The world rejoiced on January 11th of this year as Verizon Wireless announced it would become the 2nd U.S. carrier to sell Apple’s popular iPhone. People weren’t excited because it would bring new features to the iPhone, they were excited because a different carrier was finally offering the device.

Since its introduction in 2007, the iPhone has been exclusive to AT&T. Because of that, they have taken a lot of heat over their network’s ability to withstand the heavy data usage. They’ve even recently lost coverage battles with Verizon, as they just haven’t had the network capacity to support all of the extra traffic…

That is, until now. On March 20th of this year, we told you that AT&T had entered an agreement with Deutsche Telekom to acquire T-Mobile and all of its assets. In the wireless industry, assets generally consist of customer base, real estate, and towers. Businessweek is reporting that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made some bold comments at the Council on Foreign Relations Event in New York yesterday morning.

Defending the merger, Stephenson claimed the deal would instantly improve network capacity for AT&T by about 30 percent. He states that New York would see a 30 percent lift in capacity on “Virtually the day the deal is closed,” and would see a significant improvement in call quality and data throughput.

This would improve services for such devices as Apple Inc.’s iPhone.”  Would it really be as easy as flipping a switch? I would figure they’d have to give out hybrid SIM cards to everyone at the minimum.

When questioned about the merger potentially creating a duopoly with Verizon, Stephenson was quick to mention cities like New York and San Francisco where there were five or more carriers available. This would be carriers such as U.S. Cellular and Cricket, which don’t have as much nationwide coverage as the larger company.

The bottom line of his comments today seemed to be that the merger would be good for all customers involved. Someone should tell that to the 2,000+ T-Mobile customers who have started a petition to try and block the AT&T takeover. I still don’t see how the FCC could approve this without hundreds of amendments.

What do you think? Will the service instantly get better?

  • Kylerayk

    Maybe someone could explain to me how the merger would be able to split the data load. AT&T uses a different bandwidth for their 3G than tmobile. Edge data would be easily shared, but that is not what AT&T customers want. Us tmobile iPhone users, are used to that data speed. AT&T customers will now be able to enjoy the same data speed as tmo users. Rejoice!

  • johnny appleseed

    Both use CDMA and both have 3G, they’ve now expanded their current network which will give more coverage and the existing T-mobile infrastructure can help alleviate some of the current network load by adding additional servers.

    This is definitely a good move and will better AT&T and their service, the T-Mobile people fighting the takeover are idiots…their service won’t change…the only issue they may face is higher costs…but they may be locked in or grandfathered in by their existing contracts.

    • Jack

      CDMA? Try GSM. Idiot.

  • Wikan

    The world rejoiced? Really, i thought it was just americans that rejoiced that you now have, oh 2 operators to choose from… Seriosly, even in a small country as Sweden where i live we get have the option to choose between 10 operators.

    • Darrin

      We have well over 2 carriers to choose from. Just 2 giant ones. But there are numerous choices. I have 7 or 8 not including prepaid in my little city alone. People are blinded by the 2 carrier thing when in reality there are way more to choose.

  • Darrin

    The way the service will get better is like this. Att and tmobile use the same cell towers. Att broadcasting on signal a and tmobile on signal b. The cell towers for both companies are capable of broadcasting on both frequencies. What Att is gonna do is turn the opposite frequency on, on all of the cell towers giving a instant 30 percent increase of service. As much as people nay say each company, this will be better for both sides. And for the tmobile customers afraid of Att, Att has always grandfathered old plans in. So if u like what u have u will be able to keep it. Even with a new phone purchase. The plan will simply migrate to the new phone.

  • Darrin

    Same type cell towers*

  • james

    how about not locking the iphone 4 or any iphone for that matter to your network…maybe thn at& will make more money

  • Adam

    “I still don’t see how the FCC could approve this without hundreds of amendments.”

    Because petitions are a waste of time. Ultimately, they mean absolutely zero. Just because Joe Smith doesn’t like AT&T and signs a petition, it doesn’t mean the FCC will listen to him when he knows little about the financial reasons behind things.

  • Adam

    I personally switched from T-Mobile to AT&T last week, and I get better coverage and faster data speeds. Definitely making the switch was well worth it!

  • RickMarz

    AT&T is buying not merging the two companies. That alone would make this deal work for FCC. Because customers will still have T-Mobile to choose from and wouldn’t make it a duopoly.

  • Harry Lime

    From other news articles, ATT says it will ‘divest’ up to 40% of T-mo’s customers if deal goes through. Those T-mo’s who say they will jump to Verizon or Sprint is no threat to ATT; they want you to go. This of course will be Verizon and Sprints gain and more so if Sprint gets the iPhone and additionally offers incentives like lowers prices. Sprint should stop complaining and sieze the opportunity to get the future iPhone5 and the T-mo’s that have been ‘divested’ (thrown away).

    I will be making some trip to the U.K. and onto the continent of Europe later this year and some trips next year. Over there, they operate on GSM and Sprint, like Verizon, operate on CDMA. Unfortunately I am in an awkward position of begging to stay with the firm that put T-mo out of business and will increase rates.

  • Andy R

    It doesn’t mean higher prices but if it does there are tons of other companies! They will get 16+ million customers over seas. The main reason the buy out is taking place is for coverage and get a handle on their dropped calls. The buy out will only make them a little better or equal to verizon; which is consistently growing! So the two companies will be battling for phone quality more, instead of coverage. If prices are what your looking for then many other companies are a better choice Cricket has unlimited everything for just $60, but the phones are limited. I think the buy out of T-mobile will be great I don’t care that they have 4G so it will be faster but coverage will be great. I live in rural Wisconsin and don’t have coverage in many areas.

  • Eduar

    What assets will be relinquished? All I’ve been able to find out, is AT&T selling all it’s shares in Mexican telecommunications company Alestra. In reading about this, I find out that AT&T have major shares in America Movil, the parent company to tracfone. So now, AT&T also have shares in it’s resellers – would that be deemed uncompetitive, or just good business?