AT&T CEO Admits That T-Mobile Bid Wasn't Well Executed
February 12, 2013 9:40 AM
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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
, 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.
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RE: What he really meant was...
2/12/2013 4:35:04 PM
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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