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AT&T The Internet Businesses Government The Almighty Buck

AT&T Threatening To Raise Rates After Merger Failure 247

An anonymous reader writes "In the quarterly earnings call following the defeat of his attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson was quick to lash out at the FCC, claiming that because his company was unable to acquire more spectrum to handle the explosion of mobile data users, AT&T would be forced to raise prices and take additional action against the highest data users. PCMag looked into the other side of the story, finding that 'The FCC spokesman ... pointed out that the FCC has approved more than 150 commercial mobile transaction applications in the past year and more than 300 in the past two years, "facts [that] were completely ignored in the [AT&T] conference call," he said.'"
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AT&T Threatening To Raise Rates After Merger Failure

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  • Bye Bye AT&T! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by na1led ( 1030470 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @01:22PM (#38841305)
    It was nice knowing ya! They are already struggling to keep the customers they currently have, how is raising prices going to help?
  • Hypocrisy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ScooterComputer ( 10306 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @01:29PM (#38841433)

    AT&T is just a big bundle of fail. Now, after a merger attempt that they should have KNOWN would fail given the history of a monopoly Telecom Industry in the US (the history, in fact, of AT&T!), AT&T is complaining again that the FCC is prohibiting them from getting too big (Too Big to Fail?).

    But worse, they keep throwing out claims like "take additional action against the highest data users." Yet, just Monday, they raised the rates on their data users AND increased data caps...even though their own statements from prior in the year gave the picture that 90% of users didn't USE more than 2GB! Do they understand how pricing works in an economic model??? If you want users to use LESS data, LOWER THE PRICING ON YOUR LOWER DATA TIER AND INCREASE THE PRICE ON THE HIGHER TIERS! Furthermore, set tiers levels to actual DATA USAGE PATTERNS! There is no reason there is a 300MB tier (was a 200MB tier) and a 3GB (2GB) tier when all the study data is showing most users are consuming 500-1300MB, with an average of 850.

    I'm tired of hearing this crap from AT&T, greed shrouded in pleas of victimhood. What I don't understand is how it doesn't constitute fraud, or cause securities issues. Public companies making patently false statements face consequences. Furthermore, I'm even less impressed with the media and the tech media, in specific, for not doing a better job calling AT&T out and making them look like the greedy pricks they are.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @01:40PM (#38841661) Homepage

    Not only do you get to keep a good plan, you get to keep it. For ages.

  • by brainzach ( 2032950 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @01:40PM (#38841663)

    AT&T wants its high data users to go to a competitor and clog up their networks instead.

    It is a simple business decision. Spend billions of dollars upgrading you network to accommodate everyone, or develop a pricing structure to drive its heavy users away. You could lose 5-10% of your revenue, but get to support 50% less bandwidth over the network.

  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @01:47PM (#38841813)

    Reagan happened. Him and all the corporatist looters to follow in his footsteps. These days, corporations aren't just people, they're better than people.

  • Go ahead, AT&T (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SecurityGuy ( 217807 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @01:51PM (#38841875)

    And yes, I'm a customer, so this would impact me.

    We're not suckers. You're a business. If you can make more by raising rates, you will. That's an absolute given. The only reason any business led by someone with a brain doesn't raise rates is because it will cost them money because people will leave. The FCC told you no because your proposed merger would significantly reduce consumers' options to do just that. Leave.

    The irony is I, and a lot of others, are only your customer because you had an iphone exclusive. In other words, you had a deal to suppress competition. I am ditching you soon and going to Verizon now that that's over and it's about new phone time.

    I may sound anti ATT, but I'm not. Just give me good service and as good a deal or better than your competition and I'll be delighted to stay your customer. Unfortunately, that's not what you've done, and not what you're trying to do. You're trying to limit my options so I have to be your customer. That alone is reason to leave.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @01:52PM (#38841897) Journal
    Honestly, AT&T's threat to raise rates is exactly the sort of thing that confirms that denying them was a good idea. If a company can raise their prices and expect to make more money, rather than lose customers to less petulant firms, they already have dangerously high market power(particularly for something as relatively homogenous as wireless telco services. Certain goods simply don't have much in the way of substitutes).

    One could go so far as to say that, as a heuristic, anybody who could make, and make good on, such a threat if they don't get what they want, Should Not be allowed to get what they want...
  • by blahbooboo ( 839709 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @01:56PM (#38841965)

    Re-read what I wrote. I am not talking about reliability or problems with downloads. Sprint is consistently rated the slowest 3g cellular network. []

    next time, don't be so quick to get your panties in a bunch. I personally don't care what cellular god you pray. They all suck in one way or another.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday January 27, 2012 @02:01PM (#38842037)

    This is only tangentially related to the topic, but carriers keep promoting how fast their network is and how I can get 12mbit+ of bandwidth to my phone. But I wonder.... why should I care? Especially since I could hit my monthly download cap in less than an hour at that speed.

    I can see why faster networks benefit the carrier since faster speeds means more people can share the bandwidth, but why should I care as an end user? Even if I regularly watched movies on my phone, I don't think I can really tell the difference between a 800kbs stream and a 4mbit stream on my 3" screen. And a 90 minute movie at 4mbit will use around 2GB of my download bandwidth. (compared to around 400MB for the 800kbs stream)

    I don't have the latest phone, but with my 1Ghz single core processor, when I'm browsing the web, the browser rendering speed seems to be my limiting factor since browsing speed doesn't seem to be noticeably different whether I'm on my carrier's 3G network or my Wifi at home (with 15mbit of bandwidth to the internet).

    So, why should I really care what the peak download speed of a carrier's 4G network is? It seems like I should be more interested in the average real-world speed they can provide on a loaded network than in whether or not I can download a short burst at some high peak speed.

    Is there any reason to care about published 4G speeds? Or is it more like Megapixels in cameras - manufacturers promote megapixels because it's an easy term to explain and many people think that megapixels are most important when it's really just one of many factors (sensor size, lens, etc) that all need to be considered. A quality 5MP camera can give better images than a cheap 12MP camera.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor