After the proposed deal that would see it acquired by AT&T failed to get regulatory approval last year, T-Mobile hasn’t stood still. In fact, it went and searched for another possible partner in the mobile business. Searched hard, until it found MetroPCS, apparently.
The two companies have agreed upon a $1.5 billion merger. It will be a reverse merger, though – MetroPCS will actually be acquiring T-Mobile. That said, it will be MetroPCS receiving the $1.5 billion. Thanks to this merger, T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom can start to slowly withdraw from the US market (something it’s wanted for a while now), by selling stock packages in time.
The new entity formed after the merger will be called T-Mobile, but the two customer bases won’t be merged for some time. One may assume that this has something to do with the fact that they operate different networks: T-Mobile’s is a GSM/HSPA operation, while MetroPCS has an incompatible CDMA network alongside a 4G LTE one. Perhaps after the merger LTE services will be deployed more aggressively, and by the time they become dominant, the two carriers’ customers won’t be separated anymore – but this is just wishful thinking at this point.
Interestingly, despite gaining almost 10 million customers from MetroPCS, the ‘new’ T-Mobile won’t manage to take over Sprint’s place as the third biggest carrier in the US.
The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2013.
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