ATT, T-Mobile Buyout: The Talk of CTIA 2011

The burgeoning mobile market — and its overall impact on available wireless spectrum — took a back seat to talk of wireless carrier consolidation on the first day of the CTIA 2011 exhibition in Orlando, FL. AT&T’s proposed
$39 billion acquisition
of rival T-Mobile was the dominant issue among attendees, despite the best efforts of opening day keynote speakers to focus on broader topics.

AT&T
officials stunned the tech world when they announced the deal March 20, just 48
hours before the wireless industry’s largest trade show of the year. The deal, if approved, will drastically affect the plans of many companies gathered
at CTIA to show off their latest devices.

"The proposed
transaction that was just announced,"Julius Genachowski, chairman of the
Federal Communications Commission, told the audience during his keynote. "I’m not going to comment
on that."

The audience
laughed. The FCC is one of the regulatory bodies that will have to review the
proposed AT&T deal.

Instead, Genachowski focused on unleashing
more spectrum, calling this "a national priority." Suggesting that
wireless helps drive innovation, he added: "If we don’t innovate in the private sector
and government, we risk letting big opportunities pass us by."

In the
meantime, he added, the spectrum-squeeze issue facing the United States is
critical. Everything
from cars to health-care applications would eventually benefit
from tighter integration with wireless technology, predicted Sprint CEO Dan Hesse during his keynote.

Like the FCC
chairman, Hesse called out the need for more spectrum for wireless
devices, referring to it as the air "that gives our industry life and growth."

The keynote sessions also featured Jim Kramer, host of CNBC’s "Mad Money," hosting a round-table with the wireless industry’s biggest CEOs: Hesse, Verizon
Wireless’ Daniel Mead, and AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets President and
CEO Ralph de la Vega.

The AT&T
leader suggested the "need for additional spectrum" helped drive the deal with
T-Mobile. "Few things in life grow 8,000 percent over four years," he said,
before adding that the potential acquisition "helps alleviate the crunch by
allowing the networks to be combined and more efficiently utilize that
spectrum."

For more, read the eWeek article AT&T, T-Mobile Deal Dominates Day 1 at CTIA 2011.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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