Essentially all other PCS and digital cellular network services providers are mapping out similar strategies, but providers such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint PCS will not have to spend as much on upgrades, Egan says. Sprint PCS will have to deploy new hardware and software, but because its network is based on a single, newwer technology the upgrades are not believed to be as costly.
Although AT&T Wireless may have to spend more, the firm will have an asset -- international reach -- that others can't touch.
"Sprint PCS will look like an isolated island after AT&T's deal goes through," Egan says. Sprint PCS can strike a deal with an international wireless service provider, but CDMA is generally a U.S. technology. Nearly all providers outside the U.S. have GSM networks.
AT&T Wireless and NTT DoCoMo, the largest wireless service provider in Japan, say that each will sell wireless services to multinational business users in the U.S. and Japan, respectively.
"The next part of the story is BT," Egan adds. AT&T has a relationship with British Telecom through their Concert joint venture. It's likely that NTT DoCoMo and AT&T Wireless will try to strike a deal with BT's wireless group, he says.