Posts tagged biggest
By Andrew Couts
AT&T massively reshaped the US mobile industry landscape on March 20th with its planned purchase of T-Mobile USA. The stunning $39 billion acquisition will merge AT&T, the second largest wireless carrier, with T-Mobile, the fourth largest, to create the biggest mobile company in the county. This pushes Verizon back to number two and makes Sprint’s number three seat seem even more distant.
If federal regulators approve the deal — and they most likely will — the corporate union will consolidate 90 percent of the wireless business in America down to only three companies with 43 percent to AT&T alone. This likely means big changes for subscribers of both AT&T and T-Mobile (but especially T-Mobile) and they’re not all good. Here are the seven best, worst and ugliest outcomes from AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile USA.
1. Expanded coverage
Through the purchase of T-Mobile, AT&T gains both additional cell towers and wireless spectrum. This is great news for both AT&T and T-Mobile customers as coverage should increase for all areas. For such benefits to become reality however, AT&T must first enable T-Mobile towers, which transmit a 3G signal at a different frequency than AT&T, to work with current 3G-enabled AT&T phones, and vice versa.
More importantly, AT&T-T-Mobile will sit at the forefront of the 4G movement — the future of wireless. T-Mobile already boasts “the nation’s first 4G network” with its HSPA+ offerings, although it must be said that this is not technically considered 4G to some engineers. AT&T — which also offers HSPA+ but does not advertise it as a 4G connection — has announced plans to launch its 4G LTE network sometime this year. According to AT&T President Ralph De La Vega, the merger will bring LTE access to “95 percent of the U.S. population,” which includes “not just major cities but [also] rural America.”
This is one of AT&T’s best arguments to the US government for why the deal should be approved, as President Obama recently announced the expansion of 4G wireless access nationwide as one of his administration’s top priorities.
2. Higher prices for everyone
Fewer companies means less competition. And despite what AT&T wants you to believe, this always results in higher prices for customers. By swallowing T-Mobile USA, AT&T has killed off a fierce rival — one that has consistently offered better value plans that AT&T couldn’t bend far enough down to hand out. It’s possible that AT&T could hang on to T-Mobile’s budget offerings to keep a hold on the lower-end market, but don’t count on it. T-Mobile is in the no-mans-land area of wireless. One step up from Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless, but considered a challenger brand when compared to the big three — AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.
Regardless, if the plan is approved, anyone who wants to sign with a major wireless carrier is left with three choices: AT&T-T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel. Unfortunately, Sprint (which came out firmly against the deal) would be roughly one third the size of an AT&T-T-Mobile conglomerate and much less competitive overall. Because of this disparity between carriers, the prices of the US mobile market will be essentially controlled by the top two largest cellular companies: AT&T-T-Mobile and Verizon — not exactly the kind of business environment that results in good deals.
3. T-Mobile users get the iPhone — in a year
Yes, it is a near certainty that current T-Mobile subscribers will eventually have access to Apple’s iPhone without having to switch wireless providers. Seeing as the deal is estimated to take a year to finalize however, access won’t be immediate. As T-Mobile explains in the mandatory set of FAQs released after news of the deal hit the press: “T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G.”
4. Customers will have fewer phones choices overall
While T-Mobile customers should expect to have access to a greater number of phones, the overall number of handsets available to US customers will likely shrink. Rather than continue to offer T-Mobile’s entire phone lineup, AT&T will probably pick a smattering of the most desirable devices to add to its arsenal. (Which phones AT&T chooses depends on how it handles its array of 3G/4G technology choices.)
Also, as the fourth largest carrier, T-Mobile could take chances on untested handsets, like the original Android smartphone, the G1. T-Mobile also allows customers to use unlocked phones, and even offers up unlock codes. AT&T’s careful, lumbering ways will probably prevent all of this, which adds up to less choice for mobile users, not more.
5. Billing cycle changes and higher fees for T-Mobile users
Right now AT&T charges customers for the upcoming month, whereas T-Mobile charges for the month that just passed. Since the AT&T method gets the money in the bank sooner, expect that option to prevail. Also, T-Mobile customers pay less in fees than AT&T customers. Those fees, we believe, will go up.
6. No more “unlimited” data plans
T-Mobile still offers unlimited data plans, while AT&T does not. Or, rather, T-Mobile’s “unlimited” plan give users the ability to use up to 5GB-per-month, for $30. Data usage past the 5GB threshold is throttled. AT&T’s data plans cap out at 2GB, with extra charges for additional data usage. Expect AT&T to offer its 34 million new subscribers the latter.
7. T-Mobile customers get rollover minutes
Despite its reputation as the “worst carrier” in the US, AT&T does have at least one attractive feature: rollover minutes. T-Mobile users, whose minutes currently expire at the end of the billing cycle, can now look forward to the endless build-up of minutes that AT&T subscribers currently enjoy.
Obviously, these will likely not be the only changes. And the exact details should begin to become more clear as the deal reaches its close. In addition to the effects felt by customers directly, this merger stands to significantly alter the US mobile phone industry for years to come. For now, however, the fate of America’s wireless industry rests on the federal government, which must decide whether or not all this is a good idea.
