Clock Ticking On AT&T 3G Obligations

In 2000, NTT DoCoMo paid $6 billion for a 16 percent stake in AT&T Wireless. As a condition of the Japanese telecom’s investment, AT&T wireless agreed to launch third-generation mobile services in 13 of the top 50 U.S. markets by June of 2004.

DoCoMo hoped to win new users for its i-mode mobile phone platform in the United States. But when the economy soured the pact was recast to cut the number of cities to four and extend the timeline six months.

In return for its partner’s concessions, AT&T Wireless pledged to meet the revised targets or repay DoCoMo’s entire investment. The clause takes on new importance as AT&T Wireless announced yesterday that it will sell to Cingular for $41 billion cash.

Read more at Internet News.