In a move that surprised tech pundits, business insiders and the press, AT&T announced that they have purchased all of T-Mobile USA for almost $40 billion.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Deutsche Telekom AG (FWB: DTE) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion. The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. […]
With this transaction, AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans â€“ including rural communities and small towns.Â This helps achieve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and President Obamaâ€™s goals to connect â€œevery part of America to the digital age.â€ T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE. (via Mobilize Everything by AT&T).
AT&T will face an uphill battle getting this deal approved by the feds as acquiring T-Mobile will make the company the sole GSM carrier in the US (not to mention make it even harder toÂ resurrectÂ net neutrality).
Although a majority of T-Mobile customers have expressed outrage regarding the deal upon Facebook, there are at least a few reasons why they may end up loving their AT&T overlords (at least in the near future).
Did Someone Say iPhone 5?
No, T-Mobile users will not be able to use the upcoming iPhone 5 upon their network, despite the GSM similarities (note: it will take about a year for AT&T to absorb T-Mobile after the deal is approved).
However in order to help sooth the T-Mobile masses, AT&T may offer T-Mobile customers the ability to pick up iPhone 5 minus the ETF (or Early Termination Fee) from dumping T-Mobile.
Aside from the fact this would keep T-Mobile customers from embracing the Verizon iPhone, it would also help reduce the number of grandfathered plans AT&T would have to support in the future.
More Towers At More Locations
While the acquisition will help AT&T expand service in places where they are known for being abysmal at best (especially in New York, LA and Atlanta), it will give T-Mobile customers living in rural areas decent signal.
In the past AT&T has prevented T-Mobile users from roaming upon their towers, although this will probably change now that AT&T is attempting toÂ assimilateÂ their smaller GSM rival (note: even if the deal fails, AT&T has to provide roaming capabilities to T-Mobile fans).
As a bonus, AT&T could offer to wave roaming charges for the T-Mobile tribe in order to help win their approval until they can transition T-Mobile customers upon their towers seamlessly.
More GSM Devices, More Options
Last but not least T-Mobile fans may finally be able to access the latest smartphone devices (like the Blackberry Torch) at launch instead of months or years later.
With AT&T being the sole GSM carrier (assuming the feds approve of the deal), T-Mobile fans would also be able to purchase phones and tablets overseas and use them within the continental US.
What About The Setbacks?
Yes, there are a few setbacks regarding AT&T, mostly dealing with higher prices, data caps, their silly attempts at locking down Android (which is against it’s DNA) and dropped calls due to over saturation of the network.
While AT&T’s acquisition may not be the best choice as far as T-Mobile is concerned, the acquisition isn’t the end of the world either.
Do you use T-Mobile? If so, what are your thoughts regarding this deal?