Even though the AT&T/T-Mobile is fortunately long dead, the rejection of the deal has effects that are still being felt. One of the provisions of AT&T’s bid for T-Mobile was that if the deal fell through, AT&T would pay the smaller carrier $3 billion in cash, but more importantly they would also transfer about $1 billion in wireless spectrum.

AT&T today made good on their contract, and filed an FCC request for the spectrum transfer. Of course, the FCC still has to approve the transfer, but they shouldn’t find any problems with it. Unlike the original deal, this transfer has no potential for creating a monopoly. At the very least, T-Mobile executives say that it should “help meet growing demands for wireless service.”

As I have examined in the past, this compensation should certainly serve to make T-Mobile more competitive with the three larger US carriers. We will have to wait and see what effect it has on the much smaller budget carriers like US Cellular and MetroPCS, but overall this transfer should be in the best interest of consumers.

[Wall Street Journal]