AT&T T-Mobile Deal: iPhone Service Improved?

CEO also says concerns about acquisition are unfounded

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AT&T looks to be on the defensive. Criticisms of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile have been getting stronger, as is evident by Sprint’s public protest released this week. Many are worried about that the deal could lead to a wireless “duopoly” of AT&T and Verizon, limiting market competition. People are also concerned about the way the deal will impact customers, as nobody wants their service to be altered in any way.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is attempting to but a polished spin on these concerns. Today, at an event for the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, Stephenson said that the acquisition would boost network capacity and thus make iPhone service (among others) much better.

According to Bloomberg, Stephenson claimed that large U.S. cities would see a large spike in capacity and overseas roaming charges could also see a reduction:

“This transaction is very instrumental” in improving network service, said Stephenson at the event. “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.”

Oh, really?

As Stefani Lain suggests, “T-Mobile and AT&T use incompatible frequencies in the U.S.: T-Mobile’s phones use the 1,700 and 2,100 MHz frequency bands, while AT&T’s phones use the 850 and 1,900 MHz bands. As a result, phones built for AT&T’s network usually offer poor performance when used on T-Mobile’s network, and vice versa, a problem experienced by most iPhone users who unlocked their device to use it on T-Mobile’s network.”

Maybe Stephenson was referring to the part of the deal that commits AT&T to expanding its LTE technology (4G) to an additional 46.5 million people.

Oh, and about those anti-competition concerns?

“This is an intensely competitive industry. It is intense before we do this transaction, it will be intense after we do this transaction,” Stephenson said at the event.

Pardon me Randy if I am a little skeptical of that claim. In what ways will the AT&T / T-Mobile deal harm or benefit the customer? Tell us what you think.

AT&T T-Mobile Deal: iPhone Service Improved?
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  • Wellingtons

    The easy answer is; in six months time my next upgrade Net10 option, will be with a CDMA smartish phone, that will have unlimited plan still. The GSM phones will be at a minimum, with no unlimited, and about as attractive as a thunderstorm when you’re fishing. But that’s being cynical. The tracfone brand has been great for keeping AT&T’s figures afloat, so there’s no reason for AT&T to become unreasonable with tracfone.
    The hopeful answer is; for AT&T to clinch the deal, they’d have to give massive concessions regarding their spectrum, allowing smaller brands like Sprint, Metro, and Leap to expand their coverage. This in turn will allow tracfone a better hand at the GSM / AT&T bargaining table.
    The probable truth; is that the government decided it’s best for the country’s growth, that the wireless network type, be unifomed to GSM – like the rest of the world. So we can all get along and develop, instead of getting stuck trivialating the virtues of one type against the other.
    With one less player in the lower-end market of mobile users, I don’t see myself paying less for my Net10 service.

    Come twelve months from now, I’ll probably want to upgrade my Net10 phone, and choose a CDMA phone

  • Marvin

    Sounds to me like your so blinded by your hate of the merger, you can’t be objective about the whole matter, like any good journalist should be!

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      I’m not a hater of the merger, but I also never claimed to be objective. To me, to call the wireless market as it stands “intensely competitive” is just funny.

      “Once AT&T adds T-Mobile’s customers, AT&T and Verizon Wireless will control more than 75 percent of the cell phone market”


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