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Cingular to change name to AT&T

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?

12 Responses to “Cingular to change name to AT&T”

  1. As AT&T constructs the final pieces of the “death star” (take a look at the AT&T logo), the assimilation looks like it will be complete.
    With the negative connotations attached to the AT&T brand (hell, they couldn’t even get long distance right way back when!!!)it looks like I need to purchase some stock in Verizon wireless as soon as the markets open tomorrow.
    AT&T killed Bell Labs, spun off Lucent that is still in the death throes, tried to develop Avaya to sell telephone systems and still doesn’t realize that the consumer doesn’t want a monolith to do business with. It looks like the breaking up of the Bell System has come full circle and we’re going to wind up with another monopoly that the government will endorse.
    Do you really want there to be only one source in town for voice, wireless, cable, and internet? Well, that’s where we’re headed —– again.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Raj Bhatt

    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.

  6. 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.