According to a Light Reading Mobile survey of nearly 1,000 telecom professionals, 34 percent believe Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) will benefit the most from the combination, while 30 percent believe that Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) will see the most upside. (See Consumers Really Do Oppose AT&T/T-Mobile.) The picks aren’t unfounded as AT&T currently uses both Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson for its mobile infrastructure. T-Mobile works with Ericsson and Nokia Networks , however, NSN didn’t fare as well. Only 12 percent thought it would benefit, as it could be the vendor that gets dropped if the two combine. (See Who's Hurt if T-Mobile USA Vanishes?) Respondents were allowed to select more than one answer, and as for the rest:
- Five percent thought it would benefit Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), which provides some optical equipment to AT&T.
- Nine percent said Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) would benefit, and 21 percent thought Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) would benefit from the merger. Both companies provide IP gear to AT&T.
- Only 3 percent thought Tekelec stood to gain from the merger, even though its history with wireless mergers -- including AT&T's purchase of Cingular and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s Nextel buy -- would suggest otherwise. The vendor provides signaling gear that lets users roam between networks, which will be important as AT&T and T-Mobile operate on different frequencies.
- Another 3 percent thought the merger would benefit Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN), which also counts AT&T, along with Verizon Wireless , as a customer.
Perhaps the most telling response, however, was that when asked which telecom equipment manufacturers would benefit the most from the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile, 46 percent answered “none.”
That could be because consolidation will mean fewer Tier 1 customers for these vendors to work with. Those that count T-Mobile as a customer could get dropped, while those already at AT&T will get a bigger piece of the pie in the U.S.
Of course, whether or not the merger goes through is still in flux. If it does receive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, AT&T may be required to divest spectrum and customers to its smaller competitors, which could also shake up the degree to which it affects the vendor community.
For more on the merger, peruse our topic page here.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile