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AT&T's Richard Lindner: "Exclusive arrangements end."

If you agree with Consumer Reports' take on AT&T's terrible wireless service, the good news is that you might not have that much longer to wait. "Exclusive arrangements end," AT&T's CFO Richard Lindner told the UBS Media and Communications Conference earlier this week.

If you think that sounds like he was trying to pad the landing on an upcoming split between AT&T and Apple, then we agree. As Electronista reports, Lindner also made the point that AT&T has plenty of phones to sell that aren't the iPhone. Interesting -- of course that's not confirmation that AT&T's deal is ending soon, but if that's what Lindner is thinking about lately, it certainly supports some of the other rumors we've heard about Verizon possibly getting an iPhone next year.

Lindner also talked about AT&T's data capping plans, and said that the 2GB limit on bandwidth per month was a tough decision to make, but that customers have responded to it pretty well. The company lost some revenue on the high end as people dropped their plan costs, but Lindner also says the $15 option has done well, and perhaps even enticed some users to data plans when they weren't on one before (of course, iPhone purchases require a data plan, so he wasn't talking about us).

Finally, Lindner said that the iPad was closer to a smartphone in terms of network usage than a netbook or a more traditional computer. He said that the caps on iPad did possibly push users to use Wi-Fi a little more than they would have if unlimited bandwidth was available -- though that's not very surprising at all.

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