AT&T Wireless was unable to merge with Deutsche Telekom owned T-Mobile USA and now the company could be reversing course, heading to Europe where it will attempt to purchase a wireless carrier. According to the rumor the company would buy an aging network, upgrade its 4G LTE technologies and then offer a “modern pricing structure” for cellular contracts.
AT&T is reportedly looking at carriers in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom as possible buyout sources. The Wall Street believes Everything Everywhere in the UK and Royal KPN in the Netherlands are the most likely targets of an acquisition, although executives at both companies are split on the decision.
In Europe many carriers are still pushing voice and SMS services on their customers and AT&T moving into the area could usher in Data centric plans, much like the company does in the United States. Data coverage throughout Europe has been spotty at best, especially in terms of widespread 4G technologies.
By moving into the European market AT&T could pick up tricks that will also allow it to compete with other UK company’s in the US. For example, Sprint’s upcoming acquisition by Softbank.
The largest obstacle for AT&T Wireless heading into the European market could be gaining approval for an acquisition. It is likely that the company’s failed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA will draw scrutiny from Europeans lawmakers as the company attempts to purchase yet another carrier.
AT&T could have one advantage in European markets where there are more major competitor competing for wireless customers. The company’s merger with T-Mobile was largely seen as anti-competitive since there are only a handful of large scale wireless competitors in the United States.
Do you think AT&T Wireless with its quick to expand 4G LTE know-how would be able to compete with already established European wireless carriers?
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