Being the largest provider of telephony in the United States, AT&T’s history in telephony operation is in large measure of the telephone in the country. Its roots date back to the time of Alexander bell’s invention (Godinez 4). It became the parent company of Bell’s inventions which provided the best services in the world. Later the system broke up into eight separate companies. This was as a result of an agreement between the company and the department of justice.
The company provides both wire line and wireless based telecommunication services, which include exchange services, broadband and internet services, and long distance services. Others services offered by the company ranges from video to provision of equipment for publishing purposes. AT&T was the seventh largest company by total revenue in the 2010 as well as the third largest non oil company. After the falling apart of the agreement between AT&T and the BellSouth, the company was put up for sale. SBC announced the bid to buy it at a tune of $16 billion. The justice department cleared the merger and consequently approved it. The sealing of the merger saw the company adopting the new name AT&T Inc, from the initial name with the goal of developing new image to the market. However the sound trademark is still in use.
Between the year 2007 and 2008, the company changed its strategy after realizing that the traditional home line were on the decline (Kurtz 87). They switched to wireless services as their core product. New services such as video share and u-verse were introduced, where upcountry people were targeted to be the major beneficiaries of the project, as the latter were seen to possess bigger growth opportunity than their urban counterparts. Later in the year, they announced the acquisition of Dobson Communication. This was then reported and was completed in November 2007. They purchased 12MHz of spectrum in the prime 700MHz spectrum from Aloha Partners. The deal became approved by the FCC. Later they announced another plan to acquire Edge Wireless, a regional GSM carrier which was completed in April 2008. Towards the end of 2007, they announced plans to remove the payphone by the end of the following year. By this time, BellSouth had removed all their payphone before they acquired AT&T, and another company, Qwest had sold out its pay phone services in 2004.
Today, the company is a global networking leader, focused on delivering IP-based solutions to enterprise and government customers. Consequently, as they are moving away from traditional consumer services, they continue to offer small businesses as a breakthrough alternative to traditional services-voice over IP.
To remain more competitive, the company focuses on multi cultural strategies for advertising purposes (Malkevitch & Lesser 129). The company has designed its products to involve the diversity of the society. Their products are designed to offer services in different languages other than English. They believe that to conduct business and provide customer assistance, the products must come in their preferred languages, which offers culturally relevant products and services (Malkevitch & Lesser 129). This move was meant to be attractive to customers of diverse backgrounds.
The company has a history of supplier diversity since the beginning of the year 1968 when they created the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program. Later they launched the Women Business Enterprise (WBE) program and the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) program in 1993 (American city Business Journals). This has been beneficial to the company since it provides the best products to their customers by contracting and expanding opportunities for diverse businesses across the globe. They launched another women friendly product, the Women Color Business Enterprise program for the female gender business owners. The program was designed to achieve maximum benefit to the participants through opening new channels fro their income, for example increase in contracts within corporate members.
In the year 1999, they introduced the broadband services to the people. In the same year, they launched the wireless IP data network, which was the first commercially available wireless IP data network (American city Business Journals). By the year 2000, the company joined forces with SBC and Bellsouth communication, to create the second largest wireless carrier, serving more than 19 million subscribers and reaching 211 million potential customers. In the same year, the company launched the Cingular Wireless LLC, a joint venture between the wireless units of SBC and BellSouth. 2001, the Cingular Wireless reached 20 million customers. The following year, SBC teamed up with Yahoo! So as to further enhance the broadband services. In 2002, the company took orders for the first Blackberry phones with voice and data, the blackberry 5810. In the same year, they launched the rollover minutes-letting customers keep unused wireless minutes for future use. This remains to be the first and only service of its kind in the industry. They created the devcentral developer Program, becoming the first company to create a world wide community for developers (AT&T). This is the longest-standing program of its kind. They introduced a digital and analog tri-mode mobile phone, Nokia 6340i which created a more enhanced calling experience for customers, allowing them to stay connected across wireless networks, including GSM, TDMA and analog channels. In the 2003, they sponsored American Idol, becoming the official sponsor (Ganguin & Bilardello 28). They introduced text voting, which brought texting to mainstream. At the end of the season, the company reported about 7.5 million related text crossed its network (Ganguin & Bilardello 28). In the same year, they became the first US carrier to offer Palm-branded voice and data wireless handheld device, the Palm Tungsten W. they again introduced thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots and a new Wi-Fi service, the FreedomLink. The same year marked the launch of a phone with music player, the Nokia 3300. That is the same year when they introduced the EDGE service nationwide. This created the fastest wireless data network in the country.
