29
Apr
FCC logo

It's no secret that the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T is largely unpopular in the Android community. T-Mobile was the first carrier to offer an Android phone and has been very supportive of the development community as of late. It would be a real shame to let an Android-friendly carrier fall under the control of a company that has the absolute worst track record in regards to Android devices, and mobile service in general.

Well, why don't you get off your duff (not actually, you can stay seated) and do something about it? The FCC is considering the matter currently, and has just opened up to the public, asking for opinions. You can go to their online comment submission form and tell them why you think this buyout would be detrimental to the mobile industry.

Here's a couple ideas to get the complaints flowing:

  • A lack of competition resulting from fewer, larger carriers may result in less innovation and increased prices.
  • Both carriers' 4G HSPA+ bands are incompatible, risking loss of coverage for T-Mobile handsets once AT&T LTE starts rolling out
  • Only one major carrier will be buying GSM handsets, meaning they will have the lion's share of control over the GSM devices that make it to the U.S. market

Here is a link to the Electronic Comment Filing System for the FCC. The AT&T docket is #11-65. As of writing this article, 57 comments have been filed. Let's get that number up and see if we can't just make a difference.

NOTE: Obviously, this is for residents of the U.S. only.

via r/Android

Zak Stinson
Zak is a neuroscience student residing in the bread basket of Canada. When not reading or writing Android news, he has been known to partake in dangerous backyard science experiments he is nowhere near qualified to perform. He also loves Thai food.

  • Duffin

    There are 94 now. We need a ton more.

  • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com/ Aaron

    I have commented. Below is a copy of my comment, which for what it may be worth, is license and royalty-free for modification, reuse, republication, or any other usage, with or without attribution.

    =====

    To whom it may concern:

    As a T-Mobile customer of approximately 8 years, I am vehemently opposed to the AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom. If the deal is approved, it will sponsor massive anti-competitive behaviors, increased prices, and lower quality of service. T-Mobile is presently commonly considered the cheapest mobile phone service provider with award-winning customer service and incredible customer loyalty to back it up. AT&T, on the other hand, is commonly considered a lower-quality service provider (with regards to network quality as measured by dropped calls and network data speed) with many negative impressions of their customer service.

    Much of AT&T's technical problems can be attributed to the success of the Apple iPhone and its exclusive availability on AT&T's network. Now that Verizon Wireless offers the iPhone, and with the growing market share held by a growing number of successful Android-based phones, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the iPhone traffic will load balance between the two carriers as customer's AT&T contracts expire. The consumer market will drive the competition.

    If AT&T acquires T-Mobile, there will be one nationwide GSM cellular provider. Sprint and Verizon Wireless employ a different cellular technology - CDMA - which is not as widely adopted worldwide. This means that for consumers who travel frequently to other countries and require a worldwide-capable phone, they will have one choice: AT&T. So-called "global" phones which support GSM technologies and are available through CDMA carriers like Verizon Wireless are priced at a premium and are very few in selection. As the sole feasible and convenient option, AT&T will control the global market and successfully be able to price their services at unreasonable rates and have no motivation to improve the quality of their services. This is anti-competitive and monopolistic, and the acquisition should be denied for this reason alone, if nothing else.

    Lastly, AT&T's plans for re-purposing various radio frequencies will leave most, if not all current T-Mobile customers without wireless service once the final switchover occurs. Current customers will be forced to acquire new handsets at personal expense. This will prove to be an unjust economical burden upon many Americans who are already struggling in these times of financial crises. A provision may exist for AT&T to provide subsidized and/or free replacement phones upon the switchover, but there is no guarantee of equivalent functionality since these future devices may not exist, and the technology of mobile phones is progressing at a remarkable pace (see: technical hardware and software specifications of high-end smartphones of two years ago versus high-end smartphones today). When the final switchover occurs, most, if not all acquired and existing T-Mobile contracts will have expired and in order to take advantage of a replacement device, will in all likelihood require a new contract with AT&T at the service rates at the time of signing, which, due to aforementioned anti-competition and monopolization of the industry, will likely have increased, thus further increasing the financial burden upon American citizens.

    • Duffin

      Bravo. I had pretty much the same points in my response, but it was a lot shorter than yours. Yours is definitely much more detailed and well thought out.

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com/ Aaron

        Thank you :) It's something I'm clearly opinionated on and given a lot of thought - does it show? :P

        • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com/ Aaron

          I suppose the only point I forgot to make was how it may negatively impact Android and favor iOS, thus hampering innovation in that industry as well.

        • Duffin

          Well, I'm not completely sure about that. Maybe if the iPhone was still exclusive to AT&T, it would, but it's on Verizon now. I think AT&T finally realizes they need to have good Android phones to compete now.

        • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com/ Aaron

          Perhaps you're right. It's most definitely the weakest of the arguments and introduces the "mobile OS wars" where it really isn't the key issue here, especially given that Android also is cross-carrier. Maybe I subconsciously knew that when I neglected to mention it :)

        • Duffin

          Right. It's a pretty open-and-shut case of a monopolistic, anti-competitive move. I really hope the FCC sees that which is right in front of their face.

        • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com/ Aaron

          It should be rather open-and-shut, but AT&T won't go down without a fight. They'll use lobbyists and as many questionable practices as they can to get this pushed through, because for them it represents an enormous opportunity which - to be fair - would be stupid of them to pass up and not fight with everything they have to succeed.

    • Bimmerz

      Great writeup Aaron! I will probably use your writeup as a guide (as not to copy you, because I think too many of the exact same letter, will get ignored), when I send in my 2¢ to the FCC.

      But I will also add/mention the amount of jobs at risk - which as we all know, America cannot handle more job losses right now.

