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Mixed Signals

AT&T Looks To Ring Up T-Mobile: Sunday Thoughts

3/20/2011 10:32 PM

AT&T and T-Mobile just announced they’re looking at making two into one.

It’s interesting that on the heels of President Obama’s call to get high-speed wireless to 98% of the U.S. population, AT&T commits to expand 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to an additional 46.5 million Americans, or to about 95% of the current U.S. population.

This really is no big surprise, actually, because T-Mobile has been on the blocks for a while and would have eventually found a buyer. Given the so-called “spectrum crunch,” one of the benefits for both companies is that they’ll be allowed to pool their spectrum resources.

Yet that raises the specter of what will some will see as antitrust concerns, which the government will likely study to death, but which ultimately will likely pass the “smell test,” with some typical conditions added. Part of that smell test is helped considerably by the idea of a foreign asset being bought by a U.S. company.

I found the AT&T statement here to be of particular interest.

Meanwhile, the Communications Workers of America issued a supportive statement.

I have to hop on a plane, but I love seeing how these convergences unfold.

Jimmy Schaeffler is chairman and CSO of Carmel-by-the-Sea-based consultancy The Carmel Group (www.carmelgroup.com).

September