Apps, Other Companies Could Hurt Providers Earnings

Finally, a long-held belief among service providers that they compete only against companies like them, is fading.

With Internet, applications and even computer makers creeping into the communications world, providers must re-evaluate the perception that these companies aren’t rivals. In fact, they are, and they well could impact carriers’ earnings.

AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) will release their fourth-quarter 2008 earnings this week and some observers expect the results to be impacted by the likes of IBM Corp. (IBM), Apple Inc. (APPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG).

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