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Comments on news posted 2011-03-21 13:46:32: After surprising everybody with their Sunday announcement that they'd be buying T-Mobile for $39 billion, AT&T today began the difficult process of trying to convince the public and regulators that eliminating one of the four major carriers -- while .. ..

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·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

next gen wireless?

...what, with a 2 GB cap?

Unless wireless can deliver more than some stupid low capped amount it's pretty much worthless. I know some have 'unlimited' plans somehow, and that's nice, but what about moving forward?

My parents, for example, could do with more than the 5GB Sprint cap. Now here comes AT&T, which probably wouldn't have more than EDGE coverage where they are anyway, promising the world...

There are all kinds of places that don't have DSL which would gladly pay for it, yet they still don't bother to expand service very often. Smaller, more rural telcos manage to trench fiber to more nodes and more obscure places than I EVER imagined, yet AT&T can't be bothered to do much.

This "promise" coming from the same company that's not motivated to provide even basic DSL outside of existing footprints for YEARS, if ever, and then having the nerve to cap it while citing questionable reasoning - is an affront.


Port Saint Lucie, FL

$39 Billion

AT&T posted $20 billion in net income (on revenues of $124 billion) for 2010.

So, they blew that income. None went as investment to current "wired" customer's products I'm sure.

Climax, MI

Re: $39 Billion

They have a lot of cash in hand. They can improve the infrastructure but why do that they can charge overage fees.
I found the key to success but somebody changed the lock.



Vote with your $

Sign all of the petitions you want, but the merger will go through because of the $ that at&t is pumping into the regulators. It's just reality.

T-Mobile customers: Don't like how things are heading? Vote with your wallet ($), just move your service/phone number to Sprint. They're offering $125 port-in credit right now (until 4/16/11). If you have plenty of $$$ and don't mind paying more, V might even be a option for you.

De gustibus non est disputandum
Phoenix, AZ

They All Lie, endlessly

All the telcos, regardless of flavor, modality or location lie and lie and lie. The their fanchilds pick it up and spread it endlessly to the far reaches of the universe.
My perception is REALITY

Canonsburg, PA

FCC's Last Chance

If the FCC ever wants to have any say about Net Neutrality this is absolutely their last chance. If the FCC approves this without any neutrality requirements the FCC is both powerless and irrelevant.

Lakewood, CA
·Verizon FiOS

Re: FCC's Last Chance

This is just a big middle finger to the FCC. Att knows it will win this. It pays a penalty to T Mobile if ATT cannot buy off regulators. Me thinks they will.


Show me a merger this big where consumers truly benefited

Madison, AL

Someone should point out...

What about those supposed "Lower Prices" in those municipal franchise reforms AT&T got states to pass for UVerse deployments a few years back.

History serves no point if it teaches us nothing.

Derry, NH


This just can't be good.


Trenton, NJ

Re: What?

They sucked when they were Cingular....
They sucked after the sale and they became AT&T.....
They willl suck that much more when this goes through. Instead of fixing things...Oh, I don't know, like customer service and service that actually keeps a phone call connected, they just buy stuff up to try and hide the fact that they suck!....How does anyone actually pay that company for anything?
It still baffles me that they are still in business.

New York, NY

Dave Burstein Important Clarification

Karl picked up my thoughts on AT&T spectrum slightly differently than I meant to imply. I wrote

"Does AT&T need the T-Mobile spectrum? (no - 70-90% of the AT&T
spectrum capacity is currently unused.)"

not 70-90% of the spectrum. I including in that figure a great deal of spectrum that is currently "used" with older technologies but carries far less than it would with current technologies already being deployed by AT&T, Verizon and everyone else.

I'm working from a comparison of what the spectrum could carry with current technology (LTE, HSUPA+) compared with the capacity in use. That's 1.5-2.5 megabits/megahertz, depending on whether you're measuring average versus edge of cellsite, fixed antennae, etc.

That's 120-300 megabits in most markets. Let's call it 200 megabits average.

Currently, the heavy majority of AT&T cellsites are still served by T-1's carrying a total of less than 12 megabits, often far less. It's typically used for "up to 7.2 megabit" data and lots of voice. Some percentage - surprising high, but not 70-90%, is currently unused.(?20-60% on average as a wild guess, but that's unprovable without internal AT&T data.)

Much of the spectrum is currently used for voice, using older technologies that are far less efficient than today's. Glen Campbell of Merrill Lynch estimates that by refarming that spectrum and using it efficiently (if only for voice) you double the carrying capacity. Similar is true for all the spectrum being used for 2G and even 3G data. They only use 10-?50% of the capacity of the spectrum using today's technologies.

Carriers around the world have begun this "re-farming" for more efficiency, including UK and Canada. Everyone has it in their plans because it's more efficient and hence cheaper. Sprint intends to do that with the Nextel spectrum and AT&T has discussed similar. It takes time, because you have to change out all the handsets, but using existing spectrum more efficiently saves so much money the carriers are doing it almost universally.

Much spectrum lies purely fallow, about enough to carry us without upping capex about 5 years (FCC figure, badly calculated) or 10+ years (Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon and most technical people as opposed to lobbyists.) Most of the rest is used by older 2G and 3G tech (both voice and data) and has 2-4x the capacity with today's technology.

