Archive for: AT&T

T-Mobile Gets A Pretty Sweet Break-up Fee After Failed AT&T Takeover.

  • December 20, 2011 10:55 am

While AT&T begrudgingly heads back home wit a massive loss hanging over their heads, T-Mobile and parent company Deutsch Telekom are no doubt whipping out the bubbly. For starters, there’s the $3 billion immediate payout from AT&T. Though, it’s worth noting that Deutsch Telekom gets all this money to pay of debts. T-Mobile won’t receive even a single penny.

But there’s plenty for T-Mobile to be happy about too. First off, T-Mobile has acquired licenses for 128 new markets to use with their 1700 MHz AWS band. That translates into more coverage for their super speedy HSPA+ network and rollout. On top of that, T-Mobile has scored a 7-year UMTS roaming deal with AT&T, specifically for 850 MHz and 1900 MHz frequencies. (Perhaps that’s part of the reason for the recent unlocked T-Mobile iPhone’s hooking up to AT&T-flavored 3G bands, no?)

According to Deutsche Telekom, all the spectrum deals above will account for a nearly 20% rise in population coverage — from 230 million to 280 million U.S. residents.

So DK gets some money and T-Mobile walks away with more coverage and support for unlocked UMTS phones running on their network. Sounds like a sweet deal to us. Now if only they can turn the ship around and get people to sign up, maybe AT&T would be forced to play ball a bit more fairly.

The World Is A Better Place Now That AT&T’s T-Mobile Takeover Failed. (Really.)

  • December 19, 2011 10:11 pm

Earlier tonight some of the best news we’ve heard in a long time popped up in our mailbox: AT&T’s bid to scoop up T-Mobile U.S.A had officially ended with the nation’s #1 GSM carrier formally withdrawing their takeover request.

The move comes after months of harsh courtroom and PR fighting by AT&T that, as we look back over the last half a year, didn’t really do anything to advance their position. From the get go consumer criticisms were high, though it took government bodies a few weeks to fall into line and condemn the merger themselves.

Now that AT&T and T-Mobile’s unholy union is officially dead, T-Mobile can walk home $4 billion richer while AT&T walks away empty handed and with a seemingly bruised ego. But it’s not exactly the end of AT&T + T-Mobile partnerships. While AT&T is no longer pursuing an actual T-Mobile purchase and takeover, it is believed the two will now form some sort of agreement that will see both parties sharing spectrum and resources more readily in the future. For now, however, we celebrate.

AT&T is unsurprisingly not too happy with the outcome as is evident by their official statement regarding the failed merger deal:

“The actions by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to block this transaction do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry. It is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world, with a mounting need for more spectrum that has not diminished and must be addressed immediately. The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.”

As touched on above, future “partnerships” between AT&T and T-Mobile are likely, though what’s already towards the forefront of peoples’ minds is what exactly T-Mobile will do. Sure, they’ve now got $4 billion more in the bank, but such change is a mere pittance in the modern world of data gobbling smartphones sucking down profits left and right. T-Mobile hasn’t had much luck fending off the likes of AT&T, Verizon, and even Sprint over the last couple of years. Can they continue to go it alone?

Department Of Justice Prepared To Fight AT&T Merger Over The Long Haul.

  • November 8, 2011 2:18 pm

It looks like no amount of AT&T/T-Mobile lobbying will net them an easy victory in Washington this time around. Reuters is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder has told lawmakers the “people in the antitrust division are committed to seeing this through” — “this” of course being the ongoing AT&T/T-Mobile merger in the U.S. That’s a big win for U.S. cellular customers and not so much for T-Mobile/AT&T shareholders looking for a quick buck at consumers’ expense.

AT&T has already vocally stated they’re in this for the long haul. And now that the DoJ is showing they’re equally as steadfast in their position, it’s certain to be a long, courtroom filled journey for everyone involved.

Stay tuned…

Facing Unanimous Criticisms, AT&T Pushes Timeframe For T-Mo Merger Close To Mid-2012.

  • November 4, 2011 2:45 pm

AT&T was might confident that the various government bodies needed to pass their acquisition of T-Mobile USA was an easy shot. To more technically inclined people such as your and I, it was easy to see AT&T was facing a mountain of a challenge. And yet they continually said things were going relatively according to plan.

Today, however, it’s been (shockingly) revealed that AT&T’s courtroom battles aren’t going as easy as they thought — they are extending the timeframe in which they expected to close the T-Mobile merger by three extra months, putting any closing square in the middle of 2012.

Back in March of this year AT&T originally stated that they planned on closing the merger within one years time. Now they’ll be lucky if they squeak into the first half of 2012. But even then there’s still plenty of time for both supporters and opponents to gather their cases as the official trial doesn’t begin until February 13th of next year.

AT&T PR has been working in overdrive trying to convince people (and government) that the merger will actually benefit things other than their (AT&T’s) bank account. Have they made a believer out of you yet?

AT&T Announces Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket And HTC Vivid.

  • October 31, 2011 10:13 am

Oh hai, new phones!

Today AT&T took the wraps off their first two official LTE phones: The Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket — Seriously, Samsung?! — and the HTC Vivid. The Skyrocket packs a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 4.5″ Super AMOLED display rocking 480 x 800 resolution, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash + 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 16 GB of on-board storage and Android 2.3.5 while the latter features a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 4.5″ qHD (540 x 960) display, 8-megapixel camera with f2.2 28mm wide angle lens w/ 1080p video recording, and 16 GB of on-board storage. Both phones feature LTE.

The Samsung Skyrocket and HTC Vivid will be available November 6th for $249 and $299 respectively (2-year contract pricing). Data plans for LTE phones appears to be unchanged from the current 3G offerings — $15/month for 200 MB of data or $25/month for 2 GB of data + $10 for each additional 1 GB.

For now, AT&T currently provides LTE in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. On November 6th AT&T will launch LTE in several more cities including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Athens and Boston.

Any takers, or are you making plans to jump ship for the Galaxy Nexus early next month?

Note to Samsung: Please. Pick a simple name and go with that. None of this 50-syllable, Twitter defeating BS. Thank you.

Ralph de la Vega: “More Data Tiers In The Future”

  • October 20, 2011 3:01 pm

We’ll be frank. Tiered/capped data plans are not customer friendly. Every carrier (in the U.S. at least) features data caps that are too low and priced far too high for what they give you. AT&T’s data tier options are abysmal — 200 MB or 2 GB. That’s it. Despite claims to the contrary, a fair amount of people could and would use more than 2 GB of data per month (because 2 GB isn’t that much data at all). But there is hope.

During a recent conference call in which AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega commented on the unprecedented demand for the now 2+ year old iPhone 3GS, he let slip something much more interesting — more tiered data options. While de la Vega didn’t elaborate further as to when we would see additional data plan tiers, how much they’d cost or how much extra data they’d allow, the fact that it’s at least in the pipeline is reassuring. We don’t know about you but we’re damn tired of restricting our usage on our phone to stay within 2 GB/month.

Brief: AT&T Activated Over 1,000,000 iPhone 4S’ Through Tuesday

  • October 20, 2011 9:22 am

Title says it all.

Source: AT&T