So AT&T and DT dropped the bomb yesterday, messing up lots of people’s weekends, the question I asked my self was – is this deal good for consumers?
The answer is yes and no.
YES! It is most likely a good thing for current AT&T mobile customers, as network coverage and quality should improve with the addition of T-Mo’s cell sites. Most of the two companies networks overlap, so the benefit is in the extra capacity AT&T gains in their current coverage areas. They will also benefit if they are able to keep the spectrum which will allow them to build out a more complete LTE system. So if you are a current AT&T customer, you have something to look forward to.
NO! T-Mobile has gained a reputation in the U.S. as the value segment leader, something AT&T is decidedly not. A large proportion of T-Mobile’s customers will most likely be faced with a price hike should the deal go through. I don’t think AT&T is going to try too hard to keep most of these “value” segment customers, as they do not view them as profitable.
So where will these consumers go? I think the biggest benefactor of subscriber churn in this deal will be Sprint. While they have a solid enterprise customer base and are not a cut-rate post-paid provider, they could use post-paid subscriber growth, no matter what segment those subscribers fall in. Sprint also has the most diverse and vibrant prepaid suite of offerings of the major U.S. networks, which might be attractive to post-paid value segment customers with no real post-paid value segment alternative to choose from. Other value players, such as Metro PCS could see disgruntled T-Mo customers come their way as well.