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Old 2011-03-23, 03:08   Link #12621
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/20/a...tsche-telekom/



AT&T gains a GSM monopoly in the United States with this move.

Hopefully the FCC will shoot it down on antitrust grounds--I'm quite happy with T-Mobile, I don't wish to use a CDMA network, and if Ma Bell gobbles up my provider, I won't have any other GSM choice. Further reducing the already-small American cell provider choices from four to three is definitely not going to be good for the consumers.
I figure the FCC will roll over with a "sell some assets and pleasepleaseplease serve the rural area better like you promised you'd roll out broadband". I think its a terrible move for the consumer - reduction of choice and a poorly performing giant just swallowing competition. AT&T has been in a death spiral both in regard to customer service, pricing schedules, and failure to invest in infrastructure.

It certainly makes those T-mobile ads that roast AT&T look very odd.
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Old 2011-03-23, 03:20   Link #12622
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I figure the FCC will roll over with a "sell some assets and pleasepleaseplease serve the rural area better like you promised you'd roll out broadband". I think its a terrible move for the consumer - reduction of choice and a poorly performing giant just swallowing competition. AT&T has been in a death spiral both in regard to customer service, pricing schedules, and failure to invest in infrastructure.

It certainly makes those T-mobile ads that roast AT&T look very odd.
The funny thing is, in Germany T-Mobile or Deutsche Telekom used to be what AT&T is in the USA. However, at the moment T-Mobile is just one provider of many here. Competition really makes a difference (I am comparing our prices/contrats with US contracts). Doesn't the US have something like an antitrust agency or Monopolies and Mergers Commission? Such an institution would be more fitting to rule over this merger. The FCC is more about the technical framework afaik.
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Old 2011-03-23, 03:22   Link #12623
synaesthetic
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Basically what it means for me is either stop using a phone (impossible) or switching to Verizon. Even T-Mobile only lets me keep my Even More Plus plan because they know I'd laugh in their face and stop giving them money if they changed it. They don't even advertise the plan I have anymore--because it's actually a fair deal.

I don't really want to switch to Verizon, because they tend to charge a lot for smartphones off-contract and I don't like being on a contract. And since I'd be paying $30 a month more for basically the exact same thing, I'd want to get an LTE-capable phone, to at least make the extra monthly fee palatable...

... but damn, Big Red, $700 for an HTC Thunderbolt? Come on. I bought my MT4G for $450, and it's a better phone overall (save for the LTE modem).

@Jinto: If this merger happens, there will only be three national cell service providers in the entire United States... I swear, moving to Europe looks more and more inviting every year!
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Old 2011-03-23, 03:31   Link #12624
Ithekro
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Isn't AT&T basically Southwestern Bell renamed for international recognition.
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Old 2011-03-23, 03:40   Link #12625
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Isn't AT&T basically Southwestern Bell renamed for international recognition.
Not really, AT&T is kind of a black hole for American telecommunications. They seem to suck up anything that isn't appropriately bolted down.

Years ago the federal government busted them up, but they've slowly been using their inexorable gravitational pull to reclaim all of their lost bits... and some other bits, too.

I've gotten really used to T-Mobile. I love their service, they've been wonderful to me. My signal is good (though data sucks at home, but I have wifi, who cares) and they're very friendly to no-contract types like myself.

I'm dreading an AT&T conversion, as Ma Bell is pretty similar to Verizon--they want your ass on a contract, and if you don't want to be on one, they will make you pay large amounts of money for a phone, deposits, etc.

What I'm really worried about is how AT&T treats Android. They've basically sold their souls to Apple and Microsoft, and they're horrible at updating their Android devices' software. They also require that sideloading .apks be DISABLED in the firmware. Of course, this can be fixed with root, but still... missing the point much, AT&T?

AT&T treats Android like the annoying little brother it never wanted around while it tries to cozy up to the stacked iOS and WP7 sisters. T-Mobile has always been super Android friendly ever since the G1 was released, as well as Android hacking friendly. All the guys at the local store in Berkeley have rooted phones, and a few run custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod.

I get the distinct feeling that with gobbling up T-Mobile, AT&T will be in a good position to damage Android. Google should declare war!
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Old 2011-03-23, 03:44   Link #12626
Ithekro
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I distinctly remember SBC buying AT&T, then as part of the deal, SBC would rename iiself AT&T Inc. Mainly because AT&T is a widely known name, were SBC wasn't. Basically Ma Bell died in 2005.