      Anyway, thx for sharing your writeup - well done! :)

  • L boogie

    Well done Aaron, given that t-mobile is well regarded in the android universe, it would be a brutal blow for a lot of people including me considering I was considering switching to the carrier before the deal since they also both offer superb pricing and phones giving the current economy. Though I'm with another carrier, I'm gonna show support for the deal to be destroyed

  • Andre

    Besides being with T-Mobile for 8 years (only 6 years for me) everyone who oppose this acquisition should copy and paste Aaron's letter.

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com/ Aaron

      You guys flatter me :P

  • Andre

    @ Aaron. When I seen this article , I immediately begin writing my comment. With the cursing in mine, I figured yours is more appropriate! Lol!

  • Carrot

    A good number of those 94 are acknowledgments of confidentiality agreements. It's also interesting to see that individuals are almost universally in opposition to the merger, yet organizations like 100 Black Men of America, the NAACP, the World Institute on Disability are all marching in lockstep in support of AT&T. Hmm, looks like Ma Bell has been busily baking some money-filled pies!

    Down with the merger!

  • Susie Ilkenhans

    To whom it may concern:

    As a T-Mobile customer of approximately 7 years, I am vehemently opposed to the AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom. If the deal is approved, it will sponsor massive anti-competitive behaviors, increased prices, and lower quality of service. T-Mobile is presently commonly considered the cheapest mobile phone service provider with award-winning customer service and incredible customer loyalty to back it up. AT&T, on the other hand, is commonly considered a lower-quality service provider (with regards to network quality as measured by dropped calls and network data speed) with many negative impressions of their customer service.

    Much of AT&T’s technical problems can be attributed to the success of the Apple iPhone and its exclusive availability on AT&T’s network. Now that Verizon Wireless offers the iPhone, and with the growing market share held by a growing number of successful Android-based phones, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the iPhone traffic will load balance between the two carriers as customer’s AT&T contracts expire. The consumer market will drive the competition.

    If AT&T acquires T-Mobile, there will be one nationwide GSM cellular provider. Sprint and Verizon Wireless employ a different cellular technology – CDMA – which is not as widely adopted worldwide. This means that for consumers who travel frequently to other countries and require a worldwide-capable phone, they will have one choice: AT&T. So-called “global” phones which support GSM technologies and are available through CDMA carriers like Verizon Wireless are priced at a premium and are very few in selection. As the sole feasible and convenient option, AT&T will control the global market and successfully be able to price their services at unreasonable rates and have no motivation to improve the quality of their services. This is anti-competitive and monopolistic, and the acquisition should be denied for this reason alone, if nothing else.

    Lastly, AT&T’s plans for re-purposing various radio frequencies will leave most, if not all current T-Mobile customers without wireless service once the final switchover occurs. Current customers will be forced to acquire new handsets at personal expense. This will prove to be an unjust economical burden upon many Americans who are already struggling in these times of financial crises. A provision may exist for AT&T to provide subsidized and/or free replacement phones upon the switchover, but there is no guarantee of equivalent functionality since these future devices may not exist, and the technology of mobile phones is progressing at a remarkable pace (see: technical hardware and software specifications of high-end smartphones of two years ago versus high-end smartphones today). When the final switchover occurs, most, if not all acquired and existing T-Mobile contracts will have expired and in order to take advantage of a replacement device, will in all likelihood require a new contract with AT&T at the service rates at the time of signing, which, due to aforementioned anti-competition and monopolization of the industry, will likely have increased, thus further increasing the financial burden upon American citizens.

    ~ Susie

    • Alexis

      Copycat, you are not original.

  • Jester89

    I just submitted mine......VIVA LA TMOBILE Yeah Buddy!!!

  • Andrew

    What's the problem? With large regional carriers (U.S. Cellular in my area), there are a minimum of five major competitors. Each one must invest heavily in infrastructure to remain competitive, and that investment comes from subscriber's dues. I don't see much loss in competitiveness -- but a big gain in AT&T's ability to upgrade its network and maybe even force Verizon into a much needed price war. Bring on the merger IMHO...

    • Duffin

      With all due respect, your opinion is uninformed and ignorant. You don't see much loss in the third-largest carrier being eaten up by the second? And that there will be only a SINGLE GSM provider in the whole country? As for U.S. Cellular and all the other "regional" carriers that you and AT&T like to make seem important, they suck. Plain and simple. They have horrible coverage and a terrible selection of phones. They're small because no one wants to use them.

      As for AT&Ts ability to upgrade their network? They've had that ability for years. Instead of spending billions of dollars on T-Mobile, they could be upgrading their network. It's not OUR fault if they mismanaged their network for so long that no one wants it. Now they just want to buy out T-Mobile to force people to pick them over Verizon and Sprint if they want a GSM phone. Go back to AT&T and tell them we don't WANT this stupid merger.

      • fins71

        T-Mobil is 4th largest carrier. Sprint is in 3rd. Hope the merger fails myself. Goodluck to all tmo customers from a Sprint customer. I know I wouldn't like to be forced to change carriers.

  • Mark

    Link is broken. :( :( :(

  • kodiak211

    can any one tell me how to do this?

  • Castleberrie

    Thanks for the article, I just posted an opposing argument as well. Ive been with T-Mobile since they were Voicestream, over 10 years. There is a reason I have remained with them (despite wanting an iPhone), and all reasoning will be lost if the merger happens. Thanks Aaron for posting your response, I thew a few of your thoughts into mine as well. :)

    LONG LIVE T-MOBILE!!

  • Ed

    I JUST NEVER LIKED AT&T. THEIR SERVICE IS DICTATORSHIP.

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