AT&T’s T-Mobile Buy: What Does it Mean to You?

March 22, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The AT&T deal to buy out T-Mobile USA is being discussed threadbare across the industry sector as well as the customers of both the carriers. More than just the money part, what customers and rival players would like to know relates to how the agreement will translate into when it comes to mobile services. DeviceMag tries to read between the lines of the deal.

The Concerns:

Though it could take close to a year for the agreement to take effect, customers, particularly those who are currently on T-Mobile, are a concerned lot as they are clueless as to what results it would bring to them. A sizable chunk of T-Mobile customers believe the deal would bring to the field of play a monopoly.

With only three players to be present post-completion of the deal, customers are wary that the possibilities of occasional price wars may come to an end. It is going to be just AT&T, Verizon and Sprint after the completion of the buy, and that could lead to less competition when it comes to pricing of data plans.

T-Mobile, as everyone knows, rides high on popularity thanks to the low-cost plans they offer. The completion of the merger will mean that such low cost plans will also disappear.

Though AT&T has a broader network coverage, T-Mobile has been known to be a good service provider in urban locations. It remains to be seen how the acquisition will change their fortunes.


The Advantages:

One big advantage of the merger would be that it would bring about a potentially better service. We believe that the $39-billion deal might help improve T-Mobile’s cell service.

Listen to what Dominic Sunnebo, Consumer Insight Director – Global, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has told us. “Whilst T-Mobile’s infrastructure will undoubtedly help relieve the Apple induced strain on AT&T’s network, it also opens doors to a market the telecoms giant has previously found tricky to attract a young, technology savvy, but currently cost conscious, group of consumers who have traditionally turned to T-Mobile for the cheaper mobile contracts and a strong prepaid offer. This is particularly poignant given the loss of Apple iPhone exclusivity, as it is released on Verizon, and AT&T will undoubtedly shift more focus to Android handsets and their users.”

T-Mobile customers will also be able to continue using their existing handsets if the merger is approved.

The new merged entity will also make the next-generation communication standard (LTE) available to 95 percent of Americans. That could mean that a 46.5 million more would get to use the service.

We will now wait for the merger to get regulatory stamp on it. Tell us your views.


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