Will AT&T Honor T-Mobile Dealer Agreements Or Leave Them Out In The Cold?

T-Mobile dealers are feeling the heat over a potential AT&T/T-Mobile dealer with serious concerns about roaming and partnerships after a deal has gone through. In a filing with the FCC, Iowa Wireless Services, 54% owned by T-Mobile makes its case that it simply doesn’t trust AT&T regarding the effects of the merger on their business.

“Iowa Wireless has not been able to obtain any information regarding how—if at all—AT&T will incorporate Iowa Wireless into its long-term plans, nor has Iowa Wireless been able to determine what impact, if any, the transaction will have on Iowa Wireless’s rural customers with respect to continued network access at reasonable rates,” the company writes.

The problem isn’t a lack of communication between AT&T and Iowa Wireless Services, it’s the latter company’s doubts on how far AT&T will go to follow through with their words.

“AT&T has recently communicated to Iowa Wireless that AT&T will, consistent with its practice in similar transactions, honor any contractual and legal obligations arising out of the T-Mobile acquisition,” the smaller carrier writes.

Iowa Wireless Services faces a number of concerns over the deal especially considering AT&T’s pledge to shutdown T-Mobile’s 3G network to re-farm that spectrum for LTE leaving Iowa Wireless customers stranded. Doing so would actually lead to less spectrum and less broadband in rural areas according to Iowa Wireless Services going against a major selling point for AT&T on the deal. Going so far to say that some rural carriers haven’t started to deploy wireless broadband in their communities because of concerns over what AT&T plans to do with T-Mobile spectrum.

The bottom line here seems to be that AT&T is spending more time reaching out to unions and groups that don’t really have any standing to lose by supporting this deal like the Filipino American Arts Exposition or the National Latina Business Women’s Association. Two fine groups to be sure but what do they have invested in AT&T or T-Mobile? The people they aren’t asking about the deal, those who whose livelihoods depend on T-Mobile’s existence are of course having their opinions and questions ignored by the AT&T machine.

Daniel Burke, a major T-Mobile dealer in the Boston Area which sells under the name Custom Wireless Brands sums this all up quite well has signed multi-year contracts with T-mobile and AT&T hasn’t given him any sense as to whether or not they will continue to honor them.

“As a small business owner and operator of one of the largest T-Mobile dealerships in New England, the Acquisition represents the likely demise of a business I have invested considerable time and resources to build over the last 12-plus years,” Burke writes.

But hey, the deal is supposed to create jobs right? RIGHT?

Big thanks to Sascha Segan over at PCMag for bringing this to light.


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  • no at&tmobile!

  • their logo is a DEATHSTAR, that pretty much sums it all up

  • Its a frap!!  and we all know it is.

  • Anonymous

    not to create jobs… you think big evil companies like at&t care about people like us? NO! pity… government to stupid to realize that they ordered the splitting up the cellular business to stop at&t’s monopoly… now they’re letting them recreate it with the lamest and most transparent excuse… 


    • Droid 1967

      yeah their saddened all the way to the bank as the lobbyist throw money at them to ok this.
      anyone that thinks this merger wont go through is fooling themselves att has too much money. and since they would have to pay tmobile 3-6 million(or was it billion)  to tmobile if the merger doesn’t go through they have plenty to throw to these no conscious pieces of shit we have in Washington.
      maybe the merger will allow free picture twittering to all senators.

  • Rumor has it innocent baby kittens all around the world will be killed during the merger. It you love baby kittens this is reason enough to oppose the merger

    • stoneyjonez

      I’ve heard this too. Think of the kittens, people!

      • Anonymous

        Nyan cat was one of the unfortunate kittens:(( R.I.P. Nyan Cat

  • Anonymous

    We may understand why the opposition is so loud.
    There are a lot of T-Mobile authorized dealers in NYC. The merger will adversely affect their business.

    • Exactly, but instead we have Filipino American Arts Exposition or the National Latina Business Women’s Association supporting the merger and spouting off.  By no means do I hope for anyone to lose jobs but if any suffering happens, I hope these people get a piece of the pie for blindly spouting support like this.  

