AT&T to speed up Cingular demise

May 22, 2007 at 10:15 AM
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ATLANTA, May 22 (UPI) -- U.S. phone giant AT&T Inc. said it would step up the elimination of its Cingular Wireless brand by removing the name from its stores and kiosks this summer.

Cell phone handset logos and other branding elements, including Nascar sponsorship, also will be changed, AT&T said.

The moves, which are expected to save AT&T $2.8 billion, are intended to better position the company to bundle cell phones, landline phones, broadband Internet and its "U-Verse" entertainment offering, Advertising Age reported.

AT&T called these bundled services a "quad play" and said it planned to start selling all bundled services under one roof.

Cable TV companies offer "triple play" services, without cell phones, but are beginning to roll out wireless voice services through a joint venture with Sprint Nextel Corp., Ad Age said.

"It makes sense to make everything under one name," said wireless analyst Jeff Kagan, who was briefed on AT&T's plans.

Kagan said he expected that over the next few years 40 percent of U.S. telecom customers would have bundles with a traditional phone carrier and 40 percent with cable carriers.

The remaining 20 percent would include customers who rely only on wireless service, he said.

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