Ken Currie, director of business and marketing at Barcoding, Inc., a systems integrator in the supply chain and data capture space, knows he can always reach his T-Mobile channel rep, even when he puts in a call after hours.
But he hasn’t always had the same experience with other carriers, and Currie worried that AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition could bring changes to T-Mobile’s flexible and hardworking channel team -- which he said is the carrier’s greatest asset.
“I was nervous that with the merger, there might be changes in that work ethic,” Currie said. “That’s the differentiator [with T-Mobile]. They’re always on as far as facilitating business, that’s one of their strengths.”
But Monday’s announcement that AT&T was giving up on its nine-month quest to acquire T-Mobile, had partners reacting positively to the news that business at T-Mobile would continue as-usual.
"I’m definitely excited that the teams we work closely with and have mutual dependence on are going to remain in-tact,” Currie said. “They’re very nimble and flexible, I’ve see a lot of growth. I’m hoping that the growth continues unabated.”
Bill Trout, vice president of mobility at AB&T Telecom, a telecom and IT solution provider based in Gaithersburg, Md., said his company is glad to finally have the speculation and uncertainty surrounding the merger put to rest.
“We view the break up as a positive for us, especially from a channel perspective,” he said.
In a previous interview with CRN, Trout said that the pending merger had some potential customers thinking twice about T-Mobile, but he thinks that hesitation will cease.
“We fully expect to see deals start to close that had previously taken a wait-and-see posture with the pending merger,” he said.
AB&T is a T-Mobile master dealer, and in addition to helping sub-dealers identify and quote deals, the solution provider also helps sub-dealers access devices they can’t source through T-Mobile.
“We also had concerns of how our OEM relationships would have been affected if the merger was successful,” said Trout. “We have seen significant growth in bundling non-stock devices such as ruggedized tablets and laptops with T-Mobile's data connectivity and attribute much of that success to the carrier’s eagerness to work with these partners.”
In addition to channel partners cheering the demise of the deal, T-Mobile is also getting a boost from its breakup agreement with AT&T.
The fourth-largest carrier will receive $3 billion in cash, money parent company Deutsche Telekom said in a statement will be used to pay down debt, as well as an additional $1 billion worth of AWS spectrum in 128 markets, including 12 of the top 20 U.S. markets. The two carriers have also inked a seven-year UMTS roaming agreement that will give T-Mobile access to parts of the U.S. it previously couldn’t access, and increase population coverage from 230 million people to 280 people.
T-Mobile channel representatives did not return calls requesting comment.