[Ctd] Stuart Lacheen
overstock at gmail.com
overstock at gmail.com
Sat Dec 9 15:42:53 PST 2006
The largest nationwide, award winning and exclusive wholesale dealer for Cingular Wireless
Cingular Wireless, LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, is the largest mobile phone company in the United States, with more than 58.7 million subscribers. The company has the largest digital voice and data network in the United States.
Cingular was formed through mergers and acquisitions, and as a result of these - as well as the rapid technological change in the wireless industry - Cingular operates wireless networks using many different wireless communication standards. The most widely used of these technologies is called Global System for Mobile Communications, or GSM. On top of its GSM network Cingular operates a data network called GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and an upgrade for faster speeds called EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution). Cingular supports their legacy TDMA and analog networks; however in March 2006 they announced that these networks would be shut down by February 2008. As part of this effort, Cingular will charge a $5 monthly fee to those customers who still use TDMA phones.  Former networks include various paging services and the Cingular Interactive division that became Velocita Wireless which was recently purchased by Sprint Nextel. 
Among the services that Cingular aggressively promotes is its "Rollover" service, allowing customers to keep unused minutes from month to month on a twelve-month rolling cycle on its popular "Nation" nationwide plans.
* 1 History
o 1.1 AT&T Wireless merger
o 1.2 GSM Facilities
o 1.3 Financial Performance
* 2 Business services
* 3 Marketing
o 3.1 Fewest Dropped Calls
o 3.2 Revival of AT&T's Brand in Wireless
* 4 Facts
* 5 Controversy
* 6 Cingular competitors
* 7 References
* 8 External links
Southwestern Bell Wireless logo
Pacific Bell Wireless logo
Cingular Wireless was formed in 2001 as a joint venture of SBC Communications (now AT&T) and BellSouth. The joint venture created the nation's second largest carrier. Cingular grew out of a conglomeration of 11 regional companies. The 11 brands included Southwestern Bell Wireless, Pacific Bell Wireless, Nevada Bell Wireless, Ameritech Cellular, SNET Wireless, SBC Wireless, BellSouth Mobility, BellSouth Mobility DCS, BellSouth Wireless Data, some Cellular One markets, and Houston Cellular. Cingular's lineage can be traced back to Advanced Mobile Phone Service, Inc., which was a subsidiary of AT&T created in 1978 to provide cellular service nationwide. AMPS, Inc. was divided among the RBOCs as part of the Bell System Divestiture.
With the exception of Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS, the digital network consisted of TDMA Technology. The Pacific Bell and BellSouth Mobility DCS networks used GSM technology on the PCS frequency band (1900 MHz).
In 2002 Cingular began an initiative called "Project Genesis" that involved a GSM/GPRS overlay of the entire wireless network. Project Genesis was completed by the end of 2004. Once Bell South is purchased, Cingular will become a whole subsidiary of AT&T.
First announced on June 22, 2005 Cingular Wireless announced the intention to divest its Caribbean and Bermuda operations and licenses which it acquired from the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, to Irish owned, Bermuda-based Digicel Group under undisclosed financial terms. In 2006 one-year following the deal, a high ranking source allegedly close to the sale pointed the Barbados Daily Nation Newspaper towards some SEC filings made by Cingular Wireless, the SEC filings were said to establish an idea of the approximate sale price of the deal. According to the SEC filings it stated that Cingular Wireless was paid around US$122 million, with much of that $122m cost to Digicel going towards the purchasing of the former AT&T Wireless assets in Barbados..
 AT&T Wireless merger
After a bidding war with Britain's Vodafone PLC, Cingular announced in February, 2004 that it would purchase AT&T Wireless for 41 billion dollars.
AT&T Wireless logo
Cingular Wireless logo
The merger was completed on October 26, 2004. The combined company had a customer base of 46 million people, which placed Cingular as the largest wireless provider in the United States.
Cingular has launched a high-speed network known as "BroadbandConnect," based on UMTS and High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), to counter Verizon Wireless and Sprint's EV-DO networks. UMTS service was launched on December 6, 2005 in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, San Jose, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Washington D.C. Cingular is expected to launch UMTS in all major metropolitan markets by the end of 2006.
 GSM Facilities
In California, Nevada, northern New Jersey and New York City, Cingular and T-Mobile USA maintained and shared a GSM-1900 network prior to the acquisition of AT&T Wireless, through a joint venture known as GSM Facilities. The network sharing agreement allowed Cingular to offer local service in northern New Jersey and New York City and T-Mobile to offer service in California and Nevada. On May 25, 2004, Cingular and T-Mobile USA announced their intention to dissolve the agreement contingent on Cingular's successful acquisition of AT&T Wireless. The Cingular network was transferred to T-Mobile, with Cingular continuing work on the GSM facilities at AT&T Wireless sites. 
