AT&T spends $2.5b for 12 MHz across 200m people in the 700 MHz band: Let's talk two-steps-ahead. In the terms for the C Block licenses that Google wanted very open and Verizon and AT&T wanted to have cell-spectrum-like restrictions, AT&T did a volte-face and said it would agree to most of the openness that Google wanted. Huh, I said, I wonder what made them do that? Well, it's gamesmanship. AT&T was obviously already in a position to acquire Aloha Partners's licenses.
This means that AT&T is reverse-encumbering the other band. While the C Block involves more bandwidth and greater coverage, Verizon is now in a worse position because of the lack of device and application lock-in if they choose to bid in 700 MHz as AT&T will already have holdings. AT&T can have the flexibility to deploy different services in the different 700 MHz blocks. I think. Comments welcome.