AT&T Proposes Merger With T-Mobile
It is estimated that the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger will take up to a year to conclude. However, the fact the two mobile telecom service provider’s networks are compatible means that the integrating of the two networks is likely to be relatively hassle-free. This may have been one of the deciding factors in T-Mobiles decision to abandon talks with Sprint and go with AT&T instead.
T-Mobile has been losing customers (mainly to Sprint) in recent months, but the feeling is that these customers may be persuaded to return to T-Mobile once its position has been reinforced by AT&T. The outlook for Sprint seems bleak, especially in light of the setback it suffered when merging with Nextel in a deal which has been dubbed as one of the worst and costliest deals in the history of telecom. It has been suggested that the vulnerable position of Sprint could make it a takeover target. Other options that are being bandied about include the possibility of some sort of deal with Leap Wireless and PCS, both of which have seen an increase in share value in the past few days.
AT&T management has expressed confidence that, with the broader network infrastructure and increase in cell-tower density brought about by the combining of resources, the merger will result in service improvements to its customers. While finalizing a merger may still take some time, Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snow have appealed to AT&T to consider the approximately 800 T-Mobile employees based at its call centre in central Maine, and to keep them informed as to the deal’s progress.