Tag Archives | AT&T

Catching Up With the Guy Who Invented the Cell Phone

My friend Lance Ulanoff of PCMag.com has a nice interview up with Marty Cooper, who invented the cell phone 38 years ago. Cooper may be living history, but he’s also very much up to date on where his creation is going. He carries a Verizon Thunderbolt 4G phone, and he doesn’t like the idea of the AT&T-T-Mobile merger one bit…

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Consumers Say Verizon iPhone Drops Fewer Calls

If the latest survey from ChangeWave Research is any indication, the theory that the Verizon iPhone would be more reliable than AT&T’s iPhone is more than just a theory. That said, consumers still seem to be as satisfied with the iPhone 4 on AT&T as they do on Verizon.

82 percent of iPhone 4 owners on Verizon are satisfied with the device versus 80 percent on AT&T. Conversely, 18 percent are dissatisfied with the iPhone 4 on AT&T, and 16 percent on Verizon. Not much of a difference, and within the margin of error.

There are definitely areas where the two carriers diverge, though, most notably in dropped calls.

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Sprint Doesn’t Like the Idea of AT&T-Mobile

At last week’s CTIA Wireless conference, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was somewhat subdued about the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile US–he said that his opinion didn’t matter. But now Sprint has formally come out in opposition to the deal, in a press release that uses the dreaded M-word: Ma Bell.

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Your Take on This AT&T-T-Mobile Thing

I spent the last few days at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, and the big news at the show wasn’t big news from the show. It was, of course, the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile US. Everyone at the conference seemed to still be processing it in their minds–and I decided to ask my friends over at Twitter (where I’m @harrymccracken) for their takes as of right now.

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Why Wireless Carriers Both Promote and Dread 4G

Here at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that with the planned summer launch of HTC’s 3D EVO and 4G EVO tablet, Sprint will have 22 4G devices, more than any of its rivals. Verizon says it will bring its 4G LTE network to 147 markets by year’s end, while AT&T is simultaneously building out its HSPA network while preparing to launch its LTE network later this year.

No question, 4G is the next mobile battleground for what shapes up to be a smaller field of national carriers. But at a day of sessions on the subject (sponsored by Fierce Wireless, which among other things publishes a first-rate daily newsletter on the wireless industry), the dominant theme seemed to be that the carriers may not be ready to deal with the enormous bandwidth demands their fast devices and networks will inevitably produce.

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Sprint Just Couldn’t Afford T-Mobile

Bloomberg’s Serena Saitto and Jeffrey McCracken give the lowdown on the AT&T and T-Mobile deal: Sprint was a player — along with 3 (!) other parties other than AT&T — but just couldn’t afford what Deutsche Telekom wanted. Apparently, the breakup fee is what sealed the deal.

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Google and Sprint Buddy Up on Nexus S, Google Voice

The Googlephone. It’s a concept that sometimes sounds an exciting taste of the future, and sometimes sounds like it’s already fizzled. And today, it’s back to being exciting: Google has announced that there will be a Sprint 4G version of its fine Nexus S phone–and that it will give consumers all the goodness of Google voice without making them switch their phone numbers. That’ll make it the first true native Google Voice phone.

The news would be noteworthy whenever it came down, but the timing is fascinating. It came down hours after AT&T agreed to acquire T-Mobile–there latter being the carrier that partnered with Google for the Nexus One and original Nexus S, and the only national carrier other than Sprint that counts as a scrappy underdog. Sprint needs good news; Google needs a wireless partner that isn’t T-Mobile and that doesn’t insist on acting like an 800-pound gorilla. Short of Google buying a phone carrier, there are all kinds of interesting things it could do with Sprint if the two companies agreed to let Google take the sort of dominant role that Apple took with the iPhone but which otherwise just doesn’t happen.

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An Ex-Regulator Dissects the AT&T-Mobile News

Bruce Gottlieb–until recently an advisor to the chairman of the FCC–has some smart analysis on the implications of AT&T’s plan to buy T-Mobile US over at The Atlantic.

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AT&T-Mobile Is a Win for T-Mobile’s Customers

It seems as if the popular take among tech pundits in light of Sunday’s announcement of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger is that it is a bad situation for everyone involved. Among the reasons I’ve seen so far are a further consolidation of an already top-heavy industry, the threat of rising prices as a result of less alternatives, and a loss of one of Android’s most stalwart partners.

But let’s step back a minute from the insta-reactions of most of the tech world and look at the bottom line: merger or not, T-Mobile’s customers stand to benefit the most by far. The deal is written in such a way that even if regulators scoff at it, T-Mobile will exit in a much stronger position than it is currently in.

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A Brief History of the Rise and Fall of Telephone Competition in the US, 1982-2011

So much for quiet Sundays. AT&T announced today that it’s agreed to acquire T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom, a merger which, if completed, will make it by far the country’s biggest wireless phone company. It’ll also leave us with three national carriers: AT&T, archrival Verizon Wireless, and the much smaller Sprint.

I’m not an expert on the dynamics of the telecommunications industry, but Om Malik’s thoughts–that this is bad news for everybody except AT&T and T-Mobile shareholders–do a good job of summarizing the pessimistic view I’m instinctively inclined to tak. In the US, T-Mobile was a scrappy underdog that did shocking things like reduce monthly bills once a customer had completed a contract for a subsidized phone. It’s tough to imagine that T-Mobile’s personality will rub off on AT&T rather than the other way around.

Of course, AT&T does its best to make the case that this is good news: If the merger goes through, it will have more wireless spectrum to work with, and says it will bring LTE to former T-Mobile customers. And the company argues both that (A) there’s still plenty of competition, between national and regional wireless companies, and (B) past mergers have been good for consumers. Which is, I guess, the argument you’d expect from a company named AT&T.

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