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  • Exec Suggests AT&T iPhone Exclusivity in US May End Soon


    AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega, in a conference call quoted by Computerworld, alluded to the end of AT&T's deal with Apple for exclusive rights as the iPhone carrier, a reference that many observers are seizing upon as a suggestion that there could soon be additional service providers for the device in the US.

    In a question-and-answer session, de la Vega said "[w]e have a legacy of having a great portfolio...that will continue after the iPhone is no longer exclusive to us." Somewhat downplaying its third-quarter results that showed 3.2 million iPhone activations - of which nearly 40 percent were customers who were new to AT&T - de la Vega said that though the iPhone has been a "good source of new gross [subscribers] for us," the new iPhone users only made up only a third of the total from all devices. AT&T has has 81.6 million subscribers in the US.

    In the Computerworld piece, de la Vega was quoted as upbeat about the future development of AT&T's high-speed network:
    "Even if we lose exclusivity [of the iPhone], we will be the only carrier with HSPA 7.2 [a network specification being deployed at AT&T] and [new devices] will work on our network faster," de la Vega said. "I feel as strongly as ever [about] the capability of devices in our lineup and [am] super-excited about the deals with e-readers and personal navigation devices. "

    De la Vega also said AT&T is now working with device manufacturers to build Android phones that will "work best" on the AT&T network. "They are terrific devices and much better on AT&T than on anybody else's network."
    There have been rumors have for some time that Apple is considering Verizon Wireless as an additional carrier in the US. These suggestions seem somewhat less plausible in the wake of Verizon's aggressive marketing of its Android-based smartphone.

    In the conference call, de la Vega lavished praise on the iPhone not just as a money maker but as a good product. "We spend an awful lot of time looking for the next great device and the next great technologies, and we think iPhone has set the bar," he said. "All the manufacturers are figuring out how to get close, but iPhone is still the best in the world at this point.

    "I never understated the capability that Apple has...," he continued. "It's all about making it simple for customers to use the services. Others will try to emulate them, but that device by far is the best in terms of ease of use."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Exec Suggests AT&T iPhone Exclusivity in US May End Soon started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 63 Comments
    1. choihyun's Avatar
      choihyun -
      i canceled my t-mobile contract for the 3gs. looks like another cancellation is on the way. not to mention a new iphone sigh.....better start saving $ lol

      just wondering verison is fooling around with 4g network correct?
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      considering my 3G plan ends next spring, I'll be looking forward to the change.

      I hate AT&T's packages and stinginess with tethering. the only reason i'm still running OS 3.0 is so that I can continue to tether (because tethering rocks my socks).
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      The only other choice is tmobile gsm in the USA and we don't know WTF apple is going to do next
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Tmo is not an option. If you live under one of their towers maybe, but get on the road and it is over. I do hope they get it though then we can expect pricing wars which I will gladly benefit from.
    1. Goronok's Avatar
      Goronok -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhonePilot View Post
      In fact they use the very same basetower equipment. Nokia Node Bs UMTS Equipment. the difference is the operating frequencies and this is a vey easy fix on the iPhone to transmit the correct freqs.
      Not that it matters, but AT&T doesn't have any Nokia UMTS sites, only Ericsson and Lucent.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by awesomeiPod View Post
      You don't jailbreak to get a different carrier. You unlock the phone to change carriers.
      You're partially correct but to get to an unlock you must jailbreak first. You can't soft unlock without jailbreaking the device in advance. Then, you change carriers.

      Quote Originally Posted by xgus69 View Post
      I heard it was confirmed on New Years eve they will be the most expensive carrier in the US... freaking verizon.. and verizon doesnt use sim cards... wtf?
      They do use SIM cards actually. The BB Storm uses a SIM card to connect to VW network. My plan is if apple does go to VW then i'll get a storm, take the SIM card out and plug it into my iPhone and pray that it works. If it does then i've got it made!

      Quote Originally Posted by adrian1480 View Post
      considering my 3G plan ends next spring, I'll be looking forward to the change.

