There is a lot of armchair quarterbacking on the $41 billion merger, but most are failing to bring up the critical and perhaps the single most important issue of this deal: spectrum. I was chatting with Rich Nespola, CEO of the Management Network Group (TMNG) this afternoon, and asked him this question: What did Cingular really win in this deal? He did not even wait a second to point out that this deal was all about wireless spectrum. “Cingular gets lots of valuable spectrum from AT&T. Cingular was spectrum constraint,” he said.
Nespola is one of my favorite wireless experts, and he is right – this additional spectrum, when optimized will improve service quality. But more than that, it will allow the combined company to roll out data services. Does not matter what kind of data service that gets marketed, as long as it comes to market. Data services have helped boost average revenue per user by about 12 percent in Europe. Assuming the worst case scenario, a five percent boost to ARPU of the combined company should help stem the recent losses.
I am still working on the complete analysis, but work commitments are preventing me from completing the analysis.