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MZT

Bellsouth/Cinglular to AT&T

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This never has made much sense to me. After a decade of building up a brand identity in Cingular, all the way down to retail outlets, why take on the tired old name of AT&T again? To me, AT&T brings connotations of a slow, non-innovative company that sells of pieces of itself to survive. Heck, I didn't even use AT&T in the 1980s... as soon as choices were available, it was buh-bye!

Wikipedia claims it was done to keep the "T" stock market symbol... but that doesn't seem like a very good reason. I would think this will be more of an effort in restoring a brand, than claiming an "iconic" name.

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AT&T really doesn't exist anymore. What we are talking about is SBC telephone merging with Bellsouth and nobody notices because they change the name of the company to AT&T. We are getting closer and closer back to the old Ma Bell which had the monopoly on local phone lines.

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Like Steven Colbert said

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They have become pretty much irrelevant for the most part anyway. I have long since gotten rid of my BellSouth lines and replace them VoIP phone service for home and my business and there are all kinds of options for mobile phone service.

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Doesn't the fact that you're able to use VOIP shows that the monopoly conditions are gone? There are many options and companies to choose from. When competition was first blessed by the courts, the competing companies went after the money making pieces of telecommunications. Until VOIP related products were developed, residential phone service was left alone because it didn't bring in the big bucks. All companies are allowed to market whatever, and wherever they choose to.

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This never has made much sense to me. After a decade of building up a brand identity in Cingular, all the way down to retail outlets, why take on the tired old name of AT&T again? To me, AT&T brings connotations of a slow, non-innovative company that sells of pieces of itself to survive. Heck, I didn't even use AT&T in the 1980s... as soon as choices were available, it was buh-bye!

Wikipedia claims it was done to keep the "T" stock market symbol... but that doesn't seem like a very good reason. I would think this will be more of an effort in restoring a brand, than claiming an "iconic" name.

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They are associated with Cingular and therefore the old AT&T provider, I believe SunCom had purchased the combined company. We bought our cell plans approximately 4.5 years ago with AT&T. Roughly a year later they were bought out by Cingular, and our bills subsequently came from them. Then we moved to NC and SunCom took over our actual service, though the bills still came from Cingular, and everyone here in NC at the time (1.5 years ago) was talking about SunCom purchasing Cingular/AT&T. I may have the purchasing facts wrong, but as far as personal experience, SunCom did take over our Cingular service when we got here, at some point that ended, I assumed they had retired the SunCom name.

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I just keep thinking about how the government split up the whole Bell company just over twenty years ago, and now it is reforming in a whole new way. That shows you how incredibly large the telephone market has become since the advent of the cell phone and the internet.

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^I think it shows how much in bed our government is with big business since Reaganism fully took over 25 years ago. The government originally brought a lawsuit against AT&T back when the government was more populist and focused on the consumer, for being anti-comsumer and using it's monopoly position unfairly. In 1983, the phone company agreed to enter into a settlement with the court to be broken up into AT&T long distance, and the 7 regional Bells which maintained monopoly control over the local loops.

AT&T, which found that it was necessary to actually compete to stay in business, completely failed every business venture that it got into. After it's own computers failed to win any business, they got into a bitter levereraged buyout of NCR and in the process pretty much destroyed NCR too. It's very expensive long distance service was dropped by hundreds of millions for competitors. It's research and development and equipment manufacturing business (which later became lucent) also could not compete despite the bias by the Baby Bells to use their equipment. It became a pretty much worthless company except for its name.

On the other hand the Baby Bells maintained monopolies over the local lines which for most Americans are one of only two options for getting on the Internet these days. Over the last 25 years they have used every legal trick in the book and their monopoly size to stiffle true competition, keep costs high, and have not provided much innovation at all. This is why Americans lag, and in many cases lag greatly, the peers in the other industrialized world for cheap high speed broadband, and innovation in mobile telephones. It's all about protecting their monopoly position and bottom line over providing much benefit to their customers. The recombination of these companies into even larger conglomerations is not good but unfortunately nobody seems to care much. BellSouth in North Carolina and Charlotte has been one of the most anti-consumerist companies out there and basically does not offer much more than it did 25 years ago in terms of value to the consumer.

Meanwhile, we have an entire adult generation now that has only experienced Reaganism and believes this should be the way of the business world these days, so I don't see the situation changing anytime soon.

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They are associated with Cingular and therefore the old AT&T provider, I believe SunCom had purchased the combined company. We bought our cell plans approximately 4.5 years ago with AT&T. Roughly a year later they were bought out by Cingular, and our bills subsequently came from them. Then we moved to NC and SunCom took over our actual service, though the bills still came from Cingular, and everyone here in NC at the time (1.5 years ago) was talking about SunCom purchasing Cingular/AT&T. I may have the purchasing facts wrong, but as far as personal experience, SunCom did take over our Cingular service when we got here, at some point that ended, I assumed they had retired the SunCom name.

