Sprint Bent on Halting AT&T- T-Mobile Merger; Print Ad Weapon Unleashed

May 9, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Sprint doesn’t seem to back out form its efforts to stop the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA. An advertisement published in some popular newspapers and journals indicates that Sprint is keen on derailing the merger at any cost. Let’s go through the most ‘poetic ad’ Sprint has ever released.

The 24-line ad must be appreciated as it serves the purpose without mentioning the names of AT&T or T-Mobile anywhere. Just look at the irony in this line:

“Competition keeps us all from returning to a Ma Bell-like, sorry-but-you-have-no-choice past.”

As you know, the Bell System was the American Bell Telephone Company, an AT&T led organization that provided telephone services in the United States from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly. In 1984, a Federal mandate broke the company up into separate companies.

The colloquial term Ma Bell was used by the general public to refer to any aspect of this conglomerate as it held a complete monopoly over all telephone service in most areas of the United States. Does it need extra sense to recognize that Ma Bell here refers to AT&T?

Amidst these controversies, one cannot ignore the possible benefits of the merger. The addition of T-Mobile’s spectrum resources and thousands of cell towers will undoubtedly enhance the service capability, call reliability and data speeds of both the companies.

On the other hand, AT&T’s network has grown 8000% over the last four years and is expected to augment to an additional 8-10 times by 2015.

Let’s wait till Wednesday, when the Congress will take up the issue for discussion. In the meanwhile let us know your take on the merger and Sprint’s efforts against it.

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