From 1988 to 2007, U.S. local wireline telephone companies went from strong growth to rapid decline in the number of telephone subscriber loops. Loop counts peaked about 2000. On both sides of this peak, small telephone companies had greater loop growth than large telephone companies.
A constant across these twenty years was telephone company mergers and name-changes. The thirteen largest telephone holding companies in 1988 had all become parts of differently named holding companies by 2007.
The key challenge for telephone companies has been to develop wireless and broadband businesses. Company mergers and acquisitions can be beneficial. Names are important and interesting. But in current circumstances of revolutionary technological and economic change, telephone company change has to go much deeper than mergers and corporate name changes.