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I'll concede confused customers (myself included) got the facts wrong, but I did say "associated"... :D

Thanks.

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BellSouth has always put the screws to Charlotte. Look at Atlanta...world's largest toll free dialing area. Whereas in Charlotte...Less than 15 miles from center city is long distance.

Atlanta...47 story headquarters, plus numerous other locations downtown, Lenox, the old training center on I-85 at N. Druid Hills

Birmingham....roughly 30 story building downtown, big data center in Hoover, large complex on Hwy. 280

Nashville....large 30 or so story "Batman" building downtown

Numerous large buildings in Fla. cities

Charlotte...7 story downtown building with parking deck below and data center in University Research Park, some marketing near Billy Graham Pkwy.

At least with cell phones, BellSouth can be by-passed for calling other nearby communities, but their yellow page and white page sections don't include anything but the toll free land line areas within 15 miles or so.

Maybe the "new" AT&T will think more of this city. But clearly, why should they?

Everyone is too complacent.

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BellSouth has always put the screws to Charlotte. Look at Atlanta...world's largest toll free dialing area. Whereas in Charlotte...Less than 15 miles from center city is long distance.

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This small free calling area dates back way before 1984 and the formation of LATAs.

My bigger point was the company's commitment to downtown Charlotte seems (is) less than many other cities of comparable size. I hope CCP and others will pursue the "new" San Antonio-based AT&T much harder than it was possible with an Atlanta-based operation.

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Not true. SunCom purchased ATT wireless's licenses in third tier markets about 6 years ago. They were always 100% independent of ATT wireless. They have a low cost roaming agreement with ATT, and used to market themselves as being part of the "ATT wireless network." They were never, however, a part of the company.

When Cingular merged with ATT wireless they swapped a few markets with Suncom so that Cingular could say that they covered a certain % of major markets. All of the Charlotte customers were dumped onto SunCom wireless service as part of that deal.

Nobody with any knowledge of the industry was talking about Suncom buying Cingular. It was just a matter of confusion amongst consumers. Triton PCS (SunCom) is a very minor player in the US wireless market. Suncom's stock is facing delisting currently and is trading at around 80 cents a share. Att/Cingular is hovering around $36 a share. I seriously doubt that Triton would ever be in the position to buy out anyone. Suncom still exists, but is dying a slow death. It has reported net losses in six of the past seven years and has $2 billion in long-term debt. I would expect someone like Alltel to buy them within the next year.

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^Not sure what you mean by the fact that SunCom is "...still using GSM"? GSM is the accepted platform for the VAST majority of the world. That's the whole reason I switched to AT&T back in the day. I could use my phone here or in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Not true with CDMA.

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BellSouth has always put the screws to Charlotte. Look at Atlanta...world's largest toll free dialing area. Whereas in Charlotte...Less than 15 miles from center city is long distance.

Atlanta...47 story headquarters, plus numerous other locations downtown, Lenox, the old training center on I-85 at N. Druid Hills

Birmingham....roughly 30 story building downtown, big data center in Hoover, large complex on Hwy. 280

Nashville....large 30 or so story "Batman" building downtown

Numerous large buildings in Fla. cities

Charlotte...7 story downtown building with parking deck below and data center in University Research Park, some marketing near Billy Graham Pkwy.

At least with cell phones, BellSouth can be by-passed for calling other nearby communities, but their yellow page and white page sections don't include anything but the toll free land line areas within 15 miles or so.

Maybe the "new" AT&T will think more of this city. But clearly, why should they?

Everyone is too complacent.

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^Not sure what you mean by the fact that SunCom is "...still using GSM"? GSM is the accepted platform for the VAST majority of the world. That's the whole reason I switched to AT&T back in the day. I could use my phone here or in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Not true with CDMA.

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To be fair, Atlanta was the corporate HQ of Southern Bell and later it's successor BellSouth. Birmingham and Nashville more or less were the HQ and administrative centers of what was known as South Central Bell. (5 state territory). This is the reason they have towers. In the pre-divesture days, there was also a very large Western Electric factory on North Tryon, but most of that kind of work disappeared a long time ago. I believe this building was later converted to the satellite jail and I don't know if it is still used for that or not.

In regards to the Yellow Pages, there is Yellow Book which I find is more useful and has more information.

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^I am not sure of your point. Everyone knows they are a monopoly and used monopolistic practices but I don't think I can fault them for not having built a more imposing skyscraper in downtown Charlotte.

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^Not sure what you mean by the fact that SunCom is "...still using GSM"? GSM is the accepted platform for the VAST majority of the world. That's the whole reason I switched to AT&T back in the day. I could use my phone here or in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Not true with CDMA.

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