AT&T – Cingular Merger Rumors Rekindled

The WSJ has re-lit the fire under the Cingular – AT&T Wireless bouillon. In this article, WirelessWeek discusses how mergers may be imminent across not just the wireless market, as expected last year, but across all telecom, such that the resulting companies will leave 4-5 players in the national wireless space, and that these companies will be able to sell bundles of LD, local, VoIP, mobile, and other telecom services. We, too, have been expecting consolidation since last year, when the FCC loosened some regulations that the entire analyst community thought were holding off mergers. However, the resulting merger-mania has been altogether underwhelming. So far, we have only witnessed some larger players swapping spectrum or gobbling up small affiliates, but not the large national mergers we expected. If national consolidation does occur, we fully expect it to be in the GSM community. We predict that within 18 months there will be two national CDMA carriers, two national GSM carriers, and fewer regional affiliates.

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