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The latest merger of T-Mobile is not subtle

T-Mobile announced its plans for a 5G rollout yesterday and promises to launch a "nationwide" service on December 6. It is much wider than AT&T or Verizon has promised, largely thanks to T-Mobile & # 39; s use of the 600 MHz spectrum for which it grants licenses. But although T-Mobile seems to be doing better with 5G, there are still important reservations. We must see that it has actually been tested for speed and coverage, first. Secondly, it is only available on two fairly expensive phones: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G and the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G.

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In a sense, however, this announcement and even this deployment is a publicity stunt that is meant to build support for the merger with Sprint. T-Mobile has passed almost every regulatory hurdle – the FCC repeated its blessing two days ago. There is essentially only one thing in the way of CEO John Legere, a lawsuit of 10 state attorneys general to block the merger.

The trial starts on December 9, three days after T-Mobile says it lights up its 5G network. What a coincidence!

T-Mobile is now conducting a campaign without restrictions to gain support for the merger of constituencies that could put pressure on that Advocate General to settle their case. In addition to the rollout of 5G, T-Mobile launched an initiative that it calls "5G for Good", loaded with programs that you should heartlessly criticize. I'm just amazed at how brutal it is.

It came complete with a press release filled with dictation, random capitalization and exclamation marks that are so Trumpian that it seems custom designed to lure our president to quote it literally:

“We are building a 5G network that will allow us to deliver future new T-Mobile movements that will become so huge that we couldn't wait to share the first few. … When it comes to wireless service, many have been abused, left behind or completely forgotten. It is time for a new wave of change and the new T-Mobile will lead the way! "Said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile.

The three announced programs of T-Mobile depend on the merger. The company will nothing but offer these services if it is able to complete the Sprint merger. These & # 39; s programs are each cleverly designed to immediately refute T-Mobile's potential criticism of the merger. They are so well made that I cannot help but applaud how brilliant they are as pieces of propaganda. Even if I do them & # 39; propaganda & # 39; name, I am the bastard!

Let us go through them in turn and examine why they can be effective.

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T-Mobile promises free 5G to first responders for 10 years after merger with Sprint

This program becomes the & # 39;Connecting Heroes InitiativeAnd it offers a basic level of free wireless service to the police and fire brigade across the country – with relatively cheap data upgrades.

Remember that Verizon limited data last year for Californian firefighters who were actively involved in fighting the state's forest fires. This move can not only get support from the local police and fire brigade (who can put pressure on that advocate general), it is also a not so subtle way for T-Mobile to position itself as the good ones compared to Verizon. Worried about T-Mobile doing bad things? It's not like they are Verizon!

On a higher level, however, the rhetorical kung-fu here is so blatant that I'm almost ashamed to point out: if you want to resist this merger, you're vulnerable to accusations that you don't support our heroic responders first.

T-Mobile promises a $ 15 Connect subscription with 2 GB data if the Sprint merger continues

The main accusation T-Mobile faces is that it will find ways to increase prices for its customers after the merger – customers with fewer alternatives because we are switching from four major providers to three. A $ 15 / month subscription is ridiculously cheap and as long as it exists, T-Mobile can use it in response to that allegation.

T-Mobile claims that it will give 10 million homes free internet if the Sprint merger continues

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This proposal has levels. It is designed to offer internet service specifically to children who would not otherwise have it, by giving them access and helping them do homework. It is also, I think, an indirect way to raise concerns that large airlines are not doing enough to provide national access.

It is worth pointing out that all these three plans are unfair once you look at the fine print – as with almost all US mobile subscriptions. The "heroes" are limited to 1 GB per month and it is $ 15 to get 20 GB. The children are limited to 100 GB / year, which is not much data at all. And T-Mobile Connect only offers 2 GB per month – what you could burn through watching YouTube in a day.

This merger has been inevitable for some time. Of course, the 10 state AG's continue the lawsuit, but it feels like it would take a miracle to successfully stop this train. It is one thing for T-Mobile and Sprint to lobby with the FTC, DOJ and FCC – it is something completely different to challenge the states. An attorney general looks like the champion of people when they take on a large company – will they look like this when firefighters ask why they can't get a free cell phone in an emergency?

Colorado stopped moving the deal last month because Dish Network (which hopes to become a fourth network someday) promised to establish its headquarters here. These new initiatives are really good for the police, fire brigade and children, but they are also a perfectly targeted printing campaign on the advocates-general who try to stop the merger.

It is not subtle. But again, nobody has ever accused John Legere of subtlety.


The revisionist history of Microsoft

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+ Microsoft reveals the future of OneNote and it's all about Fluid and desktop

I would like to try to concise all Windows app platform / web things / 32-bit / ARM / confusing changes in direction / overall shiftlessness / uncertainty for consumers / fetishization of backward compatibility / general usefulness of what is going on with this decision to capture, but yes, that is a lot to synthesize. However, the article is doing pretty well.

+ Microsoft bet against Intel with its new surfaces – and lost

Chaim Gartenberg is right – if Microsoft hoped this year to have some fear in Intel, it completely failed. I bet someone on Intel HQ set up a banner with the text "I HAVE YOU LIKE" told in giant letters. They are not entirely wrong – and after a year of lagging behind at Intel because it was unable to innovate sufficiently, I should eat a little crow. There is something to be said for slow and stable – I think it is too slow and too stable, but at least you know it will work.

+ Bill Gates thinks that Windows Mobile Android would have defeated without the antitrust problems of Microsoft

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I think Gates is working on more than a little revisionist history here. The fact that Verizon would have messed up Microsoft around the same time that the webOS messed up doesn't mean that if it had gone differently, Windows Mobile would have succeeded. Verizon had already tried to anoint an iPhone killer before the period to which Gates refers: the absolutely horrific BlackBerry Storm. If Verizon had chosen WinMo instead of Android, it may also have been rejected.

In fact, as the founder and former editor in chief of a site called WMExperts that was exclusively dedicated to Windows Mobile, I can confidently say that although powerful, it was not ready for regular application.

Gates implies here that if he had paid more attention, Windows Mobile would have been a better product. I just don't know if that's absolutely true: Microsoft produced many stinkers in the late 90s and early 2000s. Anyway, it is quite the condemnation of the rest of the company (especially Steve Ballmer) that Gates says that the main reason it failed in mobile is because Bill Gates wasn't working on it personally.

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I'm not kidding when I say that an investigation by the FCC should come here. The companies that have taken the trouble to praise have done this in the most concise, least illuminating way. This is a problem whenever messages cannot pass through a network. SMS is often the last fallback option for many essential communications, not just texting between people. The stories of people who receive texts from deceased friends are also heartbreaking.

The fact that this all happened with Valentine's Day messages is also just bizarre. I don't think SMS exchange is more complicated than we assume – I still remember the days when a Sprint MMS was not compatible with an AT&T MMS. But it is precisely because of this complexity that we must trust that these companies are transparent. And for good reason: we are still waiting for the launch of the next federal message model, the joint venture RCS that these companies have just announced.

What happened today does not inspire confidence.

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