AT&T's Proposed $39 Billion Acquisition of T-Mobile Could Mean Local Layoffs

 
 

 

AT&T  announced it will buy T-Mobile USA, the nation's fourth largest carrier from Deutsche Telekom, pending regulatory approval. The merger would push AT&T, the nation's second largest wireless carrier, ahead of first place Verizon, giving the combined company 129 million subscribers compared to Verizon's 102 million subscribers.

AT&T said merging the two companies would result in $40 billion in savings, more than the amount it has agreed to pay for T-Mobile. Some of those savings will come from cutting jobs, many of which could be at T-Mobile USA's Bellevue headquarters where the company has more than 3000 employees. 

The move would be a blow to Seattle's position as a wireless Mecca. Seattle is one of the few cities that has great strength in the field thanks to the local presence of wireless carriers (T-Mobile and Clearwire), platform and device developers (Microsoft and HTC) and numerous applications developers. The Seattle area's strong presence in the field could be further weakened if Sprint acquires Clearwire, an operation in which it already holds a majority share.

But some argue that the region will remain the capitol of wireless regardless of what happens because of its concentration of talented workers in the industry. When McCaw sold its wireless operations to AT&T in 1994, many jobs were lost, but AT&T still employs several thousand people in the region. And many of the employees who left McCaw launched new start-ups.

AT&T has agreed to pay $25 billion in cash and an additional $14 billion in shares for T-Mobile USA. Deutsche Telekom will use the money to reduce debt and strengthen its market position in Europe.  We have achieved the best solution for our company, our customers and shareholders," said Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann in a statement: "We will be able to focus more on the opportunities of a modern infrastructure in Germany and Europe.

Deutsche Telekom also gets to unload a property that has been steadily losing customers. T-Mobile has sought to boost share by cutting its prices. A merger could result in less pricing pressure in the wireless market. If regulators determine that the move would result in a duopoly and higher prices, they could choose to block the deal.

The deal would give AT&T much needed capacity at a time when the growing use of smart phones is straining its systems. AT&T said it has seen its mobile data traffic grow by 8,000 percent in the past four years. The company expects it to grow another 800 to 1000 percent by 2015. "Put another way, all of the mobile traffic volume AT&T carried during 2010 is estimated to be carried in just the first six to seven weeks of 2015," the company said.

Sponsored

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Wearable technology increases productivity for HVAC technicians
 
 

Sponsored by MacDonald-Miller

XOEye technologies created a smart glasses tool, built specifically for field technicians to capture real-time documentation. When MacDonald-Miller heard about the new wearable technology platform, they saw it as an opportunity to be the first mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest to implement these smart glasses into their services.

We interviewed MacDonald-Miller’s Chief Information Officer, Bradd Busick, to hear first-hand how this new technology will be integrated into services and how it will streamline HVAC projects.

What are the capabilities of the smart glasses? 

The smart glasses, MacLens, capture and stream high fidelity audio and visual content, enabling first-person point-of-view (POV). MacLens includes a camera, earpiece, and microphone — all built into a single headset, capturing real-time documentation of equipment, work performed, and recommendations being made. 

How does it work for technicians?

Once service techs arrive onsite, they put their MacLens glasses on to create an intro video communicating where they are, a brief diagnosis or repair identification, and a summary recap for the customer. After the site visit is complete, the tech then uploads the content to the call summary report on the customer portal, where customers can access it at their convenience.

What is the benefit for the end-user?

Building owners and property managers have to trust their maintenance provider is actually doing the work they claim. Most building owners will never see the work being done on their properties, but they will receive a list of recommendations for changes and a bill. It’s a relationship built on trust. MacLens adds a level of transparency and customer experience where we are able to show in real-time what is happening on roofs and in mechanical rooms. MacLens embeds audio and video content into each summary report, providing customers with the peace of mind that comes with unbridled transparency.

What is the vision behind this technology roll-out?

The goal is to enhance the customer connection to the services provided and also enable technicians to connect with each other. There are incredible operational efficiencies that enable mobility and collaboration through telepresence and increased accountability.

How will they affect the next wave of HVAC technicians?

Not only will MacLens increase workflow productivity, but it also offers training opportunities and safety benefits without adding any additional work to service technicians. This is a major educational advantage. Now expert journeyman can train apprentices simply by walking through their daily tasks, recording those sessions and sharing them in our learning management system — it’s the next evolution of training!

See MacLens in action here.

MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions is a full-service, design-build, mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about MacDonald-Miller’s recent projects.