Sprint v. Sprint

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on June 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm

By Wayne Watts, AT&T Senior Executive VP and General Counsel

In my 28 years as a lawyer with AT&T, I have been involved in a number of major transactions. Each has presented different issues, involved different competitive landscapes and was reviewed by different Administrations.  One constant, though, is that all of them were subjected to a thorough, fact-based review. 

I have no doubt that this will be the case again as the FCC and DOJ review the AT&T/T-Mobile transaction. It is for that reason that AT&T and T-Mobile USA have gone to great lengths to support our merger with facts. We have produced millions of pages of documents and extensively detailed pleadings supported by 19 sworn declarations.

On the other hand, final comments were filed yesterday at the FCC and merger opponents like Sprint continue to base their opposition on hyperbole, not fact. 

Read More

‘It is Much Easier to Be
Critical than to Be Correct’

Posted by: Joan Marsh on June 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

There is one overarching imperative that drives this merger:  giving AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers the network capacity they need to enjoy the full promise of the mobile broadband revolution.  The combination of these two companies, and their uniquely complementary networks and spectrum holdings, will create new capacity – the functional equivalent of new spectrum – to handle rapidly escalating mobile data traffic.  Indeed, the capacity of the combined company will exceed that of AT&T and T-Mobile operating separately.  

The winners will be America’s consumers because the extra capacity will enable us to offer them better service — faster data speeds and fewer dropped and blocked calls.    

And with the scale, spectrum, and other resources generated by this transaction, the combined company will be able to offer Long Term Evolution, or LTE — the premier next-generation wireless broadband technology — to an extra 55 million people and more than 97 percent of the U.S. population, all without reliance on government funds.  And that is a big win for rural America because it gives those communities the same high quality broadband service that consumers in urban areas will receive.  It also means more jobs and more investment.  

Read More

The Innovators Have Spoken

Posted by: Bob Quinn on June 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm

In the past couple weeks we have seen incredible support for our merger with T-Mobile come from a large and broadly diverse number of high-tech companies that recognize the need for robust capacity to support further growth and innovation in mobile broadband.  And the most recent positive statements regarding the benefits that this transaction will bring came today from TechNet – The Voice of the Innovation Economy.  

The opposition is fond of throwing out unsubstantiated claims that our T-Mobile merger is going to somehow kill innovation and drive our society back in time (via DeLorean?  Or maybe a hot tub?) to the age of two-pound brick phones again. My friend Gigi Sohn actually brought one of those with her to the Senate Judiciary Hearing last month.  I’ve been shaking my head about this for weeks, baffled that this idea is perceived as credible by anyone. And I’m not just talking about those of us in the industry.  

Your average consumer is regularly bombarded with an extraordinary selection in new devices, apps and services.  Over the course of the past 15 years, this industry has been characterized by mind-blowing innovation, and continually new and improved services for lower prices.  Is there really a legitimate fear that all of that innovation and wonder will simply end with this transaction?  Of course not, but the rhetoric from our merger opponents on the “innovation issue” has continued.  Well, they can finally stop beating that drum because this week, the innovators have spoken and they are telling policymakers a different story. 

Read More

Since Yesterday…

Posted by: Jim Cicconi on June 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm

While we were all getting some needed sleep last night, filings in support of our merger with T-Mobile continued to flood the FCC.  The broad array of groups and elected officials who recognize the benefits of this transaction is clearly growing.  Here’s just a sampling of the latest… 

Highlighting what this merger will do to expand high-speed wireless broadband throughout the country, the 1.5 million member American Federation of Teachers has filed at the FCC. This means that unions comprising 16.5 million American workers have now endorsed our merger. 

Also, a group of 80 companies that employ thousands of workers in the fields of IT, software development, network infrastructure, manufacturing, construction and engineering encouraged prompt approval of our merger.  Citing the need to maintain a healthy communications market, the companies, including Avaya, Convergys, Fujitsu, and Research in Motion, recognize that the T-Mobile transaction will encourage private investment and will spur innovation.  

Read More

Meeting the Challenges of
The Mobile Broadband Age

Posted by: Joan Marsh on April 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

A few weeks ago, AT&T announced an agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA.  While some people were surprised by the announcement, the main reason for the deal was obvious to anyone who has been following the rapid growth of the wireless industry – we need more capacity to address the surging demand for mobile broadband.  

AT&T’s wireless broadband networks continue to carry a tremendous amount of data traffic. You’ve heard the stats: wireless data traffic on our network is up over 8000% in the last four years and we anticipate it will be 8 to 10 times greater by 2015. The surest, fastest and most efficient path by far to addressing the capacity limitations we face in the near term is to acquire T-Mobile and its highly complementary spectrum portfolio and network assets.  It was the deal hiding in plain sight.  

The result of the combination will be extraordinary: the denser network of cell sites will drive capacity improvements and speed gains; spectral efficiencies will be gained by the combinations of two 2G networks into one,  including less spectrum used for call set up and control, and more opportunities to migrate bands to support mobile broadband services. 

Read More