Despite ATT saying that T-Mobile is good for competition, I just don't see it. I'm not sure AT&T even tries to justify or explain that statement. But if there is one example right now that shows we should be against this merger is the unlocked iPhone.
If you go out there and buy the unlocked iPhone, you can use it only with AT&T. With a bit of an effort, you can get it work with T-Mobile by trimming your SIM card into a microsim card.
However, you cannot enjoy the HPSA+ network that T-Mobile is calling 4G which theoretically is faster than AT&T"s on "4G" network. While ATT is at 7.2Mbps, T-Mobile is moving towards 42Mbps. Having said that, if you manage to get it working with T-Mobile, you are stuck on EDGE because of the difference in frequencies on which the two HSPA networks run on.
Now, here's the part you're waiting for. Even if you decided against signing up for a two-year commitment with AT&T and get the unlocked iPhone 4 from Apple, ATT does not offer a lower and comparable voice and data plan. AT&T reminds us that their high rates are because of the subsidies they pay Apple so that post-paid users won't have to pay for the $650 or $750 upfront for the 16 GB or 32 GB respectively.
By that reasoning, shouldn't AT&T offer a plan that costs less because an unlocked iPhone paid for it in full?
The answer is no. Which really puts the high costs AT&T charges users unnecessarily higher. And that's okay. That's just business.
With an independent T-Mobile as it is now, a future iPhone that supports its HSPA+ network puts it in direct competition with AT&T. And traditionally, T-Mobile offers better rates than either AT&T or Verizon. In fact, T-Mobile does have better pre-paid deals than AT&T.
A lot of us think that Apple is about to release an iPhone for T-Mobile this year. I think once that happens, we'll see a lot of defections from AT&T to T-Mobile. And you know what? When that happens, I can't see how AT&T can explain why eliminating T-Mobile is a good deal for the average mobile warrior.
What going to be the kicker is that if the number of iPhone users defecting from AT&T to T-Mobile is such a huge number that AT&T's immediate bottom-line is affected and is forced to provide better deals to stem the loss of subscribers, it will really put a galactic size hole in AT&T's arguments, whatever they are, that the merger is good for competition.
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