Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Businesses

T-Mobile Merging With MetroPCS 86

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-carrier-to-take-fourth-place dept.
Daetrin writes "Last year T-Mobile tried to merge with AT&T but the deal was blocked by the FCC. Now T-Mobile and MetroPCS have agreed to merge in a $1.5 billion deal. There doesn't seem to be much concern that the FCC will disagree with this deal, perhaps because the two companies combined will have a user base of 42.5 million, which will still be smaller than the #3 player Sprint's 56.4 million. Because the two companies have similar spectrum holdings T-Mobile claims the merger will allow them to offer better coverage. They also say they will continue to offer a range of both on and off-contract plans."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

T-Mobile Merging With MetroPCS

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:30AM (#41538803)

    Will they keep Carly Foulkes?

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:37AM (#41538893) Homepage Journal

    Because the two companies have similar spectrum holdings T-Mobile claims the merger will allow them to offer better coverage.

    And therein is the lie. Because the FCC hasn't, to the best of my knowledge, allowed a merger in recent history between a major carrier and a smaller one without imposing the requirement that substantial amounts of overlapping spectrum be disposed of. Both carriers have nationwide AWS, and while MetroPCS's PCS spectrum is more limited, it exists mostly in areas that T-Mobile already has coverage.

    So what does this mean in practice? It means:

    - Less competition - less incentive to reduce prices or improve services
    - Another round of layoffs, probably numbering in the thousands, possibly tens of thousands.
    - More customers on less spectrum, with at least initially multiple network standards making spectrum sharing even harder.
    - More costly spectrum refarming
    - Either maintenance of four largely incompatible networks (2GSM, IS95/2000, UMTS, and LTE) or the migration of all IS95/2000 customers to 2GSM/UMTS/LTE, at considerable cost.
    - Funds spent on the above that could be spent on rolling out 3G to uncovered areas, or rolling out LTE. Or improving their deteriorating customer service.

    Oh, and to add insult to injury, there'll be one less alternative existing T-Mobile customers can jump to in the event T-Mobile gets worse. Which it will.

    Also, from a phone geek's PoV, this is a merger between a company that's always been hostile towards customers having control over their own devices, and one that used to be liberal on the subject but has become more and more controlling lately. And directors of the former will be taking up prominent roles in the new company.

    This is a terrible, terrible, idea, and the people behind it are terrible, terrible, people.

  • by Aryden (1872756) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:44AM (#41538991)

    Also, from a phone geek's PoV, this is a merger between a company that's always been hostile towards customers having control over their own devices, and one that used to be liberal on the subject but has become more and more controlling lately. And directors of the former will be taking up prominent roles in the new company.

    Yet I've been with T-mobile for 10 years now (Powertel -> VoiseStream -> T-Mobile) and I have yet to experience this hostility you speak of. Neither have the friends I know on MetroPCS and T-Mobile.

  • They did that for all the smart phones, basically the feature phones that were incapable of using much data had a different plan than the smartphones that could use a lot. Makes sense to me.

    Now they have true unlimited data for $20/month.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:31PM (#41539627)

    You're seriously suggesting that AT&T [opensecrets.org], with their $4.5 million in contributions (20th largest) this election cycle and $31 million in lobbying (5th largest) in the last 2 years alone, doesn't know how to lobby effectively?

    Yes. I mean, they lost, right? Clearly, they did not spend enough.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:32PM (#41539649)

    T-Mobile has been increasingly locking down its phones and services over the last few years, culminating in the "You can only use this myTouch data plan with myTouch devices and cannot use a non-myTouch data plan with a myTouch phone" stupidity a couple of years ago that, thankfully, they backed out of a little.

    I'm not doubting you, but I had no such experience from T-Mobile. They always unlocked my MyTouch phone 3 weeks after purchase. Waiting 3 weeks allowed me to simply return the phone if I didn't like it. T-Mobile even went out of their way to make sure my MyTouch 3G and later MyTouch 4G was unlocked in time for me to use Vodafone while I was in Australia.

    I'm also able to use my grandfathered data plan with my MyTouch phone. However, I did have to leave my really cheap 2G data plan for a more expensive 3G data plan (still cheaper than today's plan) back when 3G first came available. I'm still on that 3G plan and have access to both 3G and 4G features of my phone.

