Following its failed acquisition with AT&T, T-Mobile USA’s parent company Deutsche Telekom just announced that it has reached a deal to combine its U.S. operations with MetroPCS, the nation’s fifth-largest carrier. What’s in it for you?

For starters, T-Mobile gets to finally jump on the 4G LTE bandwagon as MetroPCS has been deploying this technology over the past two years. This could be a bargaining chip the merged carriers may just need to finally land the iPhone…

According to The Wall Street Journal and AllThingsD, the transaction requires customary regulatory approval from both The Federal Communications Commission and MetroPCS shareholders and is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

The Financial Times Deutschland reports that both carriers will be combined into a single entity where Deutsche Telekom will have a 74 percent stake while MetroPCS will get the remaining 26 percent shares and $1.5 billion in cash.

T-Mobile writes in a blog post that the combined company will retain the T-Mobile name and will have “the expanded scale, spectrum and financial resources to aggressively compete with the other national U.S. wireless carriers”.

MetroPCS is the nation’s fifth-largest carrier, behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T‑Mobile USA. The Richardson, Texas-headquartered telecommunications network had 9.5 million subscribers as of January 2012. Its 3G network uses CDMA technology, but the company is also deploying 4G LTE.

T-Mobile USA operates HSDPA+ network incorrectly marketed as “4G” though it is really just a speedy 3G. T-Mobile is the farthest behind the big three carriers in commercial 4G LTE deployment as the carrier pledged to begin a nationwide 4G LTE rollout in 2013.

Because T-Mobile’s and MetroPCS’s 3G networks are incompatible, the two carriers won’t be able to share signal and 3G customers across their respective networks. Neither carrier has the iPhone.

However, given that T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is iPhone-compatible and that the carrier is offering free support to unlockers, and with 4G LTE in mind, perhaps the new company will have enough leverage to cut a deal with Apple?

  • WIll this affect customers currently on MetroPCS?

  • abujafer

    You know, technically LTE is just “speedy 3G” as well. It’s just twice as “speedy” as HSPA+. Neither are true 4G though; true 4G is 1Gb/s, which is much, much faster than anything we have in our phones right now, or even most of homes (in the US at least).

    The reason LTE seems so much faster than 3G is because it was faster; few years ago, when barely anyone used it. That meant that the airways weren’t anywhere near as clogged up as the 3G/3G+ networks were, which made LTE look a LOT faster, even if it’s only supposed to be twice as fast. That won’t last long though, as the onslaught of the iPhone 5, the LTE S3, and every other flagship in the US offer LTE, and users are already reporting lower speeds than there were only a year ago.

    • Regardless its faster, and if everyone says its 4G, really, everyone, then it is indeed 4G.

      How can there be actual 4G that doesnt exist, when actual 4G does exist and people use it???

    • J P

      I agree with this. I think its bullsh*t for the article to call out HSPA+ as non 4G when really its all marketing. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon all do the same thing, just with LTE (not actual 4G).
      Heck, the iPhone 4S on AT&T displays a “4G” logo in the corner even though its hspa+. Don’t call them out on it when everyone is doing it. They have to do it to keep customers interested. Plus, T-Mobile HSPA+ is blazing fast compared with competitors’ HSPA+.

  • great idea cause neither of them have the iPhone and they are both crappy.. so why have two crappy companies when we can just have 1..

    • MagicDrumSticks

      so because it doesn’t have the phone with the most obsolete tech and highest price, the carrier? sucks? Enjoy using your throttled data chump.

  • Milad Khahil

    Tmobile HSPA+ isn’tready for the iphone as of yet , reframing still going but not available ,only on very rare places … Had to get my iphone 5 with Sprint and dropped Tmobile after many years with them … Too bad they didn’t offer the iphone …

    • im thinking of doing the same by going to sprint for the iphone 5 did you do any research before hand on which carrier you would end with?