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AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson
AT&T CEO says landingthe iPhone is one of the best moments of his career

Back in 2010, AT&T decided that it would try to purchase rival wireless carrier T-Mobile. AT&T offered Deutsche Telekom $39 billion for T-Mobile, and it was eager to sell. The problem for both of the wireless carriers was the regulators stepped in and killed the deal.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently talked a bit about the failed purchase, stating, "I wouldn't say it was a bad decision, but it was a decision that didn't go the way I wanted. We didn't execute well."

Stephenson made the comments during an interview with University of Colorado Law school dean Phil Weiser. Stephenson described the failed deal as one of the worst moments of his career as CEO of AT&T. However, he describes landing the iPhone exclusive in 2007 as one of his best.

Stephenson said of the iPhone deal, "We didn't have a great vision as to where this would go, we just knew that when you took data utilization and made it mobile, it would explode."

"We were betting on Steve Jobs," Stephenson continued. "And time has proven that to be a good bet. But it was not a partnership that came without pain."

Stevenson also noted that he expects Dish Network to join in with an existing wireless carrier to use its 40MHx of S-Band wireless spectrum rather than trying to roll out its own LTE network.

Source: Fierce Wireless

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What he really meant was...
By anactoraaron on 2/12/2013 10:58:02 AM , Rating: 5
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently talked a bit about the failed purchase, stating, "I wouldn't say it was a bad decision, but it was a decision that didn't go the way I wanted. We didn't throw enough money at politicians to make it happen ."

Which was indicated by politicians speaking out against the merger... that's their way of saying 'you need to pay us first to make this happen.'

But it's a good thing the merger didn't happen for customers. I like the way T-Mobile is running their company- especially with regards to the value plans. That's how all of the carriers should do it.

RE: What he really meant was...
By dgingerich on 2/12/2013 11:25:07 AM , Rating: 4
I agree. There are many reasons why I left AT&T, breaking my contract early, and went to T-mobile: the failed merger, the lack of respect the CEO has for his customers, and the better pricing on the contracts and phones. I like the idea of moving to a discounted, non-contract system and paying full price for my phone up front.

With the system in place now, we end up paying almost double for our phones. Sure, they're $400 off initially, but we pay an extra $30/month because of it, meaning we pay an extra $720 over the life of the contract.

RE: What he really meant was...
By menting on 2/12/2013 12:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
it's really too bad that a lot of people are too dense to do this math though, and the wireless companies are taking full advantage of that.

RE: What he really meant was...
By Dr of crap on 2/12/2013 12:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's more a matter of having the cash ready.
Just like car buying. It's the monthly payment and not the selling price that matters to a vast majority.

It way easier to look at what it might cost monthly, then to come up with the $400 right away.

RE: What he really meant was...
By Azethoth on 2/12/2013 2:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
Not a math problem, its a coverage problem. Who has LTE? Verizon and AT&T have and are spending massively and getting towards full coverage.

Sprint: "LTE service available in just 49 cities"
T-Mobile: "Las Vegas will be the company's first LTE market, which will launch later this month" (January)

Now T-Mobile is investing heavily and may have a realistic deployment 2 or 3 years from now. I love their pink and purple ads. The plans make sense.

So 2 or 3 years from now I could give T-Mobile a chance. I suspect that once they start to compete though the 2 leaders will adjust their plan offerings.

Finally there is the elephant in the room: spectrum is finite. We are facing some hard realities soon where most spectrum plain beats less spectrum. I think this aspect would make a great article. Small and scrappy is meaningless if you don't have spectrum.

RE: What he really meant was...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/12/2013 5:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
it's really too bad that a lot of people are too dense to do this math though, and the wireless companies are taking full advantage of that.

Yeah I did the math. Verizon has 12 cell towers in my area. I have 4G ALL the time. ALL.

T-Mobile is a little cheapass organization, and they have 2 towers here. TWO!

I recently switched carriers so I did all the research already. Believe me, at the prices T-Mobile offers I would have been thrilled to go to them. But the simple truth is, they have a horrible network. No way to get around it.

I was also shocked to find survey after survey rating T-Mobile at the bottom in customer satisfaction. Frankly I was hard pressed to find anyone who would actually recommend the service.

We're not "dense" thank you, we want good value for our money, and sometimes paying more gets you that.

RE: What he really meant was...
By Samus on 2/12/2013 2:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T is evil. Plain and simple. 86% U-Verse customer dissatisfaction rating, 3 years straight lowest wireless customer satisfaction, second highest wireless prices in the industry, and hands-down the worst support across all products compared to their competitors.

I got so tired of struggling with my piece of crap NVG510 modem because AT&T couldn't get the firmware to stop DNS-dropping that I went back to Comcast for twice the price. But they installed it in two days, let me use my own equipment, there is no contract, and most importantly, it works 24/7.

I'm glad AT&T didn't screw up T-mobile, because even though they said they didn't plan to make 'changed' to the company, they would have, and it would've destroyed them. But I'm not a huge T-mob fan, either. I had them for about 9 months in 2011 and I don't think I ever had a conversation exceed 5 minutes without dropping here in Chicago. God forbid you were in a mobile vehicle like a car or train. But the data was lightening fast.

Have Sprint now, am satisfied especially not that we have LTE.

RE: What he really meant was...
By JPForums on 2/13/2013 8:34:33 AM , Rating: 2
AT&T ...,3 years straight lowest wireless customer satisfaction
Funny, I seem to recall survey after survey giving T-Mobile that honor. Seems like Reclaimer has come across them too. Though, I think that says more about T-mobile than AT&T. Can't really dispute the rest of it though. DSL/U-Verse should be used for demotivational posters.

RE: What he really meant was...
By MadMan007 on 2/12/2013 4:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
I am not going to get into a love/hate T-Mo/AT&T discussion, but I would just like to point out that AT&T does offer prepaid or BYOD plans. The service is called 'GoPhone.'

I recently got a Nexus 4 (my first smartphone, although not my first Android device) and I had a rather large credit on my GoPhone account that had built up over years which I wanted to utilize. If I had gone postpaid it would have been credited toward that service, but I knew I didn't want a ~$90/mo plan. Instead I chose to stay as a GoPhone account, $25 base for 250 voice/unlimited text + $25 for 1GB of data = $50. This is the best AT&T deal for those who don't use a lot of voice minutes, I'd have to use an additional 150 minutes to equal the 'Smartphone' $65 GoPhone plan. 'Overage' voice minutes are 0.10/minute, data is available in different amounts, the best deal being $25/1GB. At $50/month I will get almost 6 months of service from my GoPhone credit. :) It's nice to be able to use that credit which I'd built up for having an 'emergency phone'.

I researched a lot in the fall but only went through with this recently because Nexus 4's were hard to get. Without taking sides though, I think people do need to look beyond price alone and understand the service they're getting. GoPhone has less coverage than AT&T post-paid because of partner networks - this doesn't affect me because of where I live. T-Mo has worse coverage in my general area, especially off major roadways, but a faster HSDPA data network where coverage is good. MVNOs have lesser coverage compared to the company they purchase from - and AT&T MVNOs have less coverage than even AT&T GoPhone. It's these details that are overlooked and broadly speaking what I found is 'you get what you pay for' holds true for wireless service - coverage matters to me because having at least a voice signal if I'm stuck out in the middle of nowhere is important to me.

Everyone's situation is different though and all options should be considered. When my GoPhone credit is gone I will defeintely try out T-Mo prepaid though just to see how it is, I've never had a problem with my AT&T service and the few times I had to contact c.s. they were helpful.

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