      • Anonymous

        I’d say those who support the are either ignorant, misled, stupid, or they receive bonus because of that.

  • Anonymous

    Even if ATT honors those contracts, that only gives them a year or two before they lose 3G and becomes worthless.  Then what?  Change everybody’s phones to operate on ATT 3G if its even in their area??  

    This just made me realize that when when TMO gets shut off, I have no ATT reception at my house.  So IF ATT keeps the TMO tower thats by me up and running, I will still have excellent EDGE and zero ATT 3G bars…  For me there is no Merger proof phone so no ATT for me…

    • Meagan

      After the change of mhz occurs, AT&T 3G/4G bands will be broadcasted over the old Tmobile Towers.  So that $600 Tmobile HTC Sensation will only be able to receive AT&T Edge.  AT&T won’t bother trying to broadcast Tmobiles old mhz, that aren’t in AT&T mobiles.

      • Anonymous

        Oh ok so thats the “instant increase of reception” ATT claims?   I thought it was for voice.  I guess since they both use HSPA+ its easy?

      • Anonymous

        Kinda strange that att would change a current tmo tower to work with their 3g/hspa+ (not lte). Would it be cheaper to have devices that work on all bands? Its common knowledge that att has a stockpile of spectrum…..that leads me to believe that they won’t necessarily need tmos spectrum everywhere. They can use the spectrum they already have in the places they need it and if there’s overlapping tmo spectrum in those same places, why not just leave it be? Build your lte network on top of tmos hspa+ network where spectrum surplus overlaps……if tmo has spectrum in an area where att has a shortage of unused sprectrum, then I can see reusing that for lte. Id love to fall back on tmos 42mbps hspa + if lte isn’t available

  • yet another fabulous reason!

  • Turdnugget0420

    Guys within a month or less of the news of the acquisition, T-Mobile was already handing out severance package information to employees.

    T-Mobile has also cut down the hours that call center workers are getting. They are trying to get the attrition to be natural so they don’t have to pay so many severances to employees.

    This truly shows you what ATT plans are and that they don’t have current T-Mobile employees interest at stake. Everyone is using the extra time of this search for a new job before they just let everyone go.


    • Actually I did a poll on it once right when the severance package was announced and most employees asked me not to post on it. They didn’t want that information getting out, it’s personal, it’s their livelihood and they asked that I don’t report on specifics.

    • Ajg1718

      Where did you get that info?…Those severance packages were to be in a just in case scenario, you failed to mention they also got retention packages as well.. They have not cut down hours, several call centers are still hiring to bring in new reps… T-Mobile is still executing their plans as a competitor of at&t. 

      • Turdnugget0420

        Looks like T-Mobile HR trolling Tmonews and blowing smoke.

        • Guest

          Dude seriously get a life. 
          Typical….when all else fails and you got jackshite to say….throw out the hail mary, “troll” comment. 
          A simple google search shows they are hiring. 
          YOU SIR are the true TROLL. 

        • Tmostressedrep

          I don’t know exactly where they are hiring, because I can tell you there has not been a training class in session in quite some time in my call center. And one of the trainers moves to a different department because there was no work for him. You are posting as a “guest”. Do you even work for T-Mobile? At a call center? It’s a whole different ball game at the centers than it is at the stores. You don’t have a clue.

        • Turdnugget0420

          Well multiple posters are mirroring my comments and thoughts about the situation… nothing more to say to you Guest.

      • Ktwist

        Well they for sure are cutting reps hours in my downtown market and raising our quotas to ridiculous goals. They know people are hesitant on signing contracts now that customers are aware of the merger, that’s why they came out with these prepaid plans that are wayyy cheaper than our postpaid accounts. They are doing this to weed out as much reps as possible before the acquisition without a doubt. I’ve already seen 4 managers leave their stores and one market manager step down. It’s going nuts here so most reps and managers are already looking for new jobs. Yeah they maybe still highering reps but it’s because there getting rid of the reps with high maxed out pay grades and low balling the new employees. I’ve heard my managers talking about how they lowball all the new hires and most take it because of the economy.

