AT&T Buys T-Mobile USA for $39 Billion

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News Posted: Sun, Mar 20 2011 9:54 PM
The Big 4 Wireless Carriers in the U.S. have suddenly become the Big 3, but not in the way many were expecting. It has been said that No. 3 Sprint was discussing a possible deal with T-Mobile USA's parent, but instead, AT&T has announced it has acquired the No. 4 largest wireless carrier in the U.S. for $39 billion.

The deal makes sense because both companies use GSM technology. Sprint uses CDMA and WiMax and would have had a tougher time integrating T-Mobile's assets. The deal would make AT&T the largest carrier in the United States, by a large margin.

At the end of 2010, AT&T had 95.5 million wireless subscribers and T-Mobile had 33.7 million subscribers, for a combined total of 129.2 million subscribers if the acquisition is approved. Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, had 94.1 million wireless customers, but was expected to overtake AT&T with the Verizon iPhone's launch.

That said, AT&T trails Verizon badly in its 4G rollout. While both AT&T and T-Mobile claim HSPA+ is 4G, most call that 3.5G, and Verizon's "still not quite 4G but better" LTE has rolled out in many parts of the nation. AT&T's LTE is not expected to reach trials until mid-2011.

This probably means an end to the T-Mobile commercials in which they mock AT&T's coverage, a video of which can be seen below. Considering the size of the deal, it's likely to face extensive federal scrutiny.

In terms of Sprint, it's unclear what this means for the No. 3 largest carrier in the U.S. It could be acquired by Verizon, as the two share CDMA technology in their 3G networks. However, Sprint has focused on WiMax for 4G, which Verizon is committed to LTE.

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 10:13 AM

I think the title for this article should most likely be T-Mobile customers just got royally screwed by At&t!

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vivii replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 12:27 PM

^ no doubt im about to call and stop my plan with them =\

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LLeCompte replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 1:17 PM

i just started working for tmobile and this breaks my heart. Can anyone please give me some positives on this merger? I have always hated att even when i was with verizon. I have really not seen one good thing come from att.

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Inspector replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 6:04 PM

I don't see any thing wrong in this xD. Doesn't affect me in a bad way :P lol. So will T-Mobile signal towers become AT&T towers and shared or are they going to go under two names but same owner?

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OSunday replied on Mon, Mar 21 2011 10:29 PM

I posted a critical comment on another post concerning this supposed acquisition so I'll try and put a positive spin on this one haha

Allthough AT&T has the worst service, and T-Mobile has no high end smartphones, hopefully they'll take the best of each other and end up as a company with T-Mobile's coverage, and AT&T's selection of phones compared to one thats got crap service and crap phones haha

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digitaldd replied on Tue, Mar 22 2011 1:37 PM

OSunday:

I posted a critical comment on another post concerning this supposed acquisition so I'll try and put a positive spin on this one haha

Allthough AT&T has the worst service, and T-Mobile has no high end smartphones, hopefully they'll take the best of each other and end up as a company with T-Mobile's coverage, and AT&T's selection of phones compared to one thats got crap service and crap phones haha

 

Define high-end smart phone, as long as you don't mean iPhone they have something.

 

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LLeCompte replied on Wed, Mar 23 2011 1:08 AM

the mytouch 4g, galaxy s 4g arent high end phones? What about the hd7?

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