Cingular's acquisition of AT&T Wireless approved: There's ton of analysis about the voice side, but less so on the data part. Cingular was starting to roll out EDGE (100 Kbps or so real world) in 2002, but obviously slowed way down. AT&T Wireless now has a national profile of EDGE service, instantly available to Cingular, despite some mandated sell-offs of spectrum licenses for merger approval.
AT&T Wireless has offered awfully expensive Wi-Fi in a few select locales, such as the Denver and Philadelphia airports, and six Northeast Corridor Amtrak train stations (Baltimore onward north). Cingular has no Wi-Fi plan to date, but SBC--Cingular's majority shareholder--has the best Wi-Fi hotspot plan. T-Mobile's footprint is better, but SBC is pursuing DSL, cell, VoIP, and hotspot synergy.
SBC said recently they expect in 2006 to offer Cingular cell phones that can opportunistically use Wi-Fi networks to carry voice traffic as needed. With better national coverage, the largest cell customer base, and a solid plan, Cingular and SBC could become dominant in several markets all at once.
All by offering what people want like rollover minutes and unlimited Wi-Fi for $1.99 per month. What a concept.