Hence, T (and almost every one else) is using only 10-30% of the capacity of their spectrum. They know this and are rapidly upgrading backhaul (2010-2011 primary problem) and radios. They are discussing plans to switch users from 2G voice - still what's in 3G and 4G handsets - to 4G voice over IP/LTE over the next few years.

AT&T's announced 2011 backhaul upgrades - from 20% GigE fiber or 100 meg microwave to 70% - will yield 500% more capacity for data this year alone. »fastnetnews.com/a-wireless-cloud···-in-2011 They are using it to go from 7.2 meg to 20 and 40 meg HSUPA+ and LTE.

A 300% improvement in bandwidth implies 75% of capacity was unused.


Re: Dave Burstein Important Clarification

So it's not a bandwidth issue the reason AT&T is going to data caps? It's a money grab.

My avatar looks like me, if I was 2D.
Martinsburg, WV

Isn't this exactly why they broke up Ma Bell?

From 1 to 7 to 3 to 1 again?
Socialism is theft.

Broomall, PA

New commercial

I guess now that AT&T guy will be piggy backing the pretty girl in the dress when Verizon starts to make their commercials.

Lakewood, CA
·Verizon FiOS

Do something other than DSLR comment

FCC comment page

or email it ecfs@fcc.gov

"dept of Justice Antitrust Division"

dont forget to cc your senators (as long as they are Dems) Otherwise forget it

Port Orchard, WA


I am thrilled to see that T-Mobile customers. will finally receive the robust service offered by AT&T
flickr | Of faith, power and glory

Climax, MI

Re: Thrilled

You just made Gbcue See Profile shit his pants.


t-mobile usa is not a threat to anything

"the deal is largely about reducing competition and preventing T-Mobile from evolving into a serious threat.

T-mobile USA is never going to be a serious threat. They have way too many gaps in their coverage. There's not much sign they'll ever move to LTE at this rate while milking 3G. It's been a financial drag on it's owner DT who desperately wants to get rid of it. DT knows that T-mobile usa's value will continue to deteriorate in the coming years as they don't know how to manage the company.

I'm very mixed on the merger as a T-mobile customer. I'm not happy that it's going forward, but the better overall coverage with ATT will probably end up swaying me in its' direction. If they can retain inexpensive t-mobile plans, then i'll probably stay for the long haul. I just hope the government gets off their butt and puts enough conditions on the merger to keep t-mobile customers from getting totally screwed in the long run.

The most important thing here is that at least T-mobile customers didn't get screwed into merging with Sprint. After the Nextel merger, what sane person would want to join a company like this. It's all a matter of which devil that T-mobile customers want to join. I'd rather be with a company like ATT that has a chance at pulling off the merger.


Bothell, WA

Re: t-mobile usa is not a threat to anything

As a Sprint customer, formerly AT&T iPhone 3G, I am glad too that Sprint did not buy the weak T-Mobile predominately GSM/3G GSM network. Our network is fast and will migrate to LTE it looks like in the next 2.5 years.


Oklahoma City, OK

Goodbye video without WIFI

I guess AT&T didn't like the fact T-Mobile could do video conferencing without WIFI. Say so long to that unless you pay an extra fee just to use it and it will count toward your data cap.



It actually makes me sick to my stomach that this is happening. I wish it would get shot down but I have little faith in that.

Most likely they will give us lower prices. It will be in the form of low sized data plans with plenty of overage, charging for speeds or something shady.

I'm keeping Tmobile until it goes through then going to a different carrier the day the switch it made.

Gort, Klattu Birada Nikto


1 recommendation

Re: :(

Jay Leno said it best on last night's show:

"Now they're going to corner the market on dropped calls!"

Dallas, TX
·AT&T U-Verse

T-Mobile's exit strategy

Personally, I think that T-Mobile has been struggling internally for some time now to figure out if it was worth staying in the US market. They have not enjoyed high margin cash infusion that would allow them to pay for more rapid buildouts and platform upgrades. I think they were in a rock and a hard place financially and did not see a good forecast on the horizon given that situation. I think this whole deal was orchestrated for them to exit the market without looking like the bad guy to their customers and put a good chunk of cash in their pockets at the same time. Better to sell your assets while they are still worth something, rather than let the service implode on itself over the coming years.

So, we may all cry foul at at&t but I think that they are just taking advantage of a situation that was going to happen one way or another. I don't believe there was any hostile takeover going on here. T-Mobile offered them a gift, wrapped in a bright pink bow. (I do think it is quite ironic given the mud slinging ad campaigns of late) But, you can't blame at&t. They are only doing what they are supposed to do for their shareholders. Organic growth is not always enough to satisfy your investors.

Ultimately, the Federal Government could step in and decide that this deal is very bad for consumers and they could block it. This alternative outcome might actually be worse in the long run. T-Mobile may then be forced to attempt a spin-off or sell at a fire sale. Either way, the resulting entity would likely have nowhere near the financial leverage to sustain any real growth or competition against the incumbents. So, in the end, the net effect might be worse for the market than an at&t buyout. Having 2 mediocre competitors will do nothing to pull prices downward for the other 2.

Either way, I think that Verizon and Sprint stand to gain a large number of ex-T-Mobile subscribers. You can count me on that list.
Scott, CCIE #14618 Routing & Switching

Brooklyn, NY

lower prices?

you lie!