Now that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA is in limbo, it’s time to start thinking about plan B for the Bellevue-based carrier.
One possibility is that T-Mobile will instead hook up with a cable company such as Comcast or Time Warner Cable.
A cable deal was floated in a Reuters story today by Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett. Cable companies have unused spectrum in the same band as T-Mobile and it could be a “match made in heaven,” he said in the story.
Those companies earlier invested in Clearwire, which extended their broadband offerings with wireless bundles.
Cable companies partnering with T-Mobile would further complicate the situation for Clearwire and Sprint, which are haggling over a plan to have Clearwire support Sprint’s LTE rollout, which neither company seems able to afford.
But the bigger question for consumers is whether T-Mobile would continue provide relatively good deals on wireless service if it were owned by a cable company.
You’ve got to wonder how regulators would react to a cable deal.
If they think consumers will suffer from the market concentration of AT&T acquiring T-Mobile, how would they feel about all your connectivity – broadband, video, landline and wireless – being provided by a giant like Comcast (that also produces news and entertainment content).