The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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AT&T plans to buy T-Mobile

Have you ever had class in the basement of Meadows? Or perhaps attended a meeting in the Hughes-Trigg Forum? If so, you know that these could be some of the deadliest spots on the SMU campus for what Verizon coined the “dead zone.”

And no, I cannot hear you now.

However, AT&T wants to hear you. Seven months ago AT&T announced its intention to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in cash and stock. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to block the AT&T merger. The reasoning behind the lawsuit stems from the concern that the merger will eliminate competition in the wireless service market.

As of now, there are four major wireless service providers: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint. What’s crazy about this is that only eight years ago, there were 12 different providers to choose from in this industry. If this merger were to go through, AT&T would easily hold a monopoly within the industry.

In general, T-Mobile offers lower prices for a variety of plans for current users. If the merger goes through, T-Mobile consumers could potentially face a steep increase in prices, and their current mobile phone plans could not be honored.

“My family uses T-Mobile because my father travels a lot for his job, and it has good rates for international calling while he’s abroad,” sophomore Michael Row said.

What’s more is that many employees could potentially lose their jobs as a result of the merger. This goes for both AT&T and T-Mobile. When SBC Communications acquired AT&T

in 2005, the merger led to job cuts of nearly 13,000 employees of both companies. The current merger of AT&T and T-Mobile very closely resembles the merger that took place six years ago.

AT&T is not backing down from the lawsuit. The online technology blog, TechCrunch, says AT&T has set plans to accommodate the DOJ’s concerns and continue to pursue the purchase of T-Mobile.

So, what would this merger mean for SMU students?

The current coverage of T-Mobile on SMU’s campus is not up to par with the rest of its wireless competitors. A positive that would come out of the merger would indeed be better coverage for those who used T-Mobile.

“I actually used to have T-Mobile, but we switched to AT&T because the coverage was so poor on the SMU campus,” freshman Emily Rosen said. “Whenever someone would call, I could never hear what they were saying.”

Perhaps the students at SMU have already recognized the problem and decided to correct it before AT&T set out to do so on the public stage. We will have to wait and see just how high AT&T can raise their bar before the U.S. Department of Justice lowers it.

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