Monday, July 29, 2013

AT&T Home Base is a Facilities-Based Assault on Verizon

AT&T Home Base is a service supplying voice and Internet access using AT&T’s mobile network, instead of its fixed line network. The catch is that AT&T is doing so “out of market,” in Verizon fixed network territories.

AT&T Home Base now is available in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., all except Kentucky being areas served by Verizon’s fixed line networks.

In other words, AT&T’s third generation and fourth generation networks are the platform for what in an earlier time would have been called an “out of market” assault on Verizon, even though the traditional structure of the landline business, since the AT&T divestiture in 1984, has been based on “exclusive” local service territories.

Critics will argue, with some justification, that mobile broadband, used as a fixed service platform, is not an equivalent offering, especially in terms of price per gigabyte or size of the usage bucket. But customers are smart enough to choose the service that makes most sense, given the actual circumstances of each household’s usage pattern.

The significance is that Long Term Evolution now is being promoted by AT&T as an Internet access enabler, and that LTE also is becoming a way for AT&T to attack Verizon's fixed networks business, on a facilities basis.

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