Cingular to "Cherry Pick" AT&T Cell Tower Sites

In a series of new press releases from Cingular regarding cell tower development in the SouthEast, there is a common statment included. “Cingular is not only planning to build additional sites across (pick state) to further enhance the local networks, but also to “cherry pick” sites from the existing AT&T Wireless network that will quickly add coverage to areas of need.”

Does this mean that Cingular will choose the AT&T sites which complement its network best while continuing to operate a less efficient AT&T network? How does this impact AT&T’s legacy TDMA customers?

Statements by AT&T reps to clients of mine that they were renegotiating with indicated that Cingular would be reviewing all sites (including Cingular’s) and then prioritizing them based on lease rate and term remaining. It is assumed that they will prioritize those sites that provide the best coverage. But the statement issued by Cingular seems to indicate that there will not be any turnoff of Cingular sites- which does not jive with popular opinion or previous statements.

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