Print 18 comment(s) - last by shortylickens.. on Apr 3 at 10:30 AM

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson   (Source: ZDNET)
AT&T's CEO makes a case for iPhone customers in T-Mobile deal

AT&T raised more than a few eyebrows when it announced its plans to purchase Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile unit for a whopping $39B earlier this year. Verizon gave the announcement a hearty "meh", while Sprint's early grumblings about the deal turned into a full-blown battle cry

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is now making a case for the deal, and is specifically citing iPhone users as benefiting from the merger reports Business Week

Stephenson says that the bringing T-Mobile into the fold will boost network capacity (by as much as 30 percent) and improve service for the iPhone and other smartphones that hog data.

“This transaction is very instrumental," said Stephenson. “Virtually on the day you close the deal, getting a 30 percent lift in capacity in New York City: that’s a significant improvement in call quality and data throughput.”

As for Sprint's concerns about the deal going through, Stephenson says that there is nothing to worry about. “This is an intensely competitive industry. It is intense before we do this transaction, it will be intense after we do this transaction.”

Reviewers, customers, and independent agencies have repeatedly blasted AT&T’s 3G service. In December 2010, Consumer Reports proclaimed,  "AT&T is the worst carrier." AT&T ranked dead last in a survey of 58,000 Consumer Reports readers.

AT&T notoriously shoddy 3G voice/data service was seen as one of the motivators for customers to drop AT&T and head straight for Verizon's version of the iPhone 4.

Nearly two years ago, there were reports indicating that AT&T had a 30 percent dropped call rate in New York City. And we can't forget Verizon's Holiday 2009 commercials that took numerous jabs at AT&T's call quality and service coverage.

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Good for iPhoners my ass....
By Ristogod on 3/30/2011 6:28:36 PM , Rating: 1
Less competition is never a good thing for the consumer. iPhoner or not.

RE: Good for iPhoners my ass....
By Aikouka on 3/30/2011 7:01:57 PM , Rating: 3
Well, strictly speaking for iPhone users... unless you unlocked your phone, you could only use AT&T and now recently Verizon. After this merger, you will still have the same standard (i.e. non-unlocked) carrier options available to you.

For everyone else, this could be taken negatively... especially if you're a T-Mobile customer that does not like AT&T. But hey... Verizon or Sprint would welcome you with open arms ;).

RE: Good for iPhoners my ass....
By vol7ron on 3/30/2011 7:20:48 PM , Rating: 4
Most of the time (there's little competition in electricity, which is highly regulated and allows for cheap prices), but less options does not mean less competition.

This could financially benefit AT&T to fix it's problems, or at least make it capable of being more competitive.

Of course, AT&T could have just spent that $39B on actually improving its network to possibly achieve better than 30% capacity improvement.

RE: Good for iPhoners my ass....
By RufusM on 3/30/2011 8:34:53 PM , Rating: 3
To compare cell service to electricity utilities the government would need to make cell service providers a quasi-government monopoly.

I further argue that electric utilities aren't exactly providing cheap electricity compared to what they should be charging since they are subject to the whims of government: expensive renewable fuel regulations, more emissions regulations, carbon taxes (if that gets going), labor unions with high fringe benefit costs, etc. Don't get me wrong, they need to be regulated since we don't want a bunch of Enrons out there, but there's a balance needed.)

T-Mobile is increasing their market share and AT&T is simply buying up their closest GSM technology competitor to increase their market share, end of story. After the purchase is completed, there will be less competition, less choice and will setup a cell phone oligopoly. We end up with another company the government thinks is too big to fail when economic pressures come home.

RE: Good for iPhoners my ass....
By Nutzo on 3/31/2011 10:49:24 AM , Rating: 2
electric utilities aren't exactly providing cheap electricity compared to what they should be charging since they are subject to the whims of government

Electirical rates are charge on a slidding scale out here in Southern California. The more you use, the higher the rate, as high as $.38/KW.
The scale is base on usage numbers from back in the 60's before most people had air conditioners, computers, etc. Also, the scale is the same each household, weither it's a single person living in a 500sq condo, or a family of 6 living in a large home. So, if you have a family, you are going to be pushed up into the higher rates.

As for the merger, AT&T will end up with alot more bandwidth due to all the T-mobile people who will leave once they have to renew at the new AT&T rates.

By shortylickens on 4/3/2011 10:30:06 AM , Rating: 2
Thats exactly what I was thinking. If they had put that 39 billion into the company itself in the form of more/better cell towers, more technicians, more customer service, etc, then they could have pwnd the other 3 carriers. As such a 30 percent increase in capacity is not really impressive.

And I've been looking over the tmobile & ATT coverage maps. I seriously doubt they will expand coverage across America by a a whopping 1/3. They mostly cover each other right now and tmobile is smaller than AT&T. There arent too many places where tmobile has full coverage and AT&T has none.

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