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Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA Confirms Talks to Acquire MetroPCS

Phillip Dampier October 2, 2012 Audio, Competition, Consumer News, MetroPCS, T-Mobile, Wireless Broadband No Comments

Deutsche Telekom AG, parent company of T-Mobile USA today confirmed it was in talks with MetroPCS Communications, Inc., to merge their two wireless businesses to achieve the greater scale both need to compete with Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Bloomberg News reports DT’s supervisory board will meet tomorrow to approve the transaction.

The sixth largest wireless company in the U.S. is about to merge with the fourth largest, according to news reports.

The combination would inject an additional 9.3 million current MetroPCS customers (the sixth largest wireless carrier) into the T-Mobile USA family. That would more than make up the 2.76 million former T-Mobile contract customers that fled the carrier during the last two years, especially after learning the company was planning to merge with AT&T.

But some challenges are likely to remain after the merger gets government approval:

  • T-Mobile remains largely a postpaid, 2-year contract-oriented company while MetroPCS operates a no-contract, prepaid offering. T-Mobile could transition its prepaid division to MetroPCS’ branding, or fold MetroPCS into T-Mobile and eventually discontinue the MetroPCS brand;
  • MetroPCS operates a CDMA network incompatible with T-Mobile’s GSM network. Both carriers are moving towards adopting 4G LTE service, but legacy customers will not be able to use existing phones on each other’s networks.

MetroPCS currently offers home coverage in 19 metropolitan markets and surrounding areas including New York City/Northern New Jersey, Atlanta, Bakersfield, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Providence, Riverside, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Bernardino, San Jose, Shreveport, and Tampa.

CNBC reports on the planned merger of MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA, the first major wireless merger deal since the rejected merger of T-Mobile USA and AT&T.  (3 minutes)

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