      I hate AT&T's packages and stinginess with tethering. the only reason i'm still running OS 3.0 is so that I can continue to tether (because tethering rocks my socks).
      I envy you sooo much. The other day my orginal 3GS failed me and would not charge. I had everything on there! My tether was the best plus i was planning to jailbreak in a few weeks before i headed to canada for a trip. now i got a replacement and 3.1 is on it....no tether...no unlock. i'm soo sad. Even sadder the day after my phone stopped working..my Rogers pay-as-u-go SIM card arrived. WHAT A SLAP IN THE FACE!
    1. sandstorm77's Avatar
      sandstorm77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by awesomeiPod View Post
      You don't jailbreak to get a different carrier. You unlock the phone to change carriers.
      Actually you jailbreak first then unlock. So actually you do jailbreak to get a different carrier.
    1. Ticko's Avatar
      Ticko -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhonePilot View Post
      What are you talking about???

      First of all T-Mobile is already doing HSDPA 7.5 in their current network AND is only a software upgrade away scheduled for the fist of Dec on the HSUPA running at the same speed. PLUS T-Mobile DOES have the spectrum readily available and almost completely "UNCROWDED" unlike the AT&T cluster-crap they have... This is where the 4.2 billion (yes BILLIONS!!! more than any other carrier in US history!!) they spent on the spectrum a couple of years back is now going to REALLY pay off..

      Truth of the matter is that AT&T has been ridding on the iPhone waggon WAAAAAYYYY too long while locking millions of suckers out there to a two year contract. they loaded the hell out of the VERY poorly designed network. They have less than half of the available bandwidth than Tmo has therefore providing SUBPAR service (to put it nicely), then add the worst customer service of ANY company and you have the perfect recipe for failure- and fail they will...

      In the end, it will be Verizon and T-Mobile standing and everyone else below. The question is- do you really want to pay hard earned money for Verizon's unreal price tag when you have as good of a network, if not better in most metro cities (if you dont believe me please refer to Consumer Reports.com and read for your self...) for half the price?? Personally not even if I was in a better financial situation I was a couple of years back would I even consider going back to Verizon now that I have experienced T-Mobile; Specially in todays economy- I definitely won't leave T-Mobile; Same if not better system as Verizon at HALF the price, JD Powers Best Customer Service award for the last few YEARS (yes years NOT quarters!!) in a row, what else can you ask for?? ...

      just my 2 cents




      Verizon is definitely out (unless they completely redesign the "guts" of the iPhone)

      Yes T-Mobile they both use the same technology- GSM/UMTS.

      In fact they use the very same basetower equipment. Nokia Node Bs UMTS Equipment. the difference is the operating frequencies and this is a vey easy fix on the iPhone to transmit the correct freqs.

      Lets NOT forget that T-Mobile just merged with Orange in Europe (arguably making t-mobile the largest carrier in the world now ) and Orange does have the iPhone...

      just an FYI...


      Finally someone that knows what they are talking about and not just chalking up T-Mobile as some crappy 2nd rate service when its not. Everyone only talks about ATT and Verizon because of what? ADVERTISING. anyone that has been a customer with tmobile usually sticks with it. I have been a customer since the powertel days back pre-2000. Their system in the U.S. has been around longer than att or verizon giving them better tower placement and longer history of the network. Their networks are prestine that if you could use the t-mobile 3g service on an iphone today it would be faster than att.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhonePilot View Post
      What are you talking about???

      First of all T-Mobile is already doing HSDPA 7.5 in their current network AND is only a software upgrade away scheduled for the fist of Dec on the HSUPA running at the same speed. PLUS T-Mobile DOES have the spectrum readily available and almost completely "UNCROWDED" unlike the AT&T cluster-crap they have... This is where the 4.2 billion (yes BILLIONS!!! more than any other carrier in US history!!) they spent on the spectrum a couple of years back is now going to REALLY pay off..

      Truth of the matter is that AT&T has been ridding on the iPhone waggon WAAAAAYYYY too long while locking millions of suckers out there to a two year contract. they loaded the hell out of the VERY poorly designed network. They have less than half of the available bandwidth than Tmo has therefore providing SUBPAR service (to put it nicely), then add the worst customer service of ANY company and you have the perfect recipe for failure- and fail they will...

      In the end, it will be Verizon and T-Mobile standing and everyone else below. The question is- do you really want to pay hard earned money for Verizon's unreal price tag when you have as good of a network, if not better in most metro cities (if you dont believe me please refer to Consumer Reports.com and read for your self...) for half the price?? Personally not even if I was in a better financial situation I was a couple of years back would I even consider going back to Verizon now that I have experienced T-Mobile; Specially in todays economy- I definitely won't leave T-Mobile; Same if not better system as Verizon at HALF the price, JD Powers Best Customer Service award for the last few YEARS (yes years NOT quarters!!) in a row, what else can you ask for?? ...

      just my 2 cents




      Verizon is definitely out (unless they completely redesign the "guts" of the iPhone)

      Yes T-Mobile they both use the same technology- GSM/UMTS.

