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Cingular-AT&T Wireless Merger Complete

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the consummation-or-consumption dept.

Businesses 331

bigmase521 writes "PRNNewsWire, Phonescoop.com, and this thread on Howardforums.com, are reporting that the Cingular/AT&T Wireless Merger is now complete. Cingular bought out AT&T Wireless for ~$41B to become the nations largest cellular provider. Details of the merger, and full press coverage, including the audio of this afternoon's conference call can be found here, and Cingular and AT&T customers can see what is/isn't changing for them at newcingular.com."

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Should have happened sooner (2, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638916)

Its too bad this could not have taken place sooner. I dumped AT&T a few months ago due to very poor customer service and because AT&T had absurdly high rates for international calling when I travel (calls from New Zealand to the US were something like $8.00/minute with AT&T) I went with T-Mobile at the time and have been for the most part satisfied, although coverage in remote areas of the American West is weak due to a less well developed GSM network. After reading an article in the Wall St. Journal (not linked because its a subscription article) this morning, it turns out however, even if I had remained with AT&T nee Cingular I would have had to deal with the same coverage issues because Cingular will move their customers from TDMA phones to GSM phones.

So, just like when the TDMA markets were rolling out some years ago, it took a couple years to expand them to remote areas. I suspect fairly uniform GSM coverage throughout remote areas in the near future. Perhaps if Cingular provides better service and lower rates, they might win myself and many others back.

Re:Should have happened sooner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638969)

The subscriber base for TDMA vs GSM at AT&T was about 10:1 when I worked there until this past Spring. That's roughly 20 mil to 2 mil on their respective networks. I would not be surprised if Cingular had a similar split since TDMA has been deployed for about a decade while GSM in the U.S. has only been around for 3-4 years.

Re:Should have happened sooner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638998)

Since when do mergers make for better customer service and lower rates anyway?

Re:Should have happened sooner (1)

bluprint (557000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639003)

I've had Cingular for 3-4 years now, and been very happy with it.

Before that, years before, I had an Alltel phone.

One thing I'm curious about, in the fairly limited time I've had a cell (about 4-5 years total) I've only really had 1 problem. Sometime this summer, it seems my phone was somehow dropped from the network...semi-permanently. Anyhow, I went to the Cingular store and they fixed it quickly, but what I'm curious about is, how many problems (or other experiences...) have you had over the years that led to any meaningful conclusion about customer service?

Clarification Please (1)

Coocha (114826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639056)

I don't have the time or energy to RTFA (8am class tomorrow) but I assume that only AT&T's wireless subsidiary was purchased.

That said, I must admit my interest is speculative only. I don't own a mobile phone, nor do I plan to until I need it as a matter of profession. You wouldn't believe how many people walk mindlessly around campus, oblivious to the Real World(tm) because they're so engaged in the cellphone conversations. Makes me sick, especially since as a bicyclist, these normally sober and aware individuals turn into slalom cones.

Sleepy rant complete. 'Night all.

Re:Clarification Please (2, Informative)

vm (127028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639097)

AT&T Wireless split from AT&T Corp back in the summer of 2001.

Re:Should have happened sooner (1)

cswiii (11061) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639107)

I dumped AT&T a few months ago due to very poor customer service and because AT&T had absurdly high rates for international calling when I travel (calls from New Zealand to the US were something like $8.00/minute with AT&T)

Best thing to do is to obtain an unlocked phone.

I bought an unlocked phone on ebay recently; While on layover in MIA, en route to Curaçao a few weeks ago, I was told by ATTWS that calls to the US from Curaçao would be $1.69/minute.

It wasn't long before I found a phone shop down there, bought a prepaid SIM and was able to make calls to the US at a much more reasonable rate of 35c/min.

OMG JOHN PEEL (1)

FAT_VIRGIN (775824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639148)

Will be missed, etc.

Re:Should have happened sooner (2, Interesting)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639239)

I had Voicestream/T-Mobile in a densly populated area in the East (Bergen County, NJ -- I live 10 or 15 miles from NYC, Paramus is here [I have been told it has the largest shopper to citizen ratio of any town/city in the US, and most of the stores are closed Sundays due to blue laws], and T-Mobile gave me the crappiest coverage I've seen. I stood in the middle of a major area highway (Route 4, it leads directly to the George Washington Bridge) and got nothing. Cingular used to use T-Mobile for east coast coverage, but they may be moving to AT&Ts towers. Also, AT&T Wireless was planning to move the whole system to GSM even before the announcement of the Cingular merger.