        • Ajg1718

          In all actuality that is still not true they are filling per business demands reps that have been there since voicestream are still there that’s 10+ years, all those managers leaving are because they are managers but the closer to the customer you are the safer you are basically… people stress too much, take it easy, one step at a time…again those are managers leaving is store reps are leaving is because they don’t know what to do and don’t know how to handle a situation like this… in some markets majority of markets are doing good actually sorry to hear you have a rough time out there…

        • KSphillylois

          Since I am no longer a TMO employee since the day after the announcement and have friends still there I can tell you that our call center does not have reduced hours but many many employees have been let go. New hires are still happening but one week after the announcement on one day 22 employees were termed. The metrics have been lowered and the focus of “customer loyalty” has changed from retaining customers to getting new contracts and has lots of those higher paid reps leaving as soon as they can find a different company to go to. (many of ours went to create a new retention department at COX) The sales training / certification was put in place around the time of serious discussion with ATT and it is a tough course. Tmobile has changed its attitude in the past year in an extreme way. Contracts not customers are the real focus.

    • Wdreiling

      By law the severance and retention info had to be sent within 45 said if the first announcement. It was done to the day. There has also been no systematic reduction in call center hours. Try fact checking first.

      • Turdnugget0420

        If you work for T-Mobile I’m sorry none of this is obvious to you. You’ll understand what I’m talking about when the takeover happens… hopefully it’s not total surprise.

        • Guest

          Oooooooh BURN!!! 
          YOU SO GOT HIM!!!!!
          Are you 12?
          Your rebuttal did nothing and didnt even address his claims. 
          He put you on blast son. 

    • Tmostressedrep

      Agree! My call center is handing out “Pre OOH” like crazy every day. I pulled in to a practically empty back lot yesterday. Half of my team has taken reduced hours. They have trained customer care to take tech calls, they keep changing the metrics to be harder and harder to meet. We are expected to resolve a smartphone issue in 14 minutes or less when the customer calls in with problems on three phones. Yeah, do some reporting on what’s going on behind the scenes since this acquisition was announced. 

  • I remember reading an argument from AT&T several weeks ago that the reason they needed T-Mobile’s spectrum was to avoid the need to take down patches of older infrastructure in their own network, rendering devices that depend on that infrastructure useless.

    Instead, they’re planning to do it to T-Mobile’s newer infrastructure, turning those consumers’ devices into paperweights; meanwhile, also severely damaging the operating potential of regional carriers and small businesses around the country.  The case seems to directly contradict AT&T’s assertion that they are competing regionally, when they’ll most assuredly eliminate competition through the acquisition.

  • As a native-born Filipino, I shake my head profoundly at the FAAE (which I had no idea even existed until this article hah!) meddling in this AT&T/T-Mobile Acquisition.  As stated in the article, they really have no purpose in the discussion when the ones AT&T should be focusing on are the dealers and wireless partners.

  • Meagan

    Yep AT&T is going to do a Walmart (take-over the little guys) on iWireless.com and the rest of the smaller cell carriers.  MaBell of 2013.  Get ready… like it or not… (play spooky laugh)…

    Don’t worry, after AT&T turns-off Tmobiles 3G/4G bands (forever) to broadcast AT&T 3G/4G bands over Tmobiles old Towers, you can still use your Tmobile mobiles via Edge(only) on AT&T. 

    Yep your $600+ Tmobile HTC Sensation will be good on AT&T Edge.

    • thats why i sold my HD2 and got an LG Optimus T(for 3g on tmobile) and a Samsung Focus for next year

    • Anonymous

      In two or three years, you may not even care about what phone you have now. 

      It’s not like the phones shut off the day the merger happens.  You’re talking years down the road in a transition where AT&T will likely offer very sweet deals to customers to upgrade to a newer more compatible phone.

