AT&T has taken a lot of slings over the years for a reputation marked by poor call quality, coverage and connection. And now, as it prepares to acquire T-Mobile, there are many users wondering if this will enhance service for AT&T customers, or simply ruin the beloved Magenta brand and service.
In an effort to reassure — and maybe even acknowledge past troubles or explain the circumstances leading up to this deal — the company has created a video illustrating AT&T’s side of things.
Here’s the gist: Smartphones use a particular range in the radio spectrum to minimize interference. But over the last few years, more people are using more of these devices more often, but within the same limited range. That’s why there are chokeholds in the cellular pipeline that make service dicey. The options? Buy rights for more of the spectrum, though FCC approvals can take a while. Urge traffic off the pipeline by encouraging Wifi use, which AT&T already does. But the fastest way is to pick up another operator (Tmo), and incorporate its spectrum. And, the company wagers, the move would also advance its 4G/LTE initiatives more quickly, so more consumers can benefit.
But the deal hasn’t gotten a greenlight yet. This morning, lawmakers questioned executives from the two carriers, trying to suss out whether the proposed merger would create an unfair monopoly. (Sprint‘s Dan Hesse has even said, “AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile will turn back the clock on wireless competition. It will … put Ma Bell back together again.”) During the subcommittee questioning, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson got a little tripped up when he was asked by Senator Al Franken if the iPhone could have gone to a regional carrier. Stephenson said that Apple wasn’t likely to have done that, naturally preferring a large national provider like AT&T. Oops.
In light of the nature of this inquiry, focused as it is on AT&T’s size, this may not have been the best time to offer this nugget up.
Where do you stand on the deal? Are you for it or against it? Check out the vid and then let us know if you think this is enough to win over hearts and minds.