  • by headbulb (534102) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:46PM (#41539829)

    What is your deal? I've seen you post this comment almost word for word on various other sites.

    You've got some good points. But a lot of your argument doesn't seem to be about those points. Your argument seems to mostly have a emotional basis to it. As if you don't like the company/ies involved for whatever reason that you don't seem to be saying.

    T-Mobile just has to maintain the cdma network for a little while. Years perhaps. Customer and hardware turnover will get customers onto hspa/lte compatible hardware. A lot of MetroPCS customers already have lte compatible devices. From the google search I see that it's hardware that's able to handle VoLTE. T-Mobile can make a push to improve the lte coverage and current MetroPCS hardware will be able to work without the cdma network. In the meantime they can continue to roam onto sprints network.

    The maintenance of four different networks isn't really even a big deal. With the tower equipment that T-Mobile is using and deploying is capable of running all four with either a software update or very little hardware changes. I feel that you are also being a bit disingenuous with this argument since 2GSM UMTS/HSPA and LTE are in the 3gsm family and were designed to do handoffs with each other, cdma and lte were not so much.

    As for the FCC requirements you don't actually know that the fcc is going to do that. The last few years it's been the two big dogs that have been making acquisitions. Those are different stories and I wouldn't use them as examples for a company the size of the new T-Mobile. If the new T-Mobile does indeed have to give up some spectrum we won't and don't know how much.

    The technical issues you listed just don't seem to be that big of an issue. This is a business move. This is about combining two companies for the synergies. The real winner here is Deutsche Telekom. Which can sell off stock slowly from the newly formed company.

    You're real reasons really show through when you decided to use that last sentence "This is a terrible, terrible, idea, and the people behind it are terrible, terrible, people." So again I ask. What's your deal?
     

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:46PM (#41539835)

    Then let me reply to these:

    >- Less competition - less incentive to reduce prices or improve services

    Mergers do that; not the best idea in a competitively shrinking market

    >- Another round of layoffs, probably numbering in the thousands, possibly tens of thousands.

    Sorry, that's one benefit of mergers for the companies. These days, nothing is forever.

    >- More customers on less spectrum, with at least initially multiple network standards making spectrum sharing even harder.

    That's until a "4g" network is rolled out. It also makes the merged body look less digestible by Sprint or Verizon.

    >- More costly spectrum refarming

    You must be a stockholder.

    >- Either maintenance of four largely incompatible networks (2GSM, IS95/2000, UMTS, and LTE) or the migration of all IS95/2000 customers to 2GSM/UMTS/LTE, at considerable cost.

    AT&T deals with this, and to a lesser extent, it will bite each carrier as well. 2GSM is on the way out; in seven years LTE will dominate, for better and worse.

    >- Funds spent on the above that could be spent on rolling out 3G to uncovered areas, or rolling out LTE. Or improving their deteriorating customer service.

    No, the funds were going to be spent anyway on LTE and expanding coverage. Customer service? You want service?

    >Oh, and to add insult to injury, there'll be one less alternative existing T-Mobile customers can jump to in the event T-Mobile gets worse. Which it will.

    We agree on this one, but Metro was having trouble with the same financing you cite as impediments to T-Mobile growth. You can't have it both ways.

    >Also, from a phone geek's PoV, this is a merger between a company that's always been hostile towards customers having control over their own devices, and one that used to be liberal on the subject but has become more and more controlling lately. And directors of the former will be taking up prominent roles in the new company.

    T-Mobile is no more awful than AT&T. I can get my T-Mobile phones unlocked in a few days. I can brute-force them if need-be. That a combined board might have strange people in it was out of your and my control anyway.

    >This is a terrible, terrible, idea, and the people behind it are terrible, terrible, people.

    I think the idea is neutral, and the people behind it are trying to survive. Can't blame them for that. How they are terrible otherwise is unknown to me, save they've squandered tonnage of goodwill. In the US, I otherwise have Verizon and you couldn't give me a free AT&T or Sprint phone and "service".

    Tempest in a teapot. Not to dismiss your obvious hopes and dreams for T-Mobile, but these are carriers and they have no soul-- none of them.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

Working...