Network wierdness (3, Informative)

CptChipJew (301983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638923)

I have AT&T, and the area I live in (Los Angeles County) has lots of Cingular zones. Whenever my phone in on a Cingular network, I have to dial the area code of people I am trying to reach who are in the same area code as me. If you try to just dial the number without the area code, Cingular says it cant connect.

This just happened to me again today, so this merger may be complete business-wise, but there are still bugs to work out of the network.

Re:Network wierdness (1)

chrispyman (710460) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639022)

I've also had that oddity happen a few times with Cingular, but only when I've roamed out of my home area code. I suspect that since LA has many area codes in such close proximity you're probably roaming outside your area code more often than you would in, say, a larger (geographically speaking) sized area code.

Re:Network wierdness (1)

CptChipJew (301983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639080)

I don't think thats it. I'm in the 818 area, which is pretty large. Pretty much the whole of San Fernando Valley is on the same area code.

Re:Network wierdness (2, Informative)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639035)

I have to dial the area code of people I am trying to reach who are in the same area code as me.

Get used to it. Lots of carriers in metro areas are moving to 10-digit dialing. Boston's been that way for years, and I know other big(ish) cities are doing the same thing. Now it's weird for me to see a 7-digit number, because I've gotten so used to the extra three digits.

Re:Network wierdness (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639263)

All of the area code I live in [Bergen County, NJ] and surrounding area codes always have to dial 10 digits, 11 digits for out of the region.
That being said, any cellphone I used here (even old analog ones before digital networks were popular) requires/-ed the area code to be dialed.

1 + 1 = 0 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638924)

Not to troll but..

Ah, excellent! Now one crappy company merging with another crappy company can make an uber crappy company!

Anyone hate their cingular or att service also??

Re:1 + 1 = 0 (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638949)

I use T-mobile, but I hate it just as much when I'm in the West Coast.

Where I'm (Atlanta), T-mobile provides quite decent coverage. However, I've observed that when I'm in California T-mobile simply acts up. Horrible, horrible service.

Wonder how Verizon is, though.

Re:1 + 1 = 0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638979)

I hate T-Mobile worst of all because of their insane prices on WiFi hotspots. Don't they know crap like that will drive people away from all their service, not just the one they rip people off of?

Re:1 + 1 = 0 (1)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639160)

I live in chicago and I despise me Cingular service. When I'm driving home at 6:30pm on Lake Shore Drive and calling someone (don't lecture me about driving while talking, traffic was crawling), and I havea FULL signal bar, I still drop calls. When I called support they said this:
"Well sir, the network is increidbly busy so you're gong to lose calls like that. Try you call later."
My signal fades from full to nothing at different parts of my apartment. I'm on the 18th (top) floor of an apartment complet just north of down town and I still have to walk around in my place hoping to find a decent signal.

Hopefully.. (1)

keeleysam (792221) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638932)

they can compromise networks FAST so we cal all get better coverage.

Can you say.... (3, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638934)

....Deja Vu?

Funny thing, back then Ma-Bell was broken down for anti-trust reasons, now all these giants are bigger than what Bell Labs ever was.

And they are all merging. That's a very scary thought.

I think a few years from now, almost all the business will be controlled by just a few corporations.

I personally am not sure if that would be a good idea, that would certainly put smaller companies and businesses out, and these would not stand a chance against the big corporations.

Not too sure how I feel about this.

Re:Can you say.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638960)

I agree. But unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the USA government is moving to break up these big guys.

Oil (and we see crazy prices), desktop OS (and we see crazy prices), cell phones now (really they are crazy prices), etc etc... ok I can't think of other examples, but you guys will help me out here.

When the number of companies providing service dwindles, the customer always will pay more, despite the company PR saying "oh this merger will improve service blah blah for our customers" OK, we know customer service sucks, so why not just make it cheaper for us?

Anyawy, I agree, monopoly = bad for us consumers.

Come on USA government, slow them down!!!

Re:Can you say.... (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639048)

Anyawy, I agree, monopoly = bad for us consumers.

Come on USA government, slow them down!!!


USA government? you mean the same guys whose pockets are chock full of these corporations' money?

Let me introduce you to the word "naive"...

Re:Can you say.... (4, Insightful)

alienw (585907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638985)

Well, if you think a couple of cellphone companies merging constitutes anything like the ma bell monopoly, you must be smoking something good. It's not like Cingular has anything except cellphone service, and even then it's doesn't have even 80% of the market. There are currently about 4 other companies I can think of that are in the cellphone business. That's way too many as it is.

