AT&T slammed T-Mobile US’ plan to offer free mobile access to emergency services providers, arguing the needs of public servants should not be a bargaining chip in its Sprint merger negotiations.
In a statement to Mobile World Live (MWL) an AT&T representative dismissed the initiative as a stunt, noting if T-Mobile believed it was “critical to offer free access to these communities they would do it today, no conditions or questions asked”.
“To think that they can turn serving first responders into a marketing ploy, T-Mobile reveals how little they know about what public safety fought for”, in the wake of the terrorist attacks in 2001, which exposed critical vulnerabilites in the nation’s public safety communications systems.
AT&T is constructring the FirstNet emergency services network, with close to 900,000 connections in service at end Q3 and a goal of completing 70 per cent of the deployment by the year-end.
The operator did not comment on whether it believes T-Mobile’s plan would impact its connections.
T-Mobile offered up to ten years of free service with no data caps or throttling, as part of a trio of new initiatives it hopes will overcome the final objections to its Sprint merger.
On a call with journalists, T-Mobile CEO John Legere told MWL it is not trying to copy AT&T’s offer but “give a better example” of how to serve these customers.
COO Mike Sievert added: “We applaud FirstNet and the initiative behind it, but the bottom line is AT&T won that bid and they’re planning to monetise our first responder community by overcharging them. Our view is the New T-Mobile brings competition to everybody and that means bringing competition in this space to AT&T.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back