AT&T Wireless Self-Destructs

Posted: August 7th, 2013

AT&T Wireless Self-Destructs




AT&T Wireless Self-Destructs

The topic discusses technology issues, which are relevant to the students. The students get a clear idea of the drawbacks of technology, especially in the telecommunications sector. Most students may not be aware of the difficulties and challenges that telecommunications face, since they are not exposed to the workings of the systems. Many people have experienced challenges when using AT&T services, especially when calling. They have also had problems with the customer service, which seems to be always busy in times of emergencies.

The purpose of the article is to highlight the problems that occurred in AT&T Wireless, because of lack of preparedness, when upgrading their systems. The company did not foresee some of the problems that would occur while upgrading the systems and it refused to deal with the emerging problems immediately. For instance, employee morale was down after the employees heard rumors concerning changes in the company’s operations. The employees thought their jobs would be affected if the company chose to outsource. The company did not involve the employees in any changes, and neither did it consult them on any issues. Moreover, it did not reassure the employees concerning their jobs. This resulted in negative perceptions from the employees and they decreased their productivity (Koch, 2004).

For a company that has been in the telecommunications industry for a long time, AT&T was slow to adapt to the imminent technological changes facing the industry. They were the last to upgrade their technologies. They had delayed their upgrade until the federal deadline reached. This was a poor choice on the company’s part because it was not ready for number portability. It did not take the time to search for the best providers, and this caused the systems to crush. Their decision to move to GSM was poorly informed since it did not have good coverage. Other companies offer better coverage and they support many functions, but AT&T does not seem to realize this. For instance, CDMA has good coverage and good voice quality. It does not have many dropped calls, such as GSM users experience when using their services. It has enhanced security and data speeds compared to GSM. AT&T should have considered using such an option and it would probably have had fewer problems. Had the company done enough research, taken enough time in selecting the right provider, complied with the government deadlines, and decided to lead in innovation instead of following its competitors, it would have avoided some of the problems it experienced.

The article shows the neglect of customer service from the company, something that is often emphasized in major businesses. The company neglected to communicate with the customers and inform them of the impending changes, and did not inform the customers how the changes would affect them. Another principle that is often emphasized is the importance of employee involvement. The company neglected to communicate with the employees concerning the changes. The employees felt that they did not have to work hard to solve the company’s problems since they would not be working in the company for long. Most businesses understand the importance of preparing for change before implementing it. They understand the importance of having the old system in working condition, before full implementation of the new system, as they will use the old system in case the new system fails. AT&T did not do this, and it introduced GSM and Odyssey before being fully prepared. This resulted to system crash, and the company did not have a way of solving the problems, since they only had one system in place.

The problems in AT&T will continue if the company continues to use GSM. GSM remain technologically behind, despite the upgrades. It does not have sufficient coverage, and its voice quality needs improvement. GSM requires more investment to be able to deliver high quality. Other carriers are considering switching to CDMA systems with the aim of improving


Koch, C. (2004). Project management: AT&T Wireless self-destructs. Retrieved from

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