Re:Can you say.... (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639036)

You misunderstand me.

Ma-Bell had a monopoly because they were the effectively the first people to establish such a huge network.

No, I'm not talking merely in terms of coverage and areas. I'm in talking in terms of financial power and effectively arm-twisting capabilities.

Look at them - Microsoft, AOL-Time Warner, Cingular-AT&T, etc. They effectively control a large chunk of the media. You must be smoking something if you think that these guys can't squash a small player if they didn't like them.

It's not like AOL had anything other than Internet service, and it's not like Warner has anything other than entertainment. But they are effectively a single company, and that's what is scary.

I was talking of the phenomenon of large-mergers, which could be stiffling to smaller companies simply because all it would take is a bunch of lawsuits to kill innovation. We already see it happening.

Btw, more choices is not a bad thing, it's a good thing.

Re:Can you say.... (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639123)

Well, a major problem with the free market is that it tends to become monopolized rather quickly. The only thing that can prevent it is government anti-trust controls. So far, they have been functioning, but of course that won't be for long if Republicans have their way with their corporate welfare agenda.

By "too many", I didn't mean that it's a bad thing for the consumer -- on the contrary, competition is very good. It's just that it's not a sustainable market situation -- eventually, some of those companies will merge.

Can you say....Countersue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639188)

"I was talking of the phenomenon of large-mergers, which could be stiffling to smaller companies simply because all it would take is a bunch of lawsuits to kill innovation. We already see it happening."

And what lawsuits could a big company institute that wouldn't come back and bite them?

Re:Can you say....Countersue. (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639212)

Lawsuits where a small company would rather give in than fight.

When IBM sues you and sends in a bunch of their very best lawyers, you seldom fight. You or your investors would seldom dare risk open confrontation - they next move would be to move into the boardroom and negotiate.

What did the anti-trust things do to Microsoft? Effectively NOTHING. It killed off Netscape.

Lawyers are expensive, and so are court-room fees. Do you really think that small companies could stand a chance against companies whose policies are defeatist by nature, with a few billion dollars in the bank?

Re:Can you say....Countersue. (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639290)

How about the case where Creative sued Aureal into oblivion? Even if they're wrong, it still costs money to fight these things in court.

Re:Can you say.... (1, Interesting)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639219)

It's not like Cingular has anything except cellphone service, and even then it's doesn't have even 80% of the market.

Whew, not even 80%? That's a relief.

There are currently about 4 other companies I can think of that are in the cellphone business.

That many, huh?

That's way too many as it is.

Run 'em all outta business. That'll be great for consumers.

Re:Can you say.... (2, Insightful)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639011)

I think a few years from now, almost all the business will be controlled by just a few corporations.
You're right. It WILL be controlled by 'just a few corporations' because it already IS controlled by 'just a few corporations.

There are economic reasons for this. Mainly that being a telecom company is expensive. You must have lines, switching systems, employees, et cetera. Competition is often a good thing, and it's often a bad thing. Some things, like telecos, power/water/propane supply on a local scale, cable companies on a local scale... why? Because every competitor requires a duplication of effort to achieve the same goal, and split the profit. After a certain point, boom. NOBODY is profitable and they ALL go tits-up.

Ma-bell wasn't broken up because it was big, it was broken up because there was no way others could get into the market otherwise. It's not always compitition which keeps the market efficient, it's the THREAT of competition or elimination which does it. Utility companies generally try to keep rates low despite their monopolies because the state/county/city can kick them out if they don't. Cable companies try to keep rates competitive with satellite, and offer benefits over broadcast TV. Telecom companies, so long as there is at least a threat of being broken up to restore competition, will do the same (in theory).

As long as there are at least two companies (preferably three), the only thing we have to fear is collusion. As it is now, they're playing "Who can undercut the others on the wireless service"... POTS is more expensive still, but that's to be expected since wires costs money... Blah, I'm turning into an economics professor. You can make up the rest, turn your homework into my inbox.

Re:Can you say.... (1)

Zinoc (814847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639030)

Just what the world needs! More fledging transnational corporate powerhouses buying out any potential competition! YaY for us.

EDGE (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638937)

What does this mean for the AT&T edge network? I still dream of having high speed wireless everywhere...someday. Oh, and not too expensive.

Biggest in the... (0, Troll)

Jameth (664111) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638940)

Okay, so it's the biggest in the nation.

Being a huge fan of bigger-dick contests, I'm just wondering what the biggest cellular company in the world is. Is this one it? Anyone know?

Re:Biggest in the... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638959)


No.

But my dick is bigger than yours.

