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Today in Mobile

The FCC late yesterday approved AT&T’s $1.9 billion buy of spectrum from Qualcomm, as The Hill documents here. That’s far less than the carrier would have gained had its acquisition of T-Mobile USA been approved, of course, but Sascha Segan astutely points out a key difference between the deals: Qualcomm’s spectrum was currently unused and might not ever have been used, while T-Mobile was actively using its airwaves. The same applies to Verizon Wireless’s current effort to buy spectrum from three cable operators whose wireless effort was effectively stillborn. So those deals will make more spectrum available to consumers without consolidating it in the hands of a single carrier. And that’s a good thing.