The spokesman from Vodafone declined to speculate on the company's plans, but did not rule out future acquisitions. "The relationship between Vodafone and Verizon Communications is a very special partnership," he said. "Verizon Communications has made no secret of its desire to acquire a greater share of Verizon Wireless, and it has been that way for a very long time. That was what allowed us to look into the AT&T Wireless deal, but I wouldn't read too much into that in terms of our future relationship."
The Cingular acquisition of AT&T Wireless is in actually a good thing for Vodafone, he said, because it reduces the competition in the market. "This deal should be better for Verizon. Less competition is always better."
Hewett expects the U.S. wireless market to experience further consolidation, resulting in three or four major providers, with Sprint and T-Mobile being the most vulnerable to consolidation within the market.
As for consumers, Hewett and Pescatore both believe that the U.S. market is still developing and will continue to be highly competitive, which should benefit consumers.
"Generally, less competition means higher prices for users, but it is still going to be very competitive as, unlike the European market, there is still plenty of room for growth and for improved network coverage in the U.S.," Hewett said. "Prices for services may come down somewhat in such a continually competitive market."