      • GT

        AT&T, formerly Cingular Wireless, bought the original AT&T Wireless.  They FORCED (basically) everyone to switch to a Cingular plan or leave.  I had a $99 unlimited plan many years ago.  Cingular made the service almost unuseable after they bought AT&T Wireless (dropped calls,poor signal).  I left for T-Mobile in 2006.  Here is history repeating its self if this merger goes through.  Hello Verizon or Sprint?!

    • Anonymous

      By the time network changes ocurr, the sensation will be old news. Heck, quadcore devices will be old news. Dont stress over current phones working in 2 years.

  • Meagan

    I think eventually all the little guys will have to give in to AT&T.  Otherwise, they will be sitting around with useless towers that don’t make enough income to pay the electric bill.  Its a win-win for AT&T…  (play evil laugh)…

  • Things are gettin serious around here. AT&T needs to just back off.

    • Jeffreygreen1315

      at&t doesn’t want to do that. they would owe t-mo 3mil plus a lot of spectrum.

  • Jennifer P.

    Ive said before and ill say again…i used to have a Cingular Wireless store, until at&t bought them out…and they shut me down. Now I have a TMO store, and based on my past experience can only assume that they will do the same thing. I work hard for this company and have for years…all to get shut down AGAIN, by the same people. To say the least, we are hoping at&t goes to hell.

    • Guest

      well all i know is that was cingular the one who bought at&t. not viceversa. but in puerto rico, if the deal go through, the coverage will be better. because tmobile in puerto rico just have 3g/4g for the data, because you make a call and the H or the 4G logo  turn in to a G 

      • Anonymous

        you’re correct.  SBC purchased AT&T in 2005 and took on their name.  SBC and Bellsouth owned Cingular Wireless the whole time so the management probably didn’t change a ton.   I wonder if there were changes made when SBC (renamed as AT&T) purchased Bellsouth and was able to fully own Cingular Wireless in 2006.  That full ownership might have given them a lot of leverage to make changes in their Cingular Wireless business.

    • CactusCat

      Jennifer, with all due regards to your problems in years gone by…. AT&T did NOT buy out Cingular. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Cingular bought AT&T and then later changed their name from Cingular to AT&T due to the fact that more people were aware of the AT&T name. Thusly, your Cingular store was shut down by Cingular who had changed their name to AT&T. Here is a link to further enlighten you:

      • Mdb632


      • GT

        Not true.  AT&T bought BellSouth.  Cingular was owned by SBC and BellSouth jointly.  SBC bought AT&T and changed the name and logo.  Then they bought BellSouth.  When they did that, they owned all of Cingular and they could, and did, do whatever they wanted.

        • None

          Google is your friend people, use it!

  • Anonymous

    These small companies have damn good reason to be (very) scared, as soon as AT&T gets there hands on the T-Mobile Network all these small companies contract or no contract will start to get all kinds of problems thrown at them. If it is problem at towers, anything at all to screw up business as usual will be thrown at them because that is how AT&T does business. These small companies mostly in rural areas will be forced to close shop and ain’t it funny AT&T hasn’t talked about any of this. These companies better come together and voice their very real worries. If not they might as well just fold up shop. This buy out is NO damn good to anyone but AT&T. If it goes thru, it is because of sneaky deals made behind closed doors and we know that doesn’t happen. I am hoping that this buy out is completely rejected and T-Mobile is bought by a completely outside company and gives another shot at the US market. That would be fantastic. I’m probably just dreaming but I have been with all the Networks and T-Mobile has proven to be the best IMO.

  • Guest

    Just because AT&T hasnt addressed some concerns doesnt mean they wont 
    I have been with TMobile for 6 years now. 
    I frankly hope the deal fails.
    With that being said the paranoia and tin foil thinking over all of this is entertaining. 

    • Jayq330

      Don’t be so inconsiderate of people’s fear. That man says 12years of his life & earnings could go in a matter of 1st year because at&t is not going to honor anything & even if they do what good is it when he has no customer’s do 2 the fact that no one trusts, wants at&t or just flat our leaves them for sprint. 3 friends of mine has recently left tmobile because of all the B.S. I suggest just switch to a company with no surprises waiting to pop up.
      PS: tmobile has added allot of innovative features such as the unlimited wifi calling & more, hopefully they end up staying tmobile & note a part of at&t.