SUCK IT.

Re:Biggest in the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10638977)

Why?

Are you gay?

Re:Biggest in the... (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638974)

I believe T-Mobile is. They were originally a European company before they bought a wireless co or 2 in the US. And I also believe before they got into the US they were the biggest in the world (maybe minus the US). But I'm also just talking from memory, and I'll be the first to say my human memory is nowhere near as exact as computer memory.

Re:Biggest in the... (2, Informative)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639055)

Nope.

Vodafone.

They're not in the US. About 6 billion people aren't either.

(Note: I *AM* in the US. I use Sprint. Commence mocking!)

Re:Biggest in the... (2, Informative)

Zero98aTm (149965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639161)

Vodafone owns 44% of Verizon Wireless, so they are in the US. Sort of. In that half-assed sort of way.

Re:Biggest in the... (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639163)

Thanks. I did ask for a correction if I was wrong. I was just going by what I had known.

Oh, and I know that the US isn't even close to a large part of the world.... I was just saying they are a pretty large force. I don't think I've really heard of any place but the US having people with multiple phones/pagers, etc (I've seen people who are businessmen or sysadmins with 2-4 cell phones and 1-4 pagers). Seems like a bit of overkill to me, but I could be wrong again.

I also have heard of Vodafone and yes, they are in the US. Though they mostly work through domestic wireless providers.

There are very few companies without a hand in the US. Vodafone is one that is wildly successful outside the US (from what I've found on them) but only a small force in the US.

Blah, blah, blah. I should stop posting after midnight. I tend to ramble like a man 4 times my age....

Re:Biggest in the... (1)

York the Mysterious (556824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639217)

According to CNet "With 46.6 million subscribers, Japan-based DoCoMo is both the world's largest cell phone provider and a breeding ground for new services that find their way into markets worldwide."

I for one welcome (2, Interesting)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638953)

..oh, I just can't do it. My wife and I use Verizon. It costs too much. We can call each other for "free" -- as long as we pay $100/month, combined. The coverage is ok.

Re:I for one welcome (1)

BobaFett (93158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639001)

I pay $55 (with all taxes and fees) to AT&T for 450min shared between 2 lines (long-distance included) and unlimited mobile-to-mobile. T-mobile has even beter deal now, but didn't have it when I was shopping for plans. Plus I got two NEC-515's for a penny each. If with this merger I can get rollover of unused minutes on top of my plan, that'll be great.

Re:I for one welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639053)

With this merger, your Mobile-To-Mobile minutes will let you call anyone on the old AT&T network, plus the new network.

Rollover minutes require special software on the phones, so you may need to get new phones, or change to a similar rate plan that includes rollover.

--Your friendly ATTWS Customer Care Specialist.

Re:I for one welcome (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639237)

rollover? To get that they'll probably make you sign a new contract. Hey, anything to keep you locked in right?

For example, I know of a car dealership who would, after about 3-5 years (depending how their used car sales was doing) ask you to trade in your "old" car for a new one at "little or no out of pocket expense". The catch? So they could get you in a new lease/finance and keep you for another 3-5 years.

PAY CASH if you can. It saves alot in finance charges.

Re:I for one welcome (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639241)

as long as we pay $100/month

Plain local phone service used to be less than $20 a month, with the added bonus of being able to hear the other person during a call.

It's a 400% price increase, but that's OK!! BRING ON THE MEGACORP!!

Gains (4, Insightful)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638958)

The rationale of this move, according to an analysis of the merger done by Businessweek at
http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/oct200 4/nf20041026_3765_db016.htm [businessweek.com]

"The Atlanta-based carrier has landed exclusive rights to the new Motorola Razr V3 and the Sony Ericsson se710a. Both are high-end multimedia phones expected to lure sophisticated buyers. The Motorola Razr is a design triumph. It's just a half-inch thick when closed. Open, it's as thin as a Q-Tip. Yet it manages to pack in a VGA camera with 4x zoom, 3D graphics capability, and 22 kilohertz polyphonic speaker technology."

Its merger with AT&T Wireless will give Cingular 47.6 million subscribers, catapulting it past the 41 million customers that current market leader Verizon Wireless has. But that status might not last long unless Cingular can keep subscribers from bolting to Verizon and others. Cingular is plagued by above-average customer defections. [...] its churn rate edged up from 2.7% in the second quarter to 2.8% in the third, while Verizon's is hovering around a more wholesome 1.5%.

Mergers are dangerous : you gain benefits (in this case, exclusive handhelds and a big subscriber base), but can go wrong. Only time will tell if the benefits outweighted the disadvantages in this case.

