In AT&T speak, contraction = expansion

Following my initial post on Carlos Slim-Ed Whitacre’s joint bid to get a piece of Telecom Italia, several reactions have poured in, mostly as private email. The best one, of course has come from the indomitable Dave Burstein, who writes the influential DSL Prime e-newsletter, who expounded upon Ma Bell’s claim of international panache.

AT&T/SBC have been dumping international stakes for years, including Bell Canada, TeleDenmark, Belgacom, and Telkom South Africa.

If memory serves us right, Cingular sold off a 33% stake in Idea Cellular, one of the major players in fast growing Indian cellular market for $210 a subscriber, about a third of what Hutch Essar managed to claw out of Vodafone.

The way we see it, it is more a case of contraction than international expansion, regardless of what the press release says.