let it buy T-Mobile, but the one it emphasized was this -- it would attempt to make remaining carriers Verizon, Sprint and even a handful of rural entities look like "intense competition." Well, it seems that tack hasn't quite had the impact that the board of directors was hoping for, because it just delivered a gigantic new document to the FCC, which portrays itself as the victim of its own success. AT&T says it had to deliver 8,000
Meanwhile, T-Mobile is the knight in shining magenta armor to save AT&T from those "severe capacity constraints," but since AT&T can't let regulators think that T-Mobile's departure from the arena will result in less competition, Ma Bell simultaneously bashes its prospective conquest for having a "diminished market role" in the telecom industry and "no clear path to deploy LTE" -- even as it says that acquiring T-Mobile would result in the means to spread speedy Long Term Evolution across 97.3 percent of the general population. In case you're keeping track, that's up from the 95 percent the company last prognosticated. The seeming contradictions here are certainly amusing, but we have to admit the promised giant LTE network tempts us quite a bit. But is it worth building a GSM monopoly to do it? Envision the repercussions for yourself -- both good and ill -- by studying the following links.
Update: Fixed a few math errors -- AT&T processed over 10 petabytes per month (not year) in 2010, and that was 8,000 percent (not times) the amount of mobile data it carried in 2007. For comparison's sake, the entirety of YouTube was said to have streamed 31 petabytes per month in 2008, and Hulu did 17 petabytes per month over the same time period, according to a Cisco study.