Pictures of the RZR (1)

AIX-Hood (682681) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638992)

I came back from the recent digitallife show with pictures of said RZR: http://www.aixgaming.com/gallery/digital_life_2004 /aaz [aixgaming.com] and I really loved it. I was saddened by the 30+ great looking Motorola phones however as they were all GSM and TDMA and none worked with my current Verizon service. Seeing as my co-worker's new Cingular phone is the only one out of the group's (Sprint/Verizon) phones to work in our basement datacenter, I may have to give them a try and pick up one of these snazzy models while I'm at it.

Re:Gains (2, Interesting)

dala24 (325912) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639075)

Thin as A Q-Tip?? How is that a good thing, i for one have come close to snapping my LG 5350 and that's a hefty little beast... Maybe from an engineering standpoint that Razr is a good thing, but for public useability, i'll go for utility and longevity over pure "cool factor"

Re:Gains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639233)

Both are high-end multimedia phones expected to lure sophisticated buyers.

Awww, come on. They couldn't get one asscrack to add a hype-hyphen? Something like "media-savvy buyers" or "power-hungry multimedia phones?"

Journalism is really going downhill. Next thing you know, they'll learn to spell.

AT&T's idea of a network (2, Interesting)

Faustust (819471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638962)


I live in a regular brick house (NOT in the basement or with my mom). I get zero-to-no service at all here. I have to walk two blocks down the street to get 1 bar, 4 blocks for two bars, and 5 blocks for full service.

My phone works fine everywhere else, but I swear AT&T hates me or my house. I've had them out to my house three times to check the signal and they always say it's fine. Maybe Cingular has a better network/customer service policy.

Re:AT&T's idea of a network (1)

vm (127028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638994)

Two thoughts: 1) move out of your brick house or 2) upgrade to an 850MHz capable GSM phone or switch to a TDMA phone. You probably have an older GSM 1900MHz only device that has notoriously poor reception. 1.9GHz is in the microwave band and, like WiFi, Bluetooth, etc., does not travel as far as the PCS bands.

Re:AT&T's idea of a network (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639079)

3) when at home put your mobile phone in a wok [orcon.net.nz] or umbrella [orcon.net.nz] and use a headset.

Images from here [orcon.net.nz]

the same (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639019)

In Seattle, 1 bar sometimes, occasionally as many as three bars (celebration time!) in the house I share there, then ... zero. Even in the same spot in the house; conversations longer than 5 minutes there are pretty rare without at least one dropped connection.

In primary residence of El Paso, much better. Now, El Paso may be flatter and therefore easier to cover, but I'd hate to be a national cell carrier with awful coverage in Seattle! Sure, there are hills and rain and trees -- BUILD MORE TOWERS, because there are also lots of young urbanites with cell phones.

timothy

Re:AT&T's idea of a network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639247)

So you have to walk two blocks to the bar, that's not so bad.

In Soviet Russia... (1, Funny)

I'm not a script, da (638454) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638963)

...Aye Tee n Tee Singularly completes you!

Cingular indeed (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638991)

I must cay, as an AT&T cuctomer, I feel ctrange today...

Re:Cingular indeed (1)

lessthanjakejohn (766177) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639000)

Yeah ... Yesterday my phone switched over to "Cingular" from ATT and today it was "Cingular Wireless" I knew something was up, although I had thought they had already merged.

Re:Cingular indeed (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639260)

*runs over to check phone*
Cinuglar! Darts! oh wait, i'm a cingular customer.

Hmm (1)

The Islamic Fundamen (728413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10638993)

If Bell and Telus merged would you call it Belus?

Re:Hmm (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639063)

If Bell and Telus merged would you call it Belus?

who can Tell...

I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (2, Interesting)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639008)

How is Cingular regarding bluetooth? AT&T? Do they pull a Sprint-Bitch(TM) or Verizon-Bitch(TM) and purposely cripple bluetooth? As a GSM network, I'm hoping they leave their phones' bluetooth virgin and pure so I can sync, use in new bluetooth enabled car, etc.

The merger could mean I will, in New York City, be saturated with reception goodness. Each company on it's own was "ok to good" but overlap the two and Verizon IMO is shaking like the bluetooth criplin' bitch it is.

*hopes and prays*

Re:I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639062)

I'm not trying to be a dick... I actually **work** for the momment for verizon.... well until they read this.

but verizon wireless assures you the bluetooth was "limited" for you saftey and convience =)

you can go to our exciting pay portal to get your ring tones and transfer you photos.

your shit out of luck with you car, and computer sync'ing however.

