AT&T, T-Mobile, August, etc.

The big tech/business story of the week is the AT&T/T-Mobile deal: AT&T wants to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom, and Telekom wants to sell, given the $39 billion price tag. One of the things I mean by “big” is “lots of coverage.”

If I had to pick two pieces of required reading, the first would be Om’s account of who loses in this deal. “It’s hard to find winners, apart from AT&T and T-Mobile shareholders.” I can’t see that consumers will win from a deal that reduces the number of mobile phone competitors in the USA to two (or three, if you’re Sprint, or a lawyer for AT&T).

The second piece of required reading was the agreement on my T-Mobile G1 phone, to see when the agreement expires. It expires in August this year. I expect the regulatory scrutiny to last beyond then. I’m not sure what I’ll do for a phone after August…

Google Voice: Two Steps Forward,…

One recent step takes Google Voice onto the iPhone. As Om reports, it’s browser-based (HTML5). Hence it sidesteps security at the iPhone app store.

A few days ago, Michael Arrington declared himself so besotted with Google Voice that he followed its beckoning extension into Chrome from Safari. Said extension adds click (a phone number on a web page) to call (via Google Voice) to the Chrome browser.

The above two steps have a few things in common: about Google Voice; positive; something of a score for Google over Apple; written by the founder of a blog that grew into a New Media Property (rather than delegated to one of several other writers at said property).

The third and last step I’ll describe in this post offers a contrast with the first two. It’s a step backwards for Google Voice. GV hasn’t worked on my Android G1 pretty much since I moved from Boston to Silver Spring.

I submitted a support ticket at the GV site a few days ago, but have yet to hear anything. Meanwhile, all the calls that I was hoping would be free (or very cheap, in the case of international calls) fail over to a “real” phone number, and T-Mobile bills for real money.

I also posted about this elsewhere. Perhaps that’s why my attempt to give away GV invites didn’t work…

Wednesday Flashback

Once again, my review of the Wednesday-to-Wednesday week appears on a Thursday. Here goes: