My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: AT&T buys T-Mobile - Prince of Persia in A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

AT&T buys T-Mobile - Prince of Persia in A Series of Unfortunate Events


Woe to the Vanquished
(Vae victis!)

Plateus, Pseudolus

Woe indeed! Telecom Provider AT&T, the No. 1 Telecoms Provider in the United States of America (by a nose!) has just announced their own copycat deal akin to the Digicel Group and America Movil swap of CLARO Jamaica for Digicel El Salvador and Honduras respectively.

Thus, my blog article on the subject entitled “Digicel buys CLARO Jamaica - Jumanji Exchange is no Robbery” deserves a second look. This as the next line will look so similar that you may urinate in your pants as you read - or drop your Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tablet in shock!

That is, dear reader, IF you consume you news via a Tablet as suggested succinctly in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad 2 and Newspapers - Titan A.E.”.

Telecom Provider AT&T, as of Sunday March 20th 2011, have purchased Telecom Provider T-Mobile, an outfit of German Telecom giant Deutsche Telecom AG for roughly US$39 billion pieces of silver. Effectively, like America Movil  with their subsidiary CLARO Jamaica, Deutsche Telecom AG has sold out Telecom Provider T-Mobile.

This, also puts Telecom Provider AT&T on the path towards Monopoly as opined by Darron Thomas, a Guest Columnist in the Sunday March 13th 2011 edition of The Sunday Gleaner in an article entitled “Public Affairs - Is Digicel on the Mad March to Monopoly?”, published Sunday March 13, 2011 by Darron Thomas, Guest Columnist, The Sunday Gleaner.

Possibly another opinion piece from Darron Thomas, Lecturer in the School of Business Administration at the University Of Technology to liven up the debate now roaring hot this Sunday March 20th 2011!!

Of the article listed below that reported this just breaking news story, pick you favourites; “AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA for US$39 billion”, published March 20, 2011 12:03 PM PDT by Steven Musil, Wireless - CNET News or “AT&T acquires T-Mobile, Rockets up to more than 130 million U.S. Users”, published March 20, 2011 03.54pm EST By David Murphy, PCMagazine.

Facts to ponder: Telecom Provider AT&T has now surpassed Telecom Provider Verizon to be the number one Telecom Provider in the US of A with one hundred and thirty million (130,000,000) subscribers.

This is a combination of Telecom Provider AT&T ninety five million, four hundred thousand (95,400,000) customers and Telecom Provider T-Mobile thirty four million (34,000,000) customers!

By comparison, Telecom Provider Verizon only has ninety four million (94,000,000) customers and is thus relegated to a very distant Second fiddle in the now saturated American Telecom Market!

Telecom Provider Verizon also did well in the Last Quarter of 2010, despite no Apple iPad and no Apple iPhone and lackluster showing in the Wireless side of the Telecom Market as stated in the article “Verizon's Q4 Results fall short as Wireless Business Surges”, published January 25, 2011 01.10pm EST by Sara Yin, PCMagazine.

Both Telecom Provider AT&T and Telecom Provider Verizon carry the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPad as stated in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad 2 and PC future - Doomsday in the Battlefield”.

And like the Digicel Group and America Movil horse trading or serf swapping, Tsarist Russia style, being played out in Jamaica, this deal is subject to regulatory approval and may not be solid news until June 2011.

More articles abound, but these are mainly opinion pieces in the same vein as the comments made by Senator Phillip Paulwell, Opposition Minister on ICT and Telecoms in The Sunday Gleaner article entitled “Not good for Telecoms Market - Digicel-CLARO deal could hurt consumers, says Opposition”, published Sunday March 13, 2011, The Daily Gleaner. That is, the deal is going to create a monopoly, it’s bad for competition, customers will suffer, blah, blah, blah….

Customers are definitely going to get a bad deal (like d-uuh!) as choice as it relates to phones may be curtailed with only one (1) major GSM Network. Ditto for Network Equipment Suppliers such as Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia-Siemens and Ericsson, who have now been put in an indefinite holding pattern as the management mulls over the as-yet legitimized deal.

This is akin to what is also happening in Jamaica, especially as it relates to LTE (Long Term Evolution) build out by Telecom Provider CLARO at Duncans, Trelawny as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME vs Digicel - The Truth About Charlie”.

