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Summary:

Sometimes, I just wonder what they were thinking. A few months ago, Cingular embarked on a massive branding campaign, in an attempt to eradicate the AT&T Wireless brand name from the market place. Now a report USA Today quotes SBC CEO/Chairman Ed Whitacre saying that Cingular […]

Sometimes, I just wonder what they were thinking. A few months ago, Cingular embarked on a massive branding campaign, in an attempt to eradicate the AT&T Wireless brand name from the market place. Now a report USA Today quotes SBC CEO/Chairman Ed Whitacre saying that Cingular will drop the brand in favor of AT&T.

In an interview with USA TODAY on Friday, Whitacre left no doubt about his plans. Asked if the company planned to drop the Cingular name in favor of the AT&T brand, Whitacre said, ‘Yes, we do.’

Also, it has to be a procedural nightmare for the company which has still not been able to bring AT&T Wireless completely into the fold. It is hard to fault King Ed for thinking along those lines, as T still has a better brand name.

And since SBC is now officially called AT&T, it would make sense for SBC folks to give the impression that they are in charge. I wonder what BellSouth, which owns 40% of the wireless giant thinks of all this. Is it an indication that SBC/T will make a push and gobble up BellSouth?

By Om Malik

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  1. Cingular to Switch Back to AT

    USA Today reports that Cingular will be returning to the ATT Brand Name in a ploy to omit its partnership with BellSouth, or at least thats my opinion of it. But spokesman for BellSouth claims that this will not be

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  2. I think they should focus on fixing their network problems and customer service issues. Changing the name can’t mask the fact that they stink.

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  3. CingAtt or whatever it will be called it is stupid stupid stupid. I am a Cingular customer I don’t see anything that is broken with the Cingular name(now service, it is better left uncommented), why fix it? This really beats me.

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  4. Om:
    I interpret Ed’s comment and the BellSouth response to mean that SBC (now AT&T) is planning to sell wireless services under the AT&T brand name.

    That is not the same thing as changing Cingular’s name to AT&T.

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  5. I don’t care! I seriously don’t care!

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  6. Raj: How did you get that out of the quote, did you see the part where it says, “if the company planned to drop the Cingular name in favor of the AT&T brand”… That makes it clear. Cingular is becoming AT&T Wireless.

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  7. I would *hope* they would not be allowed to swallow BellSouth. I’m fairly certain that the new SBC|AT&T and Verizon|MCI are now both too large to acquire BSouth.

    On some forums I visit, it’s been rumored that Qwest might try to buy BellSouth. But I don’t believe that would really produce a stronger company. And Qwest is already a SprintNextel MVNO.

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  8. [...] Om Malik muses over the renaming [...]

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  9. Om: I know you don’t care but pls. do change your inaccurate headline…

    Cingular to stay Cingular
    By Kevin Fitchard

    Nov 21, 2005 4:11 PM

    Cingular Wireless today dismissed speculation that it would revert to the name AT&T, following the lead of its newly renamed majority owner SBC.

    A Cingular spokesman said today that the Cingular name is “alive and well,â€? and while AT&T would use the resale of the Cingular service under the AT&T brand as part of its wireline service bundles, Cingular would continue to operate as an independent entity, marketing its Cingular Wireless to customers nationally. The arrangement is similar to AT&T’s pre-merger plans to relaunch wireless services under the name AT&T Mobile as a mobile virtual network operator using Sprint’s network–now, however, the network will be Cingular, and AT&T will see a portion of its revenues refunded due to its ownership stake in the carrier.

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  10. [...] now i now why cingular is changing its name to at&t. it is an attempt to hypnotise me into forgetting the $250 bills that i have gotten each month since i switched from metro PCS. that was probably a horrible decision on my part, i am now thinking. if they are wise they should change their address as well. their pricing and the detailed usage reports that i have just spent the last half hour poring over are meant to horribly confuse the consumer (that means ME right now). there really is no other explanation. so, yes they better change their name. i wonder if i will feel less a sense of violation having my wallet raped by such a venerable institution as at&t. not likely. is it any wonder that wireless carriers are so feverishly lobbying against municipal wifi? they have ME over a barrel (and i suspect you as well) and they want to keep it that way. this whole thing is a shame, because with the exception made of my wireless internet being down for over a week, i really do like their services, and have been telling everyone i know how cool i think the features are. i am not exactly a power phone user, as a vast majority of my communication takes place here on the computer. $250/month for the level of my usage is A FUCKING INSULT. i don’t feel like wading into their financials to discover that i am right, so if anyone has a defense for their pricing structure, please leave it in the comments. (maybe i should have kept my shares of sbc, so i could feel like i was somehow getting a reacharound? ok now i am going overboard). consider my zeal for municipal wifi renewed with fresh religiousosity! [...]

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