NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — AT&T on Wednesday announced a plan to cover 96% of the U.S. population with 4G-LTE service by the end of 2014. That’s great news for customers — but it reveals that AT&T told regulators a pretty big whopper last year while fighting for its doomed T-Mobile merger.
One of the deal’s fiercest battle points was 4G access outside major cities. Without T-Mobile, AT&T (T, Fortune 500) said it was “very unlikely” that it would expand 4G-LTE service beyond the 80% coverage threshold it already planned to reach by 2013.
“In some of these [less-populous] areas, AT&T simply lacks the spectrum necessary to deploy LTE,” the company told the Federal Communications Commission in a written defense of its proposal.
The FCC called AT&T’s bluff. It released a damning report on the scuttled merger saying it believed AT&T would expand its 4G deployment with or without T-Mobile.