AT&T 'confident' government will approve T-Mobile deal

"We know regulators will focus on the facts in considering their review," he said. The "urgent, ongoing need for more spectrum" is persuasive to policymakers, according to Watts. 

"Spectrum is in short supply," Watts said. "AT&T and T-Mobile are facing impending shortages in key markets."

The scale and resources of the combined entity will bring mobile services to 46 million Americans who don't have them, the executives said.


They also fought the perception that the merger will reduce the four major wireless providers to three. 

"We think the government will look at this at a local market-by-market basis," one of the executives said. "If you're sitting in Tulsa, you don't pick up the Yellow Pages and see who provides service in San Francisco." 

From that perspective: "There's an enormous amount of competition."

They will have to defend the competitive aspects at the Justice Department, which could require the company to divest spectrum.