AT&T: Right Moves, Wrong Noise - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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11/7/2008
02:33 AM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
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AT&T: Right Moves, Wrong Noise

If nothing else, AT&T is making major symbolic gestures toward consumer broadband and mobile broadband services, and by doing so is trying to demonstrate its willingness to paint itself as a new AT&T. The gestures are, indeed, impressive, but the company's reluctance to admit its failures damages its credibility.

If nothing else, AT&T is making major symbolic gestures toward consumer broadband and mobile broadband services, and by doing so is trying to demonstrate its willingness to paint itself as a new AT&T. The gestures are, indeed, impressive, but the company's reluctance to admit its failures damages its credibility.

This week, AT&T has announced not only the acquisition of one of the major Wi-Fi hotspot companies in Wayport (some 80,000 hotspots worldwide), it bumped up its U-verse bandwidth to 18 Mbps to the home. On the backside of impressive (and exclusive) iPhone growth and the recent release of the BlackBerry Bold, the company seems on the cusp of something big.

But listening to Ralph De La Vega (president and CEO of AT&T's consumer and mobility division) at Web 2.0, there is still too much that is intangible and slippery. When Web 2.0 host John Battelle asked how iPhone sales were going post 3Q, De La Vega answered by talking about the growth in foot traffic at AT&T retail stores. When asked about the suddenly spotty 3G coverage in major metro areas like New York, De La Vega simply bragged about the robustness of the mobile infrastructure.

I'll try not to let the slicked-up words of one division president ruin my optimism about AT&T, but they still cast a tiny shadow of doubt.

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