Will The New AT&T Wireless Be Sprint?
from the follow-the-bouncing-brand dept
So, try to keep this all straight. In 1994 AT&T buys McCaw Cellular and rebrands it AT&T Wireless. That part's pretty straight forward. In 2000, they reorganize the entire company, making AT&T Wireless a separate subsidiary. In 2001 they spin off AT&T Wireless because money from the IPO now and a diminishing legacy business is apparently worth more to them than their future. In 2003, realizing that they really really wished they still had a wireless play, they signed a deal with AT&T Wireless which (you remember) is quite the separate company - even if most of the public has no clue. Then, of course, the big story: Cingular buys AT&T Wireless. Suddenly, AT&T is a bit worried because there's a pretty good chance that Cingular isn't going to want to keep the deal with AT&T. So, now, AT&T needs a new partner to do an MVNO dance, and the most likely choice now appears to be Sprint. While it probably wouldn't happen for a bit, Sprint could easily offer up an MVNO package, similar to what they have with Virgin Mobile US, where they run the network, and AT&T just gets to slap their brand on it. Would you have ever thought that AT&T's mobile phone system would actually be run by Sprint?