Personally I was pretty appalled by their choice to cripple the V710 but hey they didn't ask me.

Re:I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (1)

js7a (579872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639165)

Can you please file a trouble ticket with corporate or something saying that the crippled bluetooth is just plain stupid and whoever decided on it should be demoted?

Re:I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639251)

I actually **work** for the momment for verizon.... well until they read this.

Isn't it funny how everyone who works for a bloated office-politics-choked bureaucracy automatically predicts they will be fired if they speak?

It's incredible the rights that are given away at the time clock.

Re:I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (1)

vm (127028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639067)

Nobody says you have to buy your phone from the carrier. You're always welcome to purchase equipment from the manufacturer -- always have been, always will. FYI, Bluetooth is unmodified on AT&T, Cingular, and T-Mobile. Non-GSM carriers probably disable some functionality for a reason. Sprint has only disabled the laptop tethering feature on some of their devices. They must have technical or policy reasons for doing so. I advise you ask them for an explanation instead of merely whining about it.

Re:I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (2, Informative)

Suffering Bastard (194752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639090)

I'm a Cingular subscriber and I recently bought a Sony Ericsson T637, which is bluetooth enabled. I can sync it with my Mac and my bluetooth headset with no problem, as well as connect to other bluetooth phones. I'm not sure how Verizon cripples bluetooth, but from all outward appearances, Cingular does not cripple it all.

Re:I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (1)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639100)

why on God's green earth would you need a bluetooth enabled car?

Re:I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (1)

lessthanjakejohn (766177) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639145)

Hands free calling?

Re:I WANT IN.. but the bluetooth!?! (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639271)

so I can drive the car with my phone! Whee! video games!

Cingular already out to make $$$ (2, Interesting)

vlad_grigorescu (804005) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639016)

"Q: Why do I need to get a new wireless phone when I want to get Cingular's current rate plans or services? A: Cingular's rate plans and services require unique software in your wireless phone to function properly. Unfortunately, AT&T Wireless phones are not equipped to support many of the benefits of Cingular's voice and data services. Therefore, to take advantage of the latest services Cingular offers, a new handset is required." Hmm... So Cingular has it's own OS running on the phone? Right... I would be more inclined to think that ATT has disabled several features of the phone (like #646#, which works on almost all other GSM networkds). I'm sure there's a way (probably easier than a ROM flash) to re-enable these. But Cingular refuses to do this... wonder why ($$$ ATT was kinda pricey). I wonder how long until there are sites up "Change your ATT F0ne to Cingular... Get Rollover Minutes!!" Hopefully this merger will clear up some issues I have been having while they were getting ready to merge. When I got my ATT phone, this July, I was told that if I saw Cingular on the screen, it was exactly the same as seeing ATT Wireless on the screen (after a $430 bill, I found out that this wasn't exactly the case) and that Cingular and ATT had started sharing towers. Only problem is that my ATT phone was programmed in a such a way not to choose the strongest signal, but to choose ATT first, and then if there was no signal on that, go to Cingular.

moderators are the real cowards (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639021)

How is it that whenver I submit a new article to /. early in the day (like one about the AT&T/Cingular merger), it gets rejected... Then several hours later, some other schmuck posts the same news along with a dozen links to several other news sites that are now reporting the same thing. Is some moderator scooping all the stories or is it just not newsworthy until everyone else is running the same info? What a pathetic waste of time.

Re:moderators are the real cowards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639065)



4,3,2...1 ...until you get modded offtopic.

~m

Does this mean I'm no longer roaming on AT&T? (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639074)

I'm on Cingular, and I have good signal strength everywhere but at work. At work, I can pick up AT&T Wireless just fine (must have a repeater in the building or something, because it's very strong, and no other cell network shows up). Does this mean that I can now use the AT&T network without worrying about roaming charges? Maybe I can finally answer my cell at work, rather than waiting for it to ring through to my work phone! (it takes 5+ rings before it forwards, after which most people will hang up.)

AT&T Wireless and Canada calling (4, Interesting)

cswiii (11061) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639078)

My wife (boy, it feels strange to say that) is from Canada, and before we got married, I used to call up there all the time. I recently renewed my contract w/ ATTWS, because as recently as Sept., ATTWS was the only mobile provider I could find that offered a plan allowing the user toll-free calling to .ca and no roaming while there, either. I didn't want to renew after the merger, and risk not having that option available to me.

