AT&T CEO Stephenson: We didn't execute well on the T-Mobile deal
Apple iPhone. Stephenson remembers asking Stan Sigman, then-CEO of Cingular Wireless and a big supporter of Apple's device, whether he was betting on the market, the device or Steve Jobs. The answer was the latter, and Stephenson says that time has proven it to have been a great decision. Not that AT&T didn't suffer some scars from its period of exclusivity with the Apple iPhone in the U.S. The AT&T network took quite a beating from data hungry users who were just beginning to understand the advantages of mining for data on a smartphone.
The AT&T executive also took some time to make a guess on what Dish Chairman Charles Ergen will do with all of the spectrum that Dish Network has amassed. Stephenson believes that Dish will partner with another company to build out an LTE Advanced pipeline using the 40 MHz of S-Band spectrum that it owned for satellite use, rebranded as AWS-4 for terrestrial mobile use. Dish also has an indication of interest in to buy Clearwire at $3.30 per share, more than $2.97 that Sprint is bidding for the rest of the shares of the company that it doesn't own.
Speaking of spectrum, Stephenson would like to see the government auction off some more of the sweet stuff. He notes that AT&T was the first carrier to require OEMs to include a Wi-Fi client on their phones in order to move traffic off of licensed spectrum and notes how important it is to give customers a chance to save money by offering a Wi-Fi connection.