      • Governmentfromage

        Unfortunately though, even if the deal with AT&T fails, T-Mobile is done. DT wants out out out of the US wireless business, and if the govt says no to AT&T buying them, they’ll most likely just scrap things and sell off in parts.

        • Jeffreygreen1315

          if this deal fails it would be good to see google step in and acquire t-mo

  • Jabombardier

    Did you guys see the new AT&T commercial where they mention that they are combining with T-Mobile yo improve coverage?


    i-wireless is awesome.

    for 8 years i drove iowa from keokuk to st. ansgar 6 days a week.

    att doesn’t nearly have the coverage they do.

    i-wireless is 1900gsm, att is 850 in iowa.

    • Ash

      ATT is both 1900 and 850.

    • Me

      Ash is right, ATT is both 1900 and 850

  • bwana

    im scared 

  • I hope the purchase of T-Mobile never happen because it will create a monopoly and we will pay higher cell phone services rates. I am paying $45 per month for my DSL service (3.0 MBps) with AT&T that they promoted at $33 per month. The service charge was increased without any warning. I also have a prepaid cell phone from T-Mobile and the minutes of the $50 cards don’t expire before 1 year. The good services and prices of T-Mobile would disappear with the purchase by AT&T.

  • Futiletooppose

    ompanies that have introduced consumer tablets to compete with the iPad are dialing back production as demand for their tablets is failing to meet expectations. A new report issued Wednesday by J.P. Morgan Chase paints a sad picture for companies like Samsung, Motorola, RIM and ASUS as they look to make headway in the emerging consumer tablet market. These manufacturers have slowed production of their respective tablet offerings by as much as 10%, J.P. Morgan claims, due to limited consumer demand. Among those tablets that have failed to gain traction, the report lists the Motorola XOOM, which we know to have shipped at least 250,000 units in the first quarter alone; the BlackBerry PlayBook, which indeed isn’t selling well for some retailers but is thought to have sold 250,000 units in its first two months of availability; the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, which the report says was initially selling well but is now overstocked in some cases; and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which is far and away the second-best selling consumer tablet in the world. “Non-Apple tablet hopefuls have adjusted to the weak showing so far,” the report said. “We still think a tablet bubble burst could occur later this year when the tablets designed to run on T-Mobiles network become dead inventory.”

  • Anonymous

    Is all this site good for is spreading FUD?!

    • Yup, good looking out!

  • They better not mess with i wireless. They really have improved coverage in western Illinois when t-mobile themselves are not. All these new areas with gsm coverage thanks to i wireless. And it’s nice to be able to use 3g on i wireless. but when t-mobile in the same region is gprs, it sucks (No reason for that). I wireless actually builds out to rural areas while t-mobile rather have no coverage or roaming on the old commnet wireless network/simmetry pcs. Lame..

  • Bob

    If ATT wants the merger to pass FCC and DOJ, they will NEED to Honor every existing contract in place.

  • Karen

    This is an outrage! AT&T has lousy customer service and continuously raises rates. I am a T-Mobile customer and do not look forward to being an AT&T customer. AT&T’s action to corner the cell market is, in my opinion, a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and should have never been allowed. AT&T who has already joined the television & internet market, will now be the only choice of approximately 97% of the U.S. Market.

  • Wade Kimball

    If AT&T was the last wireless carier on earth I would go to a tin can and string.  100% of all calls made or recieved on the AT&T network are overpowered by static and broken connection and at least 60% of all calls are eventually dropped.  Not to mention that I will recieve half the services I currently get and yet my bill will double.  Plus if you look at history, AT&T has ALWAY fully assimilated the companies they purchase leaving no resemblance of the old behind.  I only have 1 question, WILL I BE ALLOWED TO CANCEL MY CONTRACT WITH NO PENALTIES if such a merger takes place?  After all I sighned up with T-Mobile NOT AT&T.  But make no mistake about it, I will pay the $600 in fees if I have to.