Ma Bell Rides Again

For last six months, I have been arguing that SBC got a real bargain in AT&T. Not only did AT&T bring to the table a fully modernized network, corporate telecom expertise, but also a company whose operations are on the mend. In the most recent quarter, AT&T posted profits, and painted a better future. But the biggest thing SBC got was the AT&T name. It is worth more than all the cash on the giant’s books. And it certainly is more memorable than SBC which is a regional brand that reminds you… (add your own pun!)

“The AT&T brand reflects what customers are looking for in a provider,” Whitacre says, “They want the latest technology and services, but they also want reliability, quality and trustworthiness. Only the AT&T brand offers this ideal combination of traits.” There is a lot of stuff in the press release about next generation IP services etc. Never mind. For me, the brand is something more emotional. It was AT&T’s service that connected me to my family back home in India when I was a new immigrant. It was an emotional connection I had with the name, and I am glad to see the name not getting lost in mists of time.

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