By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2004-02-17 Print this article Print

"Cingulars strength is in the consumer market," Sigman said. "AT&T Wireless is strong in the business market." Sigman added that Cingular could use the additional spectrum, and said that merging the two companies will be technically sensible because both run GSM (global system for mobile communications) networks. "Any way you look at it, this combination makes sense for our companies and for our customers," Sigman said.
Cingular has been historically weak on next-generation data services. When confronted about a lack of enterprise services in the past, Cingular officials would point to Mobitex, the companys long-standing and reliable data-only network. But the company has been slow to build out its next-generation GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) voice and data network, an area where AT&T Wireless has been stronger. On the other hand, some current AT&T Wireless customers also use Mobitex, which runs older models of Research in Motion Ltd.s BlackBerry pages, which are popular with enterprise customers. (All of RIMs latest models support both voice and data on newer networks, including AT&Ts.)
"Actually, this will be good for us," said John Halamka, CIO of Caregroup Health Systems, a Boston-area hospital network. "We use Cingular for many of the older Blackberries, and our previous cellular provider was Cingular, so many employees still have accounts with them."


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