 Financial Performance
The first wireless company to announce Q1 results, Cingular reported an extremely strong first quarter, beating analyst expectations with 1.7 million net adds during Q1, drastically reduced customer turnover (or "churn rate") at 1.9% versus 2.23% one year prior and numerous other improvements. At quarter's end, 89% of Cingular's customers and 97% of its wireless "Anytime" minutes were on its GSM network, a move which the carrier is aggressively promoting. Q4 2005 saw the end of new subscriptions on Cingular's "Blue" (former AT&T Wireless) network, except where corporate contracts mandated they remain available. A down side was a slight overall reduction in Average Revenue per User (ARPU), due to increasing competition between wireless carriers and bargain-basement pricing from resellers. Cingular also during the first quarter began touting independent drivetime testing results showing Cingular as the carrier with the fewest blocked, dropped or poor-quality calls, in a direct!
attack on Verizon Wireless's "It's the network" campaign.
 Business services
Cingular is known for its enterprise services, offered through its Business Markets Group, a subsidiary company of the joint venture. It acquired a considerable stable of business clients through the acquisition of AT&T Wireless in 2004, and boasts that it currently serves over 90% of the Fortune 100 and over 80% of the Fortune 500. Cingular is also the largest provider of BlackBerry service in North America.
 Fewest Dropped Calls
During the first quarter of 2006, Telephia reported that during an extensive nationwide test of major wireless carriers, Cingular Wireless dropped the fewest number of calls across the country. Cingular in turn began advertising with more aggression the "Allover Network" citing Telephia as "the leading independent research company." This was in stark contrast to the Consumer Unions published "Consumer Reports" which slammed Cingular for static and dropped calls and J.D. Power and Associates' findings. (J.D. Power and Associates consistently puts Cingular in the bottom (or near the bottom) of their "overall customer satisfaction" list.)
Telephia initially refused to provide details on its study, and a spokesman for the company has said, according to the Boston Globe, that "Cingular shouldn't have even mentioned the company's name to a reporter."  The research company later stated that Cingular had a "statistically significant lower dropped-call rate than the competition across some market/time period groupings," but that Telephia had "no knowledge of the specific methodology... Cingular used to reach the nationwide 'lowest dropped call' conclusion."
 Revival of AT&T's Brand in Wireless
On November 20, 2005, Ed Whitacre, CEO of the newly-merged SBC/AT&T, announced plans to market Cingular's service under the AT&T Mobile banner. BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher countered that the terms of the joint venture allow either party to sell the service under another name, and that he believes they will be using the brand to market to business customers.  Cingular president Stan Sigman concurred with BellSouth's position, indicating that the Cingular brand would continue but be sold under the AT&T brand where offered in packages with other AT&T services, such as data and wireline telephony.
However, AT&T, Inc. announced on March 5, 2006  that it would acquire BellSouth. Once the Merger is complete AT&T will gain full ownership of Cingular, and will no longer need the neutral brand that its parent companies created. Even though the merger has yet to be cleared by federal regulators, in the fall of 2006 some Cingular ads began using the slogan "Part of the AT&T Family" below its logo and "Raising the Bar" tagline. Beginning in 2007, the Cingular brand will have a slow transition to the AT&T brand. The first expected change will be "AT&T Cingular" followed by just "AT&T".
* In 2005, Communications Workers of America, the union which represents over half of Cingular's employees, specifically recognized Cingular for excellence as a union employer, in direct contrast to competitor Verizon, which CWA singled out as an aggressive union-buster.
* Cingular Wireless is the wireless carrier of the street racers in Electronic Arts' street racing video games Need for Speed: Underground 2 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. It is used to receive SMS messages from other racers. This was one of the points of criticism in Underground 2, as the Cingular logo was featured as part of the game's driving interface in Career mode, and was thought to be a dubious method of product placement.
* Although Cingular's network standard (GSM) is completely different from Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless, Cingular does offer Sprint and Verizon customers roaming on to their older AMPS network.
* Cingular Wireless offers Push to talk (PTT) service using network technology from Kodiak Networks.
* Cingular Wireless is the main sponsor for the No. 31 Chevrolet driven by Jeff Burton in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series. As a side note, if AT&T completely phases out the Cingular brand, they will no longer be allowed to sponsor Burton's car, as the grandfather clause in Nextel's contract with NASCAR does not allow for this. (No phone companies are allowed to enter into new contracts to sponsor cars.)
A class action lawsuit alleges that Cingular misled former AT&T Wireless customers after it was acquired in October of 2004 .
In June 2006 tech website Engadget's mobile section posted a road map of upcoming Cingular products, this lead to Cingular temporarily banning the word 'engadget' and links pointing to engadget on their customer forums.
On August 25, 2005, Cingular was removed from the New York Better Business Bureau because of a large number of complaints that were not handled in a timely manner. The company is in the process of restructuring its customer care procedures and has appealed the decision. It remains a member of the BBB in other states in which it operates.
In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported logging more than 14,000 complaints (or 289 per million subscribers) against Cingular Wireless. The most common of which included number portability issues, over-billing, poor customer support and network reliability.
In Q1 2006, Cingular Wireless, LLC reported in its first-quarter financial statement that regulatory complaints (complaints to the FCC, Better Business Bureaus and other regulatory or semiregulatory bodies) were reduced over 56% compared to the same quarter one year prior.
Internet Marketing SEO
More information about the ctd