TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cingular Migration

Re: Cingular Migration

Justin Time (
14 Dec 2004 06:08:17 -0800 wrote on Dec 13, 10:10 am:

> Cingular and AT&T Wireless are migrated, does it mean they are one
> company? But how come there are advertisments saying current AT&T
> Wireless customers can migrate to Cingular? I am confused, and don't
> know how the telecom business works.

> Please advise.

> Thanks.

Cingular bought the assets and liabilities of AT&T Wireless as of
October 17, 2004. The migration -- or moving -- that is going on is
being done in several ways. Customers of ATT Wireless have the option
of remaining on their existing cellular plans and equipment or they
can migrate -- move -- to Cingular and buy new equipment with new
service plans and be subject to new service contracts.

The conversion of all ATT customers to Cingular must be complete by
March 16, 2005 as the name AT&T Wireless will revert back to AT&T
where it has already been announced the brand will then be used to
resell service from Sprint. AT&T Wireless will go from being a
provider to a reseller of service.

For those AT&T customers who do not migrate -- that is change plans,
service or commitments -- they will be rolled into the Cingular
network with their existing equipment and plans, and in some cases
with no commitment contracts. I, for one, am on an old AT&T Regional
Business Plan that has an extremely large "home" calling area and no
long distance charges for calls originated within my "home" calling
area. There is no equivalent plan available in the new Cingular
offerings and AT&T stopped offering this particular plan about 2 years
ago. As I have been a customer for several years, I also have no
service commitments which makes me one of their prime targets for
"roll-over" or migration.

The cellular business is very cut-throat and the intent of the various
companies is to offer a potential customer a wide set of offerings in
order to get a commitment to spend a fixed amount with the company for
a specific period of time. Often the offers include free or heavily
subsidized phones with all the latest gadgets including cameras,
"smart phones", so-called free services like cellular to cellular
calling and long distance, a limited amount of messaging or other
incentives to get a person to sign a contract or renew a contract for
a new period. And with the average requested commitment being 2 years
with an expected life cycle of a telephone of 18 months, it becomes a
cycle designed to trap a consumer into a company or pay a hefty
"termination penalty" to get out of their contract early.

Rodgers Platt

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