Cingular Gets the Network, But Verizon Gets the Subs
By Eric Lin, Fri Apr 02 07:15:00 GMT 2004
After Cingular won the bid for AT&T Wireless, we reported that Vodafone and Verizon each lost- at least a little. It turns out Cingular and T-Mobile may lose in the deal as well.
Before Cingular bought them, AT&T was already experiencing a fall in subscribers and revenue. In USA Today, we learn that AT&T could be losing as many as 150,000 more subscriber per month after WLNP, and analysts expected this bad news to add up to a net loss of customers for this quarter.
Verizon, while they may not have freed themselves from their partnership with Vodafone, turns out to be gaining something big from AT&T, although it's not because of their sale to Cingular. Verizon claims with number portability, they are gaining ten AT&T subscribers for every one they lose to AT&T- 20 to 1 in the New York metro area.
Even if AT&T has an worse quarter than expected, they should still have enough subscribers left to help Cingular create the US's largest network after the buyout. More important than customers, Cingular needs AT&T's infrastructure. Right now they have some big holes in their network, many of which they fill in with roaming agreements. One of Cingular's current agreements trades T-Mobile's coverage of New York for access to Cingular's buildout in California. RCR News finds a few analysts who are wondering if T-Mobile might lose access to California if Cingular doesn't need them anymore, AT&T covers many of Cingular weak spots, including New York, rather well.