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Pending acquisition extends 4G cell service for Central Louisiana

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Written By: Jeff Matthews
jmatthews@thetowntalk.com

AT&T’s pending acquisition of T-Mobile USA will greatly expand the telecom’s higher-speed 4G footprint in Central Louisiana, the company says.

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom recently announced an agreement for AT&T to acquire T-Mobile for a reported $39 billion. The deal faces some opposition and regulatory scrutiny that could see it take several months to a year or longer to complete.

If it is approved, AT&T spokesperson Sue Sperry said in an email, the company’s 4G — for fourth-generation wireless service — reach will grow from 80 percent of the U.S. population to 95 percent. That includes nearly the entire state of Louisiana, save for a few small pockets, within five years of the deal being completed.

“These are just tools,” said Jim Clinton, chief executive officer of Cenla Advantage Partnership in Alexandria. “But they are tools that are enabling forces for functioning in a competitive economy. Anything, especially in a rural area, which we certainly are, that levels the playing field is welcome.”

Rick Ranson, vice president of economic development for the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, said: “One of the biggest potential advantages of this proposed merger will be the benefits to consumers in small and medium markets – not just in large metro areas.”

“Central Louisiana residents and businesses will see improved voice and data service without needing to construct many additional cell towers once the assets of these two companies are merged,” Ranson said. “Having increased technological capacity will benefit our area by making it even more appealing to businesses looking to create jobs here.”

While AT&T is touting the benefits of the proposed deal, opponents are gearing up to fight it in Congress and through regulatory agencies the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The merger of two of the country’s four largest wireless carriers would give AT&T too much power in the wireless arena, critics say.

Some of those critics are AT&T’s competitors. But consumer groups have joined in, as well, urging regulatory bodies to at least take a very hard look at potentially negative impact on consumers, including whether it would stifle innovation and lead to higher prices.

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Written by demon53

April 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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