T-Mobile blasts allegations of coverage fraud - Mobile World Live

T-Mobile blasts allegations of coverage fraud

20 DEC 2018

T-Mobile US hit back against accusations by the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) that it exaggerated its coverage area in data submitted to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) as part of a major funding programme.

In a recent filing to the commission, T-Mobile said RWA’s claims were unfounded and “patently false”. The operator noted it had “not been contacted by the commission” regarding an investigation into alleged violation of LTE coverage statement requirements and had “no reason to believe” it is involved.

The operator went on to argue that it actually underrepresented its coverage reach in its reports: “Contrary to RWA’s claim that T-Mobile submitted future coverage, T-Mobile followed required procedures and submitted shapefiles reflecting 4G LTE coverage as of December 2017…Rather than overstating T-Mobile coverage, the submitted files more likely understate coverage as T-Mobile continued to expand its network throughout the challenge process.”

Earlier this month, the FCC suspended its Mobility Fund Phase II proceeding, a federal funding programme set to distribute $4.53 billion to expand LTE to underserved areas, after a review of coverage data submitted by operators suggested violations of its reporting rules.

While the FCC did not detail the nature of the violations or which operators were involved, the suspension came shortly after members of the RWA met with the commission to air concerns that Verizon and T-Mobile had overstated coverage.

The RWA asked the commission to investigate and bar operators which filed “overstated coverage, projected coverage, or false coverage” from receiving funds.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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