AT&T and BellSouth: The Challenges of Convergence

AT&T and BellSouth: The Challenges of Convergence

Unstrung's Richard Martin today looks at the wireless service implications of the proposed AT&T/BellSouth merger. "The prospect of a reconstituted AT&T that includes cingular wireless LLC could hasten the progress toward fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) — and simplify life for managers at thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across the U.S.," he writes.

Still, Martin notes that some aren't quite so optimistic. "I think it's going to be a nightmare," says Manny Singh of Prairie Packaging, Inc., which has about 35 users on Cingular handheld devices. "I just know the problems we're going through today. For example, we've got some salespeople on the old AT&T accounts and some on Cingular — they're sending me two different invoices, and when I call billing they go, 'Oh well we don't know anything about that, that's AT&T.' I'm just imagining what the back-end nightmare is going to be."

"If they can create a one-stop shop, to cover everything, yes, that'd be something we'd look at seriously," Singh says. "That's the utopia that everyone talks about but never gets to."


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