It used to be an extra $20 a month, then when I switched to GSM, they'd lowered it to $10. Now I think it's only like $7/mo, which is a real bargain. I think it's called their "North America" plan or something, now.

Just a heads up for those who might find such a service useful. I've been asking for a few months now at both ATTWS and Cingular stores whether the new company would offer a similar plan, but no one knew for sure.

Re:AT&T Wireless and Canada calling (1)

hatefulmofo (695500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639214)

I have the misfortune of actually working for ATT Wireless customer service. You are correct, the North American package is 6.99. I wish I didn't know that by heart.

.ca? wtf! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639215)

ATTWS was the only mobile provider I could find that offered a plan allowing the user toll-free calling to .ca and no roaming while there, either

Hahaha, how fucking geeky are we when we refer to other countries by their domain?!? .ca? HAHA, fucking dork! Nice :)

Ma Bell on the comeback (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639095)

Cingular confirms it, competition is dying :)

Bear in mind that this is an SBC (i.e. Southwestern Bell) and BellSouth joint venture buying a former subsidiary of AT&T.

Also bear in mind that the RBOCs have been whittled down by merger to those two, Verizon, and Qwest. How much longer until this becoimes three, or two, or even one, if the feds think that the cell phone companies are the "competition"?

Re:Ma Bell on the comeback (1)

vm (127028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639138)

General Telephone was never a Regional Bell Operating Company. Check your telephone history [privateline.com] .

VOTE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639291)

How much longer until this becoimes three, or two, or even one, if the feds think that the cell phone companies are the "competition"?

If you are a voter in the USA and can slip, Mario-like, though the Jim Crow upgrade surrounding your poll then next Tuesday is your big chance to do something about it. Let no (R) remain! Sinclair felt it here, the monopobrands are feeling it abroad, now let's bring it to the representatives.

as Lando would say (1)

Emugamer (143719) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639104)

That blast came from the Death Star! That thing's operational!

Nothing's changin (3, Interesting)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639109)

"Cingular and AT&T customers can see what is/isn't changing for them at newcingular.com" It looks like for both services, nothing at all will change except a new name on the AT&T bills (the AT&T customers will get a change if they switch their calling plans). As an ardent cell phone geek, I've spent time with both companies - two years with AT&T, and now going on one with Cingular. Both companies were pretty much the same. Same service (great), same wonderfully geek-satisfying equipment (as opposed to Verizon with some really cheap crappy stuff, wholly absent of Nokia and Sony Ericsson), and almost same plans and prices. Very minor differences even there. The newcingular site claims that the end user will literally sense no change. If that's true, I'm staying with Cingular for a long, long, looooooong time. They already rock.

Re:Nothing's changin (2, Informative)

Mr. Fusion (235351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639179)

It also mentions that Rollover minutes will be made available [newcingular.com] to current AT&T customers:
  • Plans are already underway to make Rollover Minutes available to you. Please check back on November 10, 2004 for an update. Our goal is to have this feature available to you by this holiday season.

What's Frustrating for Me (4, Funny)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639110)

What's frustrating for me is that a few weeks before they first announced this, I, having been COMPLETELY FED UP with Cingular and their terrible, possibly unethical billing practices, I decided to drop them mid-contract and signed up w/ AT&T.

I just can't win.

Re:What's Frustrating for Me (2, Informative)

hatefulmofo (695500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639225)

ATT Wireless was never much better a company anyway. They're both morally bankrupt companies. I work customer service for ATT Wireless, and for the last 6 months, ATTWS management have been saying nothing but 'renew every single contract you possibly can', customer service be damned.

What does AT&T do anymore? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639125)


They sold off their long distance service, then their cable and local phone service, now their wireless. Do they still do anything?

Re:What does AT&T do anymore? (1)

vm (127028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639195)

Local loop and long distance, voice over IP (currently in a price war with Vonage [zdnet.com] ), and some silly thing called the Internet [att.net] .

Re:What does AT&T do anymore? (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639275)

Nothing. They're exactly like Disney, which claimed it couldn't make money on Monday Night Football but still spent millions to make "Lion King 1 1/2"

Doh! (1)

igzat (817053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639135)

I switched over from AT&T to Verizon about 6 months ago, just before the merger was announced. Back then AT&T service was horrible here in NJ, I constantly had low signal and dropped calles. This merger should make Cingular the largerst cellular phone provider, but I'll have to wait and see if the service gets any better. I have Verizon now and love the service, but the prices are highway robbery. If Cingular can offer the same service as AT&T at a lower price, I see a lot of people switching over.

Great! (2, Funny)

jedaustin (52181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639146)

Now the largest and crappiest network ever!

