According to recent reports, the second-largest carrier in the US, AT&T, is currently considering the possibility of entering European markets due to lack of opportunity for expansion in America. Apparently, the carrier is debating a merger with one of the larger networks in the United Kingdom, Germany or the Netherlands. If the company gives the merger the green light, then AT&T plans to bring 4G to the playing field.
Here in Europe, most of the mobile industry’s money is in plans for voice calls and SMS messaging, which is a real annoyance for those waiting on 4G, as it means that the few networks that carry such data speeds can charge whatever they want. Fortunately, if AT&T does happen to roll out 4G in Europe, then plans that offer the technology will decrease in price, great news for those of us stuck with the woes of 3G.
Sadly, if anything does come of this, then it isn’t likely to take effect until next year, as potential partners for AT&T’s move are still being reviewed.
The Wall Street Journal writes the following:
“It couldn’t be learned whether AT&T is engaged in negotiations with European carriers or which companies it might be circling. European carriers including Royal KPN NV, KPN.AE +3.62% the biggest telecom company in the Netherlands and Everything Everywhere, one of the biggest wireless carriers in the U.K., are on AT&T’s radar, the people said.”
As you can see, KPN is one of AT&T’s potential choices, and is a candidate that may well amount to AT&T’s merger, as the American carrier’s CEO has close ties with Carlos Slim, a large stakeholder in KPN (and also the richest man in the world, just a little fact for you).
EE is another of AT&T’s options, which would mean merging with the first (and currently only) 4G carrier in the UK. However, an alliance on home turf is apparently off the cards, as US regulators have stated that AT&T will not merge with T-Mobile USA.