Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

The New AT&T: Wireless At Its Heart

Launched at the New Year, the new AT&T will increasingly be a wireless communications company that also generates income from advertising and offers television and broadband data services as well.

In an announcement following the FCC's approval of its acquisition of BellSouth, AT&T indicated Cingular Wireless, previously jointly owned by AT&T and BellSouth, will be the heart of the new company.

"It [the merger] will strengthen Cingular through unified ownership and a single brand," said AT&T chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. "No partnership between two independent companies, no matter how well run, can match the speed, effectiveness, responsiveness, and efficiency of a solely owned company."

The new AT&T has its recent origins in SBC Communications (the old Southwestern Bell), and just as SBC took up the AT&T brand name, Cingular is expected to eventually carry the AT&T brand name, too.

The mobile phone operation will be in a better position to compete with Verizon Wireless, whose service is generally faster. Verizon has been adding customers at a faster rate than Cingular, which is the larger of the two wireless firms. Verizon Wireless must deal with its Vodafone partner, which owns a major piece of the wireless operation.

  • 1