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AT&T and Cingular tie the knot

Down the aisle at last

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Cingular Wireless has finally taken over AT&T Wireless, making it the largest mobile carrier in the US. The new firm has 46m customers who will see no immediate changes to charges or tariffs. AT&T shareholders will get $15 per share, valuing the telco at $41bn.

Stan Sigman, chief exec of Cingular, promised customers bigger networks, better call quality and better handsets. Looking forward Sigman said: "We are also committed to expanding our high-speed Third Generation services to the ever-growing community of mobile data users. And Cingular is laying the foundation to enable rural carriers to bring 3G services to rural America."

Sigman claimed that because Cingular is itself the result of mergers so it has the skills to integrate the companies. He said: "Cingular itself is the result of a merger of major wireless providers, so we know a lot about successfully combining companies, networks and operations. We'll use our employees' experience and expertise to bring the full benefit of the combined company to our customers"

Stan Sigman stays in charge as president and CEO. Ralph de la Vega stays on as chief operating officer, Pete Ritcher will be chief financial officer and Thaddeus Arroyo will be chief information officer.

Customers of either firm will be able to use both networks without being charged roaming rates. Job cuts are likely although the firm is focussing on supposed customer benefits. The US Department of Justice announced its approval of the merger on 25 October.

More details on the Broadcom website here. ®

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