      In fact they use the very same basetower equipment. Nokia Node Bs UMTS Equipment. the difference is the operating frequencies and this is a vey easy fix on the iPhone to transmit the correct freqs.

      Lets NOT forget that T-Mobile just merged with Orange in Europe (arguably making t-mobile the largest carrier in the world now ) and Orange does have the iPhone...

      just an FYI...
      Your 2 cents means nothing especially since its a biased opinion. T-Mobile does have the best customer service but in the U.S. They don't measure up and that's just fact. Analyze all 4 major network maps in the US and tell me which you see is the lowest rank of all. 7.5 HSDPA? Tell me how many cities on T-Mobile network actually have that data rate? Them merging with Orange does nothing for us here. Verizon is the next best choice since they pretty much own the entire U.S. when it comes to network reliability. T-Mobile can never catch up that quick it will take them a long time before they even put a dent in that. They are only good for people who want a low priced phone plan with minimal needs of 3g connectivity. And as far as a 2 year contract i'm sure T-Mobile would offer a 1 to 2yr contract to get the phone with a discounted price..like every other carrier.
    1. wiltok's Avatar
      wiltok -
      I just love these types of pissing matches over the internet. It's like arguing what kind of pizza you like or do you prefer Coke to Pepsi. Just use what you want and if you don't like it change. Just be happy you have an Iphone. Over and out!
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      ^^^^^^^^tmobile is the only other gsm carrier besides AT&T in the USA now verizon sprint would either convert from CDMA to gsm or the next iPhone models would be CDMA with the serial number under a removable battery hint hint
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      I personally like ATT except for the price of their plan...
    1. getzmoney's Avatar
      getzmoney -
      Where does it say they "may" lose exclusivity anywhere in the near future? It doesn't . Sure, eventually it will happen. Look how long AT&T had the rights to the Razr. What was it, 5 years? And until Verizon lets go of its proprietary (did I spell that right?) software on its phones, you know Apple will not go to them.
    1. capttanhowdy's Avatar
      capttanhowdy -
      Quote Originally Posted by lll2for3lll View Post
      dilligaf
      Wow so your a text message pro too... I bet your swimming in hunnies...
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Honestly, AT&T and T-Mobile are the only major GSM carriers in the country. Unless they wanted to build an entirely new phone (they would have to at least change the 3G radio for T-Mobile), the winrar would have to be T-Mobile.
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      Hate to complain about At&t but this year down in Florida where I am at their service is so terrible that I feel like throwing my phone out the window!

      No one can hear me, drop calls like crazy its just awful down here. Matter of fact I called today and complained! I even tried 3Gs also and same results not to mention my phone getting so hot it burned off the finish from my case...

      Hate to say this but would stay with At&t if I had to but if Verizon was able to handle the iphone I might switch to them....
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Thank you hollow0 and sandstorm77. I guess I made a little mistake LOL. Hope it comes out for Verizon. If it does not, I won't cry.
    1. shawn o's Avatar
      shawn o -
      If there's going to be other carriers for the iphone, then Apple would have to build different spec iphones to work on whatever carrier that has it...and news of that will leak long before any carrier actually starts selling it.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      ^toothfairy, u should unlock ur 3gs get a tmobile prepay sim then use tmobile prepay onurunlock iPhone and get better service since AT&T is that bad in ur location cuz the iPhone is really the best phone made
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post

      They do use SIM cards actually. The BB Storm uses a SIM card to connect to VW network. My plan is if apple does go to VW then i'll get a storm, take the SIM card out and plug it into my iPhone and pray that it works. If it does then i've got it made!
      Certain Verizon phones have a SIM card as well as CDMA - this is so the phones can be sold to people who travel outside of the USA (as lots of business people do and they are sold as business phones) to allow the phones to be used elsewhere in the world on roaming agreements.

      Verizon do not have UMTS and if you use a Verizon SIM you would be charged for roaming if they had an agreement with another carrier in the USA (I'm not sure if they do allow roaming on to AT&T). That could work out a tad expensive if their roaming charges are anything like most European carriers....