The first smart phone was introduced in the same year, the Nokia 3650; becoming the first US carrier to offer such services. The very year marked the introduction of Windows Mobile smart phone, the Motorola x200, the first of its kind in the country (Ganguin & Bilardello 29). In the year 2004, the company launched third party device certification program which promoted and supported the certification of third party non-stocked devices in the US. In the same year, they introduced an integrated commercial laptop, the Sony Vaio, launched by Cingular. Cingular Wireless announced an agreement to acquire AT&T wireless in the same year. They launched music ring tones from all major music labels in the same year. This development is still under improvement since they continue to provide options to side load music from PC to mobile, ring back tones, over the air full track downloads and streaming music. Launched the first commercial UMTS wireless network; giving it the advantage of bringing simultaneous voice and data services together. They launched the Motorola RAZR, known for its striking appearance and thin profile. In the same year, they launched a one stop shop to load up on ring tones, games, videos and other applications and content. In 2005, they launched the first EDGE-enabled Blackberry, the Blackberry 8700c. The same witnessed the launch of MobiTV on a variety of handsets, allowing subscribers to watch 22 channels of live news, sports and entertainment programs all at ago. In the same year, U-verse brand, and site of IP based (Internet and protocol) products and services are launched, including the integrated next generation television, super high speed internet access and Voice over IP services. The same year, 2005, the company launched 3g network using UMTS with HSDPA technology-combined with voice and data services at even faster speeds. They launched the world’s first phone that was compatible with iTunes, the Motorola ROKR E1- a precursor to innovation that would blend further music and voice (AT&T).
In the same year 2005, the company launched MySpace Mobile bringing social networking application to wireless phones and later, they added networking apps and services to their portfolios, enabling easier and integrated on the go access to online communities. In the 2006, they introduced the fast-Pitch, giving independent software vendors a chance to put their mobile solution to the company (American city Business Journals). The developers with the best contents and business solutions won prizes, the opportunity to go market with the company. The same witnessed the launch of the smallest camera flip phone by the company, the Pantech C300, the world’s smallest camera flip phone at that time (American city Business Journals). In the same again they launched the Samsung Blackjack. They offered wireless reference architecture to developers in the same year. This was to support corporate developers. The portal had more than 4000 pages with robust enabler and device toolkits, APIs, documentation and lab-environments- the deepest of any given carrier so far. The company brought the first ever UMTS/HSDPA-powered smart phones with global 3G capabilities, the Cingular 8525 from HTC. The device combined both voice and data services, making it even easier to communicate.
In the year 2007, they introduced the first ever US mobile banking application with multiple banks. In the same, the smallest and lightest full QWRTY Blackberry handset was launched, the Original Blackberry Curve. In June the same year, the company launched live video streaming during voice calls. The same year witnessed another major development in mobile telephony when the company launched another first of its kind. They launched Apple’s iPhone, “which combined three products into a widescreen iPod with touch controls and a good internet communication device” (American city Business Journals). Wireless parental controls were launched in the same year. This technology gave parents the opportunity to set parameters for cell phone use, such as time of the day restrictions and much more. This is the same year that the company launched the mobile speak and mobile magnifier services to aid the customers with visual disabilities. In 2008, the 3G technology adopted the use of High Speed packet Access technology. The same saw the development of mobile GPS services. Wireless network card in the net book was also launched in the same year (Godinez 4). This embeds a 3G wireless network card in a net book. In the year 2009, the company developed the technology that facilitated a direct dialogue between its customers and app developers. This let the customers try the app and gave feedbacks to the developers before the apps were made available. In the same year, they developed the first commercially available Windows Mobile 6.5 device with the HTC Pure.
As they increase and diversify their products and programs, the need to move the corporate headquarters arose. The main reason of moving was to gain better access to the customers and to increase the level of operation throughout the world (Godinez 6). The company wanted to be closer to its key technology partners, suppliers, innovation and human resources that were needed for the growth, both domestically and globally. As the global economic pressure began to bite, there was pressure on the local companies. This resulted into massive job cuts, and AT&T Inc. was not spared.
Being a fortune 500 company, AT&T is one of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average (American city Business Journals). In its 2009 report, it had consolidated revenue of $123 billion. For a company with just over 272,400 employees, this is a good performance considering that it does not enjoy any form of monopoly in the mobile telephony in the United States. AT & T2 is believed to have the fastest network supported by its powerful broadband in addition to being its immeasurable strong United States’ mobile network.
American city Business Journals. AT&T completes buy out of Edge Wireless, 2009.
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