I'd be rich if I had a nickel every time someone asked me to call them on a real phone when I was using my ATTWS cell phone.. 'You sound like you're in a tin can!'.

Lets hope Cingular can bring something better to their service.

Re:Great! (1)

hatefulmofo (695500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639236)

That's not really the fault of ATTWS, so much as it is the way cellular technology is going. GSM crams even more bandwidth saving techniques into the line than the digital service did. Between compression, the 'time slicing', and the cheap ass phones (Primarily the low end LG phones) ATTWS sells, you'd get better sound tying two tin cans together with string.

*-!!%%$#@ Bastards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639154)

"... and Cingular and AT&T customers can see what is/isn't changing for them at newcingular.com."

The ONLY thing I'm concerned about here is getting the unlock codes to my Nokia 3360. I asked of course, and their answer was no. I've already had my year of service, and now I have a paperweight I can't use, even on those "pay as you go" plans.

I have more freedom with a regular phone.

Predictable (0, Troll)

ICECommander (811191) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639168)

I for one welcome our new cellular overlords.

Singular? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10639197)

How much longer until Cingular is Singular?

Explains the Worried Looks... (1)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639204)

I had been wondering why all the AT&T Wireless employees in my mall were looking scared. This probably means a lot of AT&T stores will be closing.

Excellent! (-1, Flamebait)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639208)

PROCEED WITH THE LAYOFFS!!

Recent house refinancings and college graduates first! Across the board wage reductions and let's put some real shitty mutual funds in that pain in the ass 401K. Oh, and benefit cuts for everyone!

The rest of the poor dumb sons-of-bitches will be getting 40% smaller cubicles and 40% shittier workloads with 100% shittier promotions and raises.

There will be a catered presentation on the new management bonuses, buyouts, reserved parking, options and 300% salary increases by a blow-dried, phone flipping asshole in the conference room.

The biggest change so far (1)

fluxrad (125130) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639218)

for about half of you...unlock your phone. look at it. notice anything different?

/that was quick.

I know reading the article is bad form... (5, Funny)

philovivero (321158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639232)

...but I couldn't help it. I went to the website and clicked the "I'm an AT&T customer" (I recently left Cingular for AT&T).

They had a list of bullet points and then a whole page devoted to how much better my life is going to be after this merger. I swear, there were about 64 kilobytes of text devoted to listing all the positives of this merger.

That's when it struck me that companies really need to read the Cluetrain Manifesto. I really would be interested in the six worst things that are going to happen to me, so that I can be prepared for it.

Take, for example, when I first signed up with AT&T. Plan: $65/month all told. First bill comes. $300. WTF? Everything that could go wrong, did. They put me on the wrong plans. They didn't count my mobile-to-mobile minutes. They signed me up for about 17 extra plans I didn't need or ask for. Not to mention that "Federal fund recovery fee" which is essentially AT&T's way of saying "How come restaurants get to charge you 15% extra for tips, and we don't??? Oh, wait. We do. We'll just charge a tip on every bill. Nice."

Now Cingular is going to take this bumblefuck of a corporation and incorporate it into its everyday operations.

And things are going to go smoothly? I don't think so.

This is Tweedle-dee meets Tweedle-dum, and they're in charge of your critical wireless communications. Be prepared to be pissed off.

Dodging bullets (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639240)

Some time back, I was with Cingular, but I decided their service sucked hardcore and wanted to go with someone else. I decided that AT&T had the best rates and the right coverage area, plus my downstairs neighbor got great reception with his phone. After they screwed up my online order three - count 'em - three times, I decided to cancel my order(s) and go with Sprint. About two days later, the first news reports hit the wire about Cingular buying out AT&T Wireless. Glad I dodged that bullet.

What's even funnier is that now, months later, I still get bills in the mail for $0.00 from AT&T Wireless.

SIM only, voice + data, GSM, no contract? (1)

sandgroper (145126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639248)

I'll be visiting the U.S. soon for 6 weeks or so, and want a cheap(?) connection with national roaming (no phone needed) along the lines listed above.

Both Cingular's and ATT's (old) websites are un-navigable when looking for something this specialized, in my book.

Any recomendations of deals from /.-ers?

AT&T Wireless will re-emerge in the next 6-12 (2, Interesting)

ApheX (6133) | more than 9 years ago | (#10639264)

Its worth mentioning that AT&T still owns the rights to the AT&T Wireless name and will re-emerge in the near future as AT&T Wireless but basically reselling Sprint's service.

Ah! The confusion!
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