As of the time of writing this blog article, contractors in Jamaica who are still in the process of upgrading, have had all of their works put in an indefinite holding pattern by the new owners, Digicel Group, pending an audit and review of operations.

Possibly the same for the Telecom Equipment Suppliers and Handset Makers (Apple included!!), now also placed in a holding pattern, must now ponder their fate with this now lumbering Telecom’s Giant in a increasingly shrinking saturated smartphone market.

Telecom Provider Sprint has now been set a US$39 billion dollar hill to climb, should the deal not get the regulator approval by the Department of Justice in the US, albeit it is unlikely to fail, due to the ongoing spectrum crisis, which this merger perfectly solves.

Again comparisons to the Digicel Group and America Movil Debt and Equity Deal, spectrum licenses for T1, Microwave Backhaul and Data and Mobile Voice services would have changed hands.

Telecom Provider AT&T demand for spectrum would be satiated as they could reuse Telecom Provider T-Mobile’s HSDPA+ (High Speed Downlink Packet) spectrum allocations to expand their LTE Network to Telecom Provider Sprint customers, assuming similar frequerncies and T1 allocations.

Some say the spectrum crisis is engineered and this deal neatly falls into the cracks created by this argument of a lack of spectrum, the so called “spectrum crisis”. This so as to grease the palms of Government Regulators to pass this deal legit, as Stacey Higginbottom of GigaOM  slyly suggests in the article “AT&T to buy T-Mobile for US$39 Billion. Here is why”, published March 20, 2011, 1:34pm PT by Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOM .

Spectrum crisis, real or imagined as reported in the article “FCC crunches numbers on Spectrum crisis”, published October 25, 2010 2:37 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength, is over – at least for Telecom Provider AT&T.

FCC (Federal Communication Commission) Chairman Julius Genachowski dream of a coast-to-coast Broadband coverage in the next ten (10) years using “White” Space Frequencies as suggested in my blog article entitled “Telecoms and White Spaces - A Man for All Seasons and the Big Bang Theory”, however, is not dead.

Small Telecom Providers still want the crumbs that fall from the tables of the Persians [Major Telecom Providers] and are actively lobbying for the spectrum-license free allocation of the Broadcasters “White” Space Spectrum to proceed. Plus the Obama Administration is gunning for it, prior to Telecom Provider AT&T multi-billion dollar deal!

Certainly, the money-making Telecom Provider AT&T will now have more control over the apps market with its broader market reach. Silicon Valley titan Google would especially be under pressure to comply with its wishes, a possible leash being placed on the aggressive pitbull’s that was making Telecom Provider AT&T appear to be a “dumb pipe”.

All obvious as I, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Times (2010) Style, in Jamaica, survey what the vassals of the Persian Army [Telecom Provider AT&T ] have done after plundering the sacred Temples of Alimut [Telecom Provider T-Mobile].

As if they have not become harlot themselves with enough women and wives [acquisitions, deals and services] to satisfy at least forty (40) men! ShopAlerts and M2M (Machine-to-Machine) Services are set to blossom like poppies in the Second Quarter of 2011 for Telecom Provider AT&T as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME's fortunes after Digicel-CLARO - Master and Commander Garfield Sinclair”.

What should be the concern for Jamaicans in Jamaica? Higher International Calling Rates is one possible outcome, as Telecom Provider AT&T may seek to enforce registered VoIP Calling via Google Voice as well as any other VoIP application, such as Skype.

Google Voice integrated into Gmail currently allows free calling from Jamaica to the USA and Canada as noted in my blog article entitled “Google and Google Voice - The World is Not Enough”.

This would act as a double pressure to ensure that MNP (Mobile Number Portability) is achieved in Jamaica between Telecom Provider Digicel and Telecom Provider LIME. Elimination unregistered and anonymous International Calling would be key i.e. Telecom Provider AT&T would be able to ascertain WHO the phone belongs. Pretty handy, should we have another case of “Dudus” and wiretap evidence!

Again, as with the Digicel Group and America Movil deal on Friday March 11th 2011,  A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) has conspired to create market dominance to the detriment of the customer and massive profits for Telecom Provider AT&T as suggested in the article “In AT&T & T-Mobile Merger, Everybody Loses”, published March 20, 2011, 1:53pm PT By Om Malik, GigaOM.

How will this play out? Stick around till June 2011 to find out!!
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