Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cingular Wireless And AT&T Wireless To Merge

Yep, that's right, AT&T, AT&T wireless, and Bell South, Cingular Wireless, are to merge. You might be asking your self: "Self, didn't AT&T and Cingular already merge?" Well, you would be correct... sort of anyway. Come, let us hop into my Delorean and take a trip back in time and look upon just what the hell is going on in the wireless world from then until now.

The Background:
A long time ago, in a valley far far away, Silicon Valley that is. It all started in 1947, when the fat cats at AT&T Bell Labs invented wireless (or cellular) phone service. Shoot forward in time to 1984 where AT&T is the end-all-be-all phone company. Some courts thought that this was just a tad bit monopolistic and made Bell Labs split into a total of 8 smaller companies. These companies are Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, US West, Bell South, Ameritech, Southwestern Bell, Pacific Telesis, and AT&T. Shoot forward again, to the late 1990's, where one of these "Child-companies" of AT&T, Southwestern Bell, starts buying up a few local phone companies, including PacBell (or Pacific Telesis), Southern New England Telecommunications, and Ameritech, forming what we now know as SBC Communications.

Read more after the jump!

Then, in 2000, SBC got together with BellSouth and formed Cingular Wireless, the second big merger. The fist being NYNEX, General Telephone and Electronics (GTE) and Bell Atlantic forming Verizon in 1998. This brings us to now, where we have Verizon, Cingular Wireless and AT&T. AT&T wireless is included in with Cingular Wireless. AT&T split into AT&T and AT&T Wireless, and AT&T Wireless joined in with the Cingular merger in 2000. Now Cingular Wireless and AT&T are going to merge into one huge company.

Here is a chart if I lost you along the way:

The Problem:
Here comes the weird part, out of the 8 companies that came about from the first split up of AT&T back in 1984, 5 of them are about to become one company! After thinking about this for a bit, I guess it is ok since there is more competition on the market for wireless technology. Either way, the stock holders at AT&T much have some fat bank accounts, because Verizon, which is now Verizon and Verizon wireless, and the soon-to-be AT&T/Cingular all came from the same company.

After reading the press release on the AT&T/Cingular merger and some other sites, I realized that there will be a lot more people pissed off. First off, Duane Ackerman, chairman and CEO of BellSouth, said that "This was the right time for this merger. This combination is good for our employees, our customers and our stockholders." So let’s go through his list.

Ackerman says that this merger is good for their employees. AT&T plans to eliminate about 36,000 positions between now and 2008. If I were an employee of AT&T or Cingular, I wouldn't be too happy right about now. Then he continues and says it is good for the customers. I don't know about you, but everyone I knew that had AT&T before the first AT&T/Cingular merger was extremely pissed off when they merged. They had problems with service on their cell phone as well as with customer service. And with the problems they brought to customer service they just go the run-around. The main excuse they received from the customer service rep was "That's a feature that AT&T had, which was eliminated with the merge." Now they are going to merge again! And I don't care about the stockholders...they are rich to begin with. They need to start giving me some of their money.

I feel quite board with this article after reading and writing it. I wonder if journalists feel the same way after reading their own stories a bunch of times. So I think I'll spice things up a bit with the new X-Men trailer!

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