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Wireless Networking

Ma Bell Stifled Innovation, AT&T May Do the Same 354

An anonymous reader writes "AT&T recently announced it plans to acquire T-Mobile to create the largest wireless network in the US. If the deal is allowed to complete, it will create only three major players in the industry with Verizon being a close second and Sprint being a distant third. Sprint, along with consumer rights groups, have already cried foul. They argue that AT&T's proposed acquisition will stifle competition and innovation."
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Ma Bell Stifled Innovation, AT&T May Do the Same

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  • on the other hand (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cinnamon colbert ( 732724 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @11:06AM (#35653152) Journal
    Stuff never broke, you knew that your neighbor wasn't getting a better deal, and you didn't have to worry about sevrice or dropped calls; ma bells team of engineers and workers kept stuff running smoothly
    And, as anyone who travels abroad knows, the supposed "benefits" of competition don't seem so good: in those awful socialist countrys like france, they have, and have had for many years, superior telecoms.
    Of course, when the CEO of Verizon makes 18 or 20 million dollars a year, he has an incentive to hire (on Verizon's nickel) economists and journalists to tell the world how great competition and the unbridled capitlism are...
  • Monopoly? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WonderingAround ( 2007742 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @11:07AM (#35653154) Journal
    In Canada you have a lot more choice in providers, most of the American companies are available as well as Rogers and Bell, i guess it's just better, like our healthcare...
  • by querist ( 97166 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @11:13AM (#35653260) Homepage
    T-Mobile is the only provider that I've found in the USA that does not truncate the high bit on text messages. I can send text messages in Chinese and Japanese with my unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile. AT&T and Sprint clip the high bit. I hope AT&T won't screw up T-Mobile's network.
  • by amper ( 33785 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @12:08PM (#35654054) Journal

    As someone who did a lot of work in the early-mid 1990's helping to commercialize the Internet, I have to say that I must respectfully disagree.

    AT&T, as they were constituted, had a very long history of secrecy and obstruction of technological innovations reaching the general marketplace. Let me ask you this, have you ever seem any non-Ma Bell publicly available books prior to the 90's describing how T circuits work? No, you haven't, because they didn't exist. This information was guarded very carefully by AT&T as proprietary information and as trade secrets. Very, very few people understood how these things worked back then, and most of those were former AT&T and Baby Bell employees.

    Did Bell Labs create new things? Sure they did, just the same as Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center created things, and IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center created things. The difference was, AT&T had a government protected monopoly and used their monopoly power to stifle competition, so they kept all these things in-house. The other guys only dropped stuff that they didn't feel had commercial potential, and they weren't monopolies, anyway. It wouldn't have mattered if other companies came up with technological innovations in telecommunications, unless they thought they could sell them to AT&T, because they wouldn't have be able to commercialize them with AT&T controlling the market. The real advantage of the break up was not price competition, but that AT&T had to start sharing the market with other companies, and because of that, they were forced to let other companies know how to make their systems interoperable with the existing infrastructure.

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