Confession first: This will be a mostly emotional blog post. After it’s up on the web opposing views in the comments are encouraged. I’ve just looked at the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile combo platter. I am not pleased!
T-Mobile is ‘small’ by cellular carrier standards. However, it plays a huge roll in the American cellular universe. T-Mobile is the low cost nationwide carrier and others respect its pricing in much the same way the legacy airlines respect Southwest and JetBlue.
Without T-Mobile in the mix I expect prices will rise and cellular contracts will become more restrictive. Great.
T-Mobile allows cellular customers to freely tether their computers to cellphones for data. AT&T does not. What incentive is there for AT&T to adopt this T-mobile policy? None!
AT&T is getting the best of all worlds. While reducing downward pricing pressure they’re also swallowing this country’s only other nationwide GSM carrier. Nearly everything they acquire will be compatible with what they already have. That allows them to expand their infrastructure very quickly and at a reasonable price.
What do you think? Will AT&T’s prices fall to what T-Mobile’s were or will T-Mobile customers see their bills rise? I’m betting on the latter!
This is a federally regulated business and the purchase will be subject to government approval on a number of levels, but I suspect nothing can/will stop it. Comcast/NBC went through, didn’t it?
And then there’s the question of what will happen to Carly Foulkes? I’ll miss her.