AT&T says West Virginians are pawns in Sprint’s ‘cynical’ efforts to block T-Mobile merger

AT&T on Thursday issued a public response to Sprint’s recent attempt to thwart its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by appealing to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, which oversees public utilities and telcos in the state. While AT&T is busy trying to bring its upcoming 4G service to West Virginians, the carrier contends, Sprint is simply impeding its plans without having any intentions of its own to build a 4G network in the state. “AT&T is trying to bring the latest and fastest mobile Internet service to most of the citizens of West Virginia. Since Sprint is trying to stop that, we hope state officials will ask Sprint what its own plans are for bringing LTE speeds to the people of West Virginia,” said AT&T’s President of the Mid-Atlantic Region, J. Michael Schweder, in a statement. “We suspect Sprint either has no such plan, or that its own plans pale in comparison to AT&T’s. In either case, we’re confident West Virginians will see Sprint’s filing for what it is — a cynical effort to hurt a competitor, even if the ones truly hurt are the many people of West Virginia who would be denied the fast mobile Internet speeds they need and want.” Sprint indicated earlier this week that its appeal in West Virginia was the first of several state-level filings it will make across the country. Hit the break for AT&T’s full response.

Does Sprint Really Care About West Virginia?

With Little or No Plan to Provide 4G LTE Technology, Sprint Is Using West Virginians as Pawns in “Cynical” Effort to Block Competitor

CHARLESTON, W.Va., May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — With a current coverage map of West Virginia(posted on their website) that leaves much to be desired, and little or no plans to provide 4G LTE technology in the state, J. Michael Schweder, AT&T’s President of the Mid-Atlantic Region, called Sprint’s objection before the WV Public Service Commission “a cynical effort.”

“AT&T is trying to bring the latest and fastest mobile Internet service to most of the citizens of West Virginia. Since Sprint is trying to stop that, we hope state officials will ask Sprint what its own plans are for bringing LTE speeds to the people of West Virginia,” said Schweder. “We suspect Sprint either has no such plan, or that its own plans pale in comparison to AT&T’s. In either case, we’re confident West Virginians will see Sprint’s filing for what it is — a cynical effort to hurt a competitor, even if the ones truly hurt are the many people of West Virginia who would be denied the fast mobile Internet speeds they need and want.”

The benefits of the proposed merger include expanded 4G LTE to over 97% of U.S. population, including bringing access to AT&T’s LTE service to an additional 55 million Americans. In West Virginia, the expansion of 4G service as a result of the merger is especially dramatic and one of the largest of any states in the nation. In addition, the merger will bring an additional $8 billion in private infrastructure investment, will result in better mobile broadband access in rural communities, bring voice and data service improvements, and provide access for 34 million T-Mobile customers to nationwide, robust 4G LTE.

The merger also stands to strengthen America’s largest wireless unionized workforce. AT&T has a long-standing cooperative relationship with labor unions — primarily the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. When approved, T-Mobile employees will be able to join the country’s largest unionized wireless communications workforce meaning AT&T will have more full-time bargained-for jobs than any other private company in America.

For additional information, including before and after coverage maps for West Virginia, visit www.mobilizeeverything.com.

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