week

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