AT&T Points Finger at Feds
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 December 2011 12:23 Written by StrifeJester Tuesday, 20 December 2011 03:00
So AT&T no longer wants T-Mobile, but it’s because the government was as meddlesome as a certain dog and some teenagers according to them. The Department of Justice chimed in not too long ago and took a look at the at the deal and of course the Federal Communications Commission has been looking at it since day-one. With the deal going belly up this I think is a good thing for the mobile world. Read on to find out why.
I feel that there are only 4 major carriers in the US mobile market today. Between AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Wireless some might think that is too few, others think too many. I think it is just right, and here’s why. Think of any major market, let’s use kitchen appliances, there are usually a few big players in the market and a few smaller ones too. In the case of mobile operators this is also true. With companies like US Cellular and Cellcom, to name a few that are in my area, these smaller companies are the off-brand appliances if you will. GTE, Whirlpool, Frigidaire are major players in the major appliances market. Some people are all about cost and will shop around and pick whoever gives them the best price and not worry about features and little extra perks that come with the major brands. Others take long looks at the perks and choose according to what is the coolest perk that they never knew they needed but now suddenly can’t live without. You always want enough players in the market to drive innovation. Innovation is a little harder to get out of a wireless company though. The carriers usually pick someone else’s product and go with it. With less carriers there is less chances for a new technology to see the light of day. Less carriers also means more subscribers per carrier though and this should relate to more money for them but I feel it leads to less worrying about trying to sway customers from the other guys. A lot of industries that have very few players, the products get more expensive and the quality seems to diminish over time. Microsoft hit it big with XP but only after ME was a flop. Now Windows 7 is turning into the new XP and Vista reminds too many people of ME. Microsoft stopped the real innovations for a while and the product suffered. Then they noticed that they were losing market share and had to get it back. A lot of people complain about too many phones being released too often; they can’t keep up and they constantly feel like their phone will be outdated by the time they get it home. To people who complain about this I ask a simple question. Does the phone still do what you wanted it to do when you bought it? The answer is almost always yes the phone will still do exactly what they purchased it for but maybe it doesn’t do the next big thing.
This game has been played before and I think it is best left the way it is. Both AT&T and Verizon Wireless have played the game. Find a smaller somewhat regional carrier that is doing something cool and buy them to absorb their customers into the big boy pool. I always wanted VZW but couldn’t have it until finally VZW bought Alltel. I remember thinking about all the cool devices I would get to play with that were on all the national commercials and all over sporting events. If at&t swallows up T-Mobile it may drive Sprint or VZW to look again to the regional carriers and buy them up to keep subscriber numbers up. I know this cycle cannot continually repeat but since there are only so many airwaves out there to put signal on. We have gone into a cycle where now the devices are driving the same factors. Carriers are launching new networks and more devices than ever. From iPhones to Androids there are some very cool devices coming that are more powerful than I bet most people thought a phone would ever be. Smartphone is a term that is on its way out and new one will take its place as the word for the computer in your pocket. I think this can only happen if there are enough carriers to drive each other to be the first to put that next new device out there.
- While T-Mobile Eludes AT&T, Verizon Buys Up Spectrum (wired.com)
- AT&T Attempt to Buy T-Mobile Could Be Over (brighthand.com)