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AT&T rebrands Cingular, gears up for iPhone launch

AT&T Rebrands Cingular

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SAN ANTONIO -- Beginning today, customers of the nation's largest wireless carrier will be seeing more of the new AT&T than ever before as the company prepares to launch the Apple iPhone, one of the most highly anticipated wireless products in recent history. And, according to recent surveys of customers, that's just fine with them.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a new phase of the company's branding strategy. Overnight, AT&T kicked off this phase by replacing the Cingular brand with AT&T on all in-store signage, store kiosks, and point-of-sale materials in approximately 1,800 company-owned wireless retail stores. In addition, key stores in major markets also unveiled new exterior signage displaying the new brand.

The decision to move to this phase of the branding campaign is based on research that indicates that consumer awareness of AT&T -- one of the best-known, most durable and iconic brands in the world -- is high and ahead of expectations.

The store makeovers are also critical to prepare for the late-June launch of the Apple iPhone, for which AT&T will be the exclusive wireless provider in the United States. Many company-owned stores have also installed kiosks promoting the complete array of AT&T services -- wireless, high speed Internet, TV and home phone -- in the company's traditional service area, and several markets are also planning for a new AT&T Experience Store(SM), a high-energy format that encourages hands-on customer interaction.

These broader service offerings are part of the company's ongoing efforts to integrate its wireline and wireless businesses and further strengthen its position as a complete provider of communications and entertainment services. For example, today in major markets the company is launching new advertising that aggressively touts the value of AT&T services to consumers as compared to those offered by cable providers.

Over the past several months, the new AT&T brand campaign has had a notable marketplace impact. Consumers and businesses worldwide consider AT&T as a leading communications brand and recognize it for meaningful innovation, a commitment to customer service, high quality and exceptional reliability.

Today, as a result of the branding campaign, awareness of AT&T as a wireless provider has increased more than 80 percent. In addition, AT&T's image for being a wireless provider that is "delivering technology that is relevant to you," and "offering innovative ways to meet your everyday needs" is now at a level equal to that of Cingular before the merger on Dec. 29.

"Consolidating BellSouth and Cingular under the AT&T brand was based on extensive market research and is proving to be the right decision," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief operating officer. "Our branding campaign is performing at and above projected levels and customer response has been very positive. We are excited to move into the next phase of transforming AT&T into the only communications provider our customers will ever want."

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)

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