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?