We cut our tires to AT&T only a few months ago, swapping to Comcast for phone service to save expense. Cel phones have been with Verizon the entire time.
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Old 2011-03-23, 03:47   Link #12627
synaesthetic
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True, but the name stuck! it's usually used in a derogatory context.

AT&T sure is eager to get their monopoly back.

Apparently the whole reason for this merger isn't about customers (of course), but about spectrum. AT&T needs a lot of spectrum for their LTE network, and apparently buying the 1700/2100MHz bands from T-Mobile will help them do this a lot cheaper and faster.

The problem with this is after the change-over happens, any HSPA-capable devices with 1700/2100 radios will basically turn into bricks... (yeah, you get EDGE, but EDGE sucks balls). I should want a new phone by then, and having only a single GSM frequency standard for phones in the US would be nice... but still, I don't see AT&T leaving my great no-contract plan alone.
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Old 2011-03-23, 04:14   Link #12628
Solace
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I've been pretty happy with Virgin Mobile, the phones aren't the latest and greatest but the no contract fee is dirt cheap for what you get, and the service is decent if you're not living out in the middle of nowhere. I just wish they'd open up more of the higher end Sprint Androids to the service, the Optimus is a good phone but it's not that much better than the Intercept.
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Old 2011-03-23, 07:12   Link #12629
ganbaru
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Portugal government may collapse before EU summit
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...72M2CK20110323
The euro zone isn't out of trouble yet...
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Old 2011-03-23, 08:11   Link #12630
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
The funny thing is, in Germany T-Mobile or Deutsche Telekom used to be what AT&T is in the USA. However, at the moment T-Mobile is just one provider of many here. Competition really makes a difference (I am comparing our prices/contrats with US contracts). Doesn't the US have something like an antitrust agency or Monopolies and Mergers Commission? Such an institution would be more fitting to rule over this merger. The FCC is more about the technical framework afaik.
The problem is that the antitrust agency and commission is very screwed up, the laws and the way of execution are so vague.

Lets take for example Apple. It has been forced to answer an antitrust suit recently about is media players dominating the market (misread as "monopoly"), but the thing is that Steve's competitors hardly come up with anything competitive or trendy - thus it make it seem as though Apple is having a dominatrix position in the market.
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Old 2011-03-23, 08:14   Link #12631
Solace
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US companies have learned that it is better to have a near monopoly than a total monopoly.
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Old 2011-03-23, 08:15   Link #12632
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
US companies have learned that it is better to have a near monopoly than a total monopoly.
I am more inclined to think of it as an oligopoly, like the property market in Hong Kong.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-03-23, 08:16   Link #12633
TinyRedLeaf
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Elizabeth Taylor has died, aged 79
Quote:
Los Angeles (March 23, Wed): Dame Elizabeth Taylor, one of the 20th Century's biggest movie stars, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 79.

The double Oscar-winning actress had a long history of ill health and was being treated for symptoms of congestive heart failure.

BBC NEWS
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Old 2011-03-23, 08:51   Link #12634
MrTerrorist
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Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says
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Old 2011-03-23, 08:58   Link #12635
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTerrorist View Post
I assume the religious extremists die along with it too?
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-03-23, 09:24   Link #12636
ganbaru
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Wishfull thinking...
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Old 2011-03-23, 11:27   Link #12637
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by MrTerrorist View Post
Doubtful. I can see the rates continue to fall in the countries mentioned, but I have a hard time seeing religion becoming functionally extinct... it will probably always be around in some form, at least in our lifetimes.
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Old 2011-03-23, 12:08   Link #12638
Haak
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Atleast it acknowledges the fact that it's still a simple mathematic model. We still don't fully understand every single variable that makes the human psyche and I doubt that religion would be extinct in those countries aswell.
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Old 2011-03-23, 13:00   Link #12639
Jinto
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Now the Czech Republic was a very bad example for this study. Its a former east block state. And in the east block socialism was the religion substitute (religion was at best tolerated, but with no rights to actively recruit people - except maybe Poland), no wonder the ratio is 60% there.
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Old 2011-03-23, 13:06   Link #12640
Ithekro
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How many places are converting to newer "created" fictional religions like Jedi/the Force, or Haruhism?
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