Last week, SBC announced its final merger with AT&T and the new company's chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre told USA Today that Cingular will soon be rebranded as AT&T all over the country.
In an interview with USA Today on Friday, Whitacre left no doubt about his plans. Asked if the company planned to drop the Cingular name in favor of the AT&T brand, Whitacre said, "Yes, we do."
However, we should have known it wasn't that easy. Now, Cingular spokesman Mark Siegel has clarified Whitacre's statements, saying that Cingular will continue to sell service nationally under that brand.
When forming Cingular, each parent company reserved the right to resell Cingular service under their own brand as part of a bundle of services including wireline telephone, high speed data, and more recently TV as well. Now that SBC has taken the AT&T brand, they could resell Cingular's service under their own brand in areas where the new AT&T is the local Telco.
But Siegel was quick to point out that they will be sure to monitor exactly what products are chosen to be sold under the Cingular brand. So, in case you were wondering, it's not as black-and-white as Whitacre first made it seem.
Cingular Brand Remains, AT&T Statement Clarified [Phonescoop]