The AT&T buying T-Mobile news that broke over two weeks ago worries many folks, who fear the merger eliminates competitive pricing and shuts out smaller carriers. In response to this concern, the FCC today voted 3-2 in favor of forcing large carriers such as AT&T and Verizon to share their data networks with small regional operators at "commercially reasonable terms."
Sprint has demanded US regulators look closely at the proposed AT&T takeover of T-Mobile USA, warning that the deal would "alter dramatically the structure of the communications industry" and lead to a negative impact on "innovation and robust competition." If approved, Sprint says, the combined carrier would be three times its own size, and have hitherto unseen control over backhaul and other access systems. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has pulled out from an upcoming CTIA 2011 panel, pushing out a FAQ in which it attempts to placate customers confused by the acquisition news.
More details after the cut
In a move that's epic to say the least, it appears to be official that AT&T has committed to purchase T-Mobile USA from their current owners Deusche Telekom AG. This will be a cash-and-stock transaction that has been valued at right around $39 billion - or 8% of company ownership. This agreement has been approved by the FCC and will be a definite step up the the competition, namely Verizon Wireless who currently heads the US mobile communication market. Will this transition make this team a powerhouse that'll dominate the market instead? AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson hopes so, him noting in the press release below that this move will bring LTE to more than 294 million people in the USA.
With tomorrow's iPad 2 launch, it's a win-win-win for Apple, consumers, and the nation's two largest carriers AT&T and Verizon. But what about the nation's third and fourth largest carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile? Despite the end of AT&T's exclusivity agreement, Apple continues to snub Sprint and T-Mobile, leaving them scrambling to stay in the game.
AT&T have announced a new calling package, A-List, which will allow the carrier's heavier users to contact between five and ten numbers without using their monthly minutes. Launching on September 20th for individual Nation subscribers on plans priced at $59.99 or above, or FamilyTalk subscribers on $89.99 or higher plans, the service will take on Verizon's Friends & Family scheme and T-Mobile's myFaves.
Individual subscribers who are eligible for A-List will be able to select five numbers, while FamilyPlan subscribers will have a ten-number list that affects all users on the plan. Meanwhile AT&T's rollover system will mean that unused minutes still get carried forward to future months.
Welcome to the last week of the year, and here at SlashGear an odd week since last week we did not have a wrap-up as such. What we're doing this week is checking out our last reviews, our last featured posts, columns, top posts, and the like. Note furthermore that this review is one part of a set of reviews of the whole year of 2011, pieces that we choose and that you choose in kind! The last posts of the year were an odd bunch, let me tell you, and at no point should you expect that a holiday season would be bland - in fact it was utterly wild when it came down to it - enjoy!
After months of waiting, the FCC approved AT&T's acquisition of Leap Wireless, which gave it the better known prepaid service Cricket Wireless. Soon after approval was given, AT&T announced the acquisition was completed, and it seems wasted no time getting the ball rolling. As a result of the business move, the carrier's subsidiary Aio Wireless will fizzle away, being absorbed into Cricket.
This week started with a total restructuring of the heads at RIM while they consider licensing BlackBerry 10 and Chris Davies assures us that RIM's new CEO is a Placeholder, not a prophet. Of course other than that there's just a brand new Year of the Dragon in China and a radiation storm hitting the Earth courtesy of the Sun. Auroras and full video documentation from NASA intact. And HP's webOS is now open source including its good pal Enyo - and John Rubinstein is gone!
A new wireless carrier is reportedly coming to the US on September 26 and it could be called Personalized Wireless. A short ad aired recently hinting at the mysterious new carrier, touting a service that will be different, that will adapt to you, quietly bringing apps, rewards, and "stuff that's just right for you."
Sprint is reportedly in talks with cable companies to buyout Clearwire, which has recently announced adoption of 4G LTE and its need for funding to build out the new network. The carrier is already invested in Clearwire, but may seek to buyout the remaining portion of the company and may do so jointly with Comcast and other cable partners.
What's all going on in the tech and gadget world today? Let's have a look, shall we? First, take a look with yours truly at a hands-on and unboxing of the Lenovo IdeaPad U260, again with yours truly in a final installment in a "Week With" series on the L1 v2 Laser Pico Projector (iDevices and Wrap-Up), and one more by Vincent Nguyen: a review of the OCZ Vertex 2 SSD. Got yourself a new Android phone for the holidays? Take a look at our brand new What to Get for my Android Phone or Tablet: 2010 Holiday Gifts Edition on Android Community. Take a trip down a Anti-Tech Resolutions for the New Year column with Philip Berne, a column In Praise of Anticipation (or, A Geek’s Christmas) by Chris Davies, see Evan Selleck ask the question: When Should a Developer Step In?, and Philip again with the cutest column EVER: Baby’s First iPad. See! The Samsung Vibrant and Fascinate get Android 2.2 in Canada before the rest! See! What might very well be the first whispers of a very big deal, Android TV, with a Vidtonic Android TV Build-Your-Own Kit and an Android TV Black Box Unit Spotted in Australia! See! All this and more on The Daily Slash!