AT&T and T-Mobile draw lines in the desert through the FCC. AT&T is currently waiting on approval from the FCC regarding its plans to acquire the assets and spectrum of Plateau Wireless. T-Mobile currently has roaming agreement with Plateau Wireless and has requested that the FCC ensure that agreement be honored by AT&T in the event of FCC approval of the sale.
T-Mobile’s case is that AT&T could revoke the agreement and harm competition by charging T-Mobile more to provide the same service to existing customers.
Carriers routinely pass off customer data traffic to other providers to prevent dropped calls or lost access when those customers travel. This passing off customers is sufficiently widespread to keep roaming costs down while encouraging the expansion of coverage.
T-Mobiles stance is to clarify the FCC’s ruling regarding what is commercially reasonable in regards to roaming agreements. The larger carriers believe the FCC should not be involved. T-Mobile seeks to reach a compromise in line with the FCC’s past practices.