Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Last Days of T-Mobile

By now you know AT&T has agreed to buy T-Mobile. It's actually a good fit for more reasons than just the fact that they're both GSM. Last week's news about a T-Mobile/Sprint combination may have been nothing more than a negotiating ploy. I'm sure you have formed an opinion of the demise of T-Mobile, but it is indeed that next step toward too much wireless power in too few hands. Have we become too much of an advocate of small carriers to be impartial? Instead of being a Debbie-downer, let me throw out some of the good things that may happen in this transition.

Let's hope that the FCC slices off a few pieces of the T-Mobile network and divest it to one or more other carriers to beef up their own network. Unfortunately, all of the rest of the Top 10 carriers are CDMA-based, let alone have enough cash to pick up any pieces. US Cellular or the new Alltel might be the only ones who can take advantage of those pieces of T-Mobile that would need to be split off by over concentration in urban areas due to their lack of presence in major markets. But, oh, that CDMA thing. AT&T would say the advantages are the great amount of new bandwidth, and they get it new towers needed. Instead of picking up any pieces, see if Cricket and MetroPCS seize the day and do what it takes to grab those T-Mobile customers who just can't fathom the idea of being absorbed into AT&T. Also, Sprint and their broadband partner, ClearWire, just may get healthy enough to survive by themselves.

Coincidentally, we had scheduled an article for Monday of the advantages we all share from the powerful Top 4 networks, not the least of which are the great deals offered by re-sellers like Page Plus, TracFone, Consumer Cellular and the like. We'll need to revise a few sentences before we post that. Hey, without T-Mobile, who's gonna make fun of AT&T now?

1 comment:

CookieMonster said...

Come on, Bill you know as well as I do that this represents a paradigm shift in the wireless industry of the USA. This is just the first in a line of dominoes to fall. If a large nationwide carrier like t-mobile USA can just get gobbled up like that, it's a just a matter of when not if for smaller players like US Cellular, Cellular South, the "new" Alltel and others. Maybe some consortium can be formed between Metro, Leap, Revol/MobiPCS. Outside of that, these regionals and so-called "super regionals" are toast.