In an analyst report published several days prior to Monday’s launch of the Alliance for Broadband Competition, the DC-based investment intelligence firm Capital Alpha Partners recalled the recent T-Mobile/AT&T alliance.
“In the course of the Verizon/SpectrumCo regulatory review, we see the familiar pattern of self-serving (and often contradictory) opposition lobbying at the FCC that has become a Washington tradition,” wrote Robert Kaminski, associate director at Capital Alpha Partners, and James Lucier, the firm’s managing director.
“We hold that opposition from competing carriers might have the unintended consequence of damaging their own credibility in future transactions,” wrote Kaminski and Lucier. “We think this undermines — but does not necessarily kill — a possible T-Mobile/MetroPCS combination.”
A potential merger between T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, one of the nation’s largest regional carriers, is reported to be in the works.
Market research firm Nomura Equity Research concluded in an April analyst report that without the iPhone, T-Mobile USA would be unlikely to see enthusiasm from wireless customers in the coming months. Deutsche Telekom received a positive grade from the firm, despite the well-known woes of its ailing U.S. subsidiary.
Just a few months after its planned 2011 merger with AT&T was declared dead in the water, T-Mobile USA closed several call centers in the U.S. as part of a restructuring effort.
Kaminski and Lucier called T-Mobile’s current position against Verizon a return to its “historical” stance as an anti-Verizon and anti-AT&T “agitator.”
Dr. Ev Ehrlich, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs during the Clinton Administration called the new alliance “a case study in Orwellian language” that “a group of companies and interest groups that don’t like the effects of telecommunications competition have formed a group to ‘promote’ competition.”
“T-Mobile is a zombie carrier, all but abandoned by its German parent, that can’t compete; the ‘Competitive’ Carrier Association is a group of small, uncompetitive carriers who want their successful counterparts to keep them on life support, and Public Knowledge has a long history of wanting to substitute its views for the outcomes of a consumer-driven market,” said Ehrlich, in a response to Monday’s announcement.
T-Mobile USA did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment.