AT&T pledge to expand cell phone service would cost $3.8 billion

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AT&T’s pledge to expand its LTE network to an additional 55 million Americans if the T-Mobile USA mega-merger goes through carries a $3.8 billion price tag, according to data accidentally leaked by the company today.

The operator’s promise to expand its LTE network to rural areas of the country has served as the proverbial carrot on a stick in its efforts to build support for the controversial acquisition.

Politicians, consumer groups and top corporations in the tech industry who support the deal have all cited the company’s plan for extra LTE coverage as one of the main reasons the FCC and Justice Department should allow the massive merger to go through.

AT&T’s first LTE plan covered just 80 percent of the U.S. population, but the company says it will expand the network to 97 percent of Americans if the T-Mobile deal is approved.

Full story: Unredacted AT&T Filing Shows $3.8B Price Tag