WOW! AT&T To Buy T-Mobile– What This Means to You
While the big US cell phone show, CTIA 2011, isn’t expected to kick off officially until Tuesday, AT&T and T-Mobile have officially begun what looks to be an incredibly week for new cell phones with the announcement that AT&T will be buying T-Mobile. You read that right– AT&T is buying T-Mobile for an incredible $39 billion.
Now beyond having all of T-Mobile’s 34 million customers join AT&T to create one of the largest networks in the world at 130 million people, you’re probably wondering right now what this all exactly means to you (and this goes double for anyone with T-Mobile). To be honest, for the next 12 months or so, probably not a whole lot as this deal still needs to clear all the federal and regulatory laws needed for such a massive merger (something which isn’t guaranteed to happen either). Assuming it does pass though here is what we’re looking at.
The New Big 3
Instead of the big 4 US carriers we’ll now be down to the big 3— AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Expect from this a lot more competitive pricing from Verizon and Sprint as they try to keep up with the now largest (by far) carrier in the US— AT&T. And as users on any of the three, more competition and better pricing is a big win for all of us.
For AT&T Users
Imagine this EVERYWHERE!
Believe it or not this deal is great for current AT&T users as well. By buying T-Mobile’s network, AT&T has more cell towers and spectrum (the wireless signal that lets you do everything from call people, to text to browse the web) and should better be able to handle not just the new T-Mobile users, but all us current ones as well. Hopefully this should mean much fewer dropped calls and much faster data speeds as they begin to merge the networks (which is even easier as AT&T and T-Mobile both use the same cell phone tech called GSM, while Sprint and Verizon both use CDMA).
This is also great news for AT&T users outside large cities as in the announcement, AT&T pledged to bring LTE (or its true 4G network) to an additional 46 million people, bringing the total estimated area for AT&T’s 4G LTE network to a crazy 294 million people or 95% of the US.
Better, faster network? As an AT&T user I personally can’t wait.
For T-Mobile Users
Now obviously those affected the biggest here are T-Mobile users. Well, beyond you guys soon having access to awesome AT&T phones like the iPhone, HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola Atrix 4G, you guys also will get an upgrade in your 4G network and have access to AT&T’s much faster 4G LTE network (though this will require you to buy a new phone. In the meantime your current T-Mobile 4G phone should continue to work just fine). Throw in the much better, more expansive coverage and this looks to be a great deal for you guys as well.
Reminder: This all is assuming the deal between AT&T and T-Mobile goes through, something which they’ve said should happen within the next 12 months.
Personally, as an AT&T user I’m excited (if only because this will hopefully mean much better coverage with all these new cell towers and spectrum AT&T is adding). And hang tight readers (including all of you on Verizon and Sprint), this week is gonna be insane.