Last week, Microsoft announced it would shut down the Sidekick service for T-Mobile customers, which it got as part of its $500 million acquisition of Danger in 2008.
The shutdown put an end to Microsoft’s hopes of getting any value out of Danger, which was supposed to bolster Microsoft’s mobile phone strategy but culminated in the ill-fated Kin phone, which was canceled six weeks after launch.
But Danger was only the latest in a long line of acquisitions that didn’t go as planned.
Join us as we count them down from smallest to largest and describe the fate of each one.
Number 15: Fox database software for $174 million
Microsoft bought Fox Software back in 1992 for a reported price of about $174 million. The company made the FoxPro PC database software, and Microsoft later used its underlying technology in JET, the database engine that still powers its email product, Exchange Server. The company still sells Visual FoxPro today, making this one of the few Microsoft acquisitions that contributed lasting value.
14: Groove (and Ray Ozzie) for $171 million
Groove made peer-to-peer collaboration software, but as Bill Gates later said, Microsoft really bought Groove for Ray Ozzie, who eventually replaced Gates as Chief Software Architect.
Microsoft was responsible for $51 million of a $150 million investment in 2001 that kept Groove afloat, and in 2005 acquired the remainder of the company for $120 million, making this one of the most expensive talent acquisitions ever. Ozzie announced plans to leave Microsoft in October 2010, and sent a stark warning memo on his way out the door.
13: Placeware virtual meeting service for $200 million (estimated)
Microsoft bought this privately held virtual meeting company in 2003, and turned it into Live Meeting. Next year, Microsoft plans to phase out Live Meeting in favor of Lync Online, part of the Office 365 suite.
View more at Business Insider
Sony Ericsson mobiles are famous for their high end features. They have been catering to the needs of the people who keep looking for some thing new. The mobile phone this time they have brought for the gizmo lovers is none other than the Sony Ericsson Satio.The mobile phone has got the loads of high end features. The appearance of the mobile phone makes the style statement for the users. The handset is a must go device because of many reasons. Apart from the high end features, the deals have been one of the biggest reason for choosing the mobile phone.
The deals for the Sony Ericsson device have been marching ahead with the big banners of the networking industry like the Vodafone, Orange, O2, 3, T-Mobile, etc.The Sony Ericsson Satio contract deals have been winning the hearts all over the world with the offerings of many great benefits. The benefits include the stupendous range of free gifts and incentives. The offers for the mobile phone may arrive to you with the free talk value of very large amount. Plus, the deals may also gifts you the free unlimited texts benefits as well.
Christmas eve has got much more boasted in the deals than you could expect. The free gifts that you may be surprised with the deals include the objects like the Apple iPod Shuffle 2GB (Silver), Mobile Broadband 12GB, etc. Also, you may be surprised with the 1 GB free internet per month through out the contract period.Checking out the deals for the best of the benefits may be helped by the price comparison portals. Many online web sites are comparing the deals for the best prices of each Sony Ericsson Satio deal.
After several years of being one of the biggest supports of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform, AT&T has said that it will be “the premier carrier for Windows Phone 7.”
That’s what a spokesperson for the mobile carrier said in an e-mail to Computerworld this week. Although there weren’t any details on what exactly this means, it is one of the staunchest pro-Phone 7 comments we’ve seen so far.
After Microsoft royally screwed up with its latest Kin line of mobile phones, and given how much it will need to overcome to remain relevant in the market of Android and iPhone, there’s not a lot of big excitement in the air over the new platform.
It is unusual to see such a major operating system launch be met with such benevolence, but that is what is happening with Windows Phone 7. We still don’t know when the first device to support the new OS will be available, or even what it will look like.
For AT&T, though, it is a chance to latch onto something new after it is most likely that it won’t have the iPhone exclusivity to carry it through the year anymore. We’re just going to have to wait to see if Microsoft can help to put a gap to that hole.
Shop for Windows Mobile Deals on Amazon.com.
No matter how many mobile phones are launched every day, HTC mobile phones have their own place. The HTC gadgets are so good and user friendly that they are always in demand no matter what products are arriving or what new technology is introduced. HTC mobile phones have a design which seems to be from outer space. The features enable the user to finish of office work with ease in a very light and happy mood with features to support entertainment.
HTC HD2 deals are cool enough for any one from any age. Its not that the HTC HD2 deals are only for the upper class or for a particular age. HTC HD 2 contract deals give opportunity to every one to take home this beautiful gadget. In the HTC HD 2 contract deals the user can pay the price of the gadget in the form of easy monthly installments which is a very small amount to pay. Not only this the user is benefited with free gifts no matter what deal he or she opt for.
The feature that make this device extraordinary is its big 4.3 inches super fine touchscreen and the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional operating system platform on which it works. To support these astonishing features the HTC HD2 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor. To add more weight a 5.0 MP camera aided with auto focus and dual LED flash comes inbuilt with this device.