Editorial: A T-Mobile Customer’s Thoughts on the AT&T/T-Mobile Deal

I’ve been invited by David to post my thoughts on the acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T from the perspective of a T-Mobile customer. I have slightly modified this article from the original I posted on Mobile Central to include a bit more information.

As a T-Mobile customer, I’m against the acquisition by AT&T. T-Mobile has a great reputation as a value leader and offering top notch customer service. In fact, they’ve been rated the highest in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates for several years now. T-Mobile also does an excellent job maintaining their towers and making them reliable. While they don’t have the 3G footprint of AT&T, they are getting there.

I’ve done my research regarding spectrum. I know that AT&T possesses quite a bit of spectrum on their own, much more than T-Mobile. They even own enough spectrum (somewhere close to 100 MHz, I believe) to build all over the nation. But, the problem is that their spectrum isn’t harmonized (meaning that they don’t have a single frequency band that is used all over their network). T-Mobile is fortunate enough to have at least 20-30 MHz of spectrum in every market in the AWS-1 (1700 MHz UL/2100 MHz DL) band range, with an additional 10-20 MHz in the PCS (1900 MHz) band range. AT&T’s spectrum is all over the place, some 10-20 MHz here and there in Cellular (850 MHz), some 15-20 MHz here and there in PCS, about 10 MHz in most areas in US Dig Div (U.S. Digital Dividend – 700 MHz), and about 10MHz in the western half of the country on AWS-1. This actually puts AT&T in a worse situation than T-Mobile, because their licenses are scattered all over the place. Without T-Mobile, they would require tri-band LTE devices right out of the gate, because they don’t actually have a single high quality spectrum band that covers all parts of the country. However, AT&T’s overall spectrum concentration in every single market that they both participate in (and several markets that T-Mobile doesn’t yet participate in), is much higher than T-Mobile’s.

Obviously, AT&T’s spectrum on PCS and Cellular is wide enough that they can run both 2G and 3G services on the same spectrum band. That means they have more than enough room to initially build out LTE on their current spectrum holdings. Provided, of course, that AT&T is willing to decommission their older networks in order to free up spectrum.

The spectrum crunch that AT&T tends to say that they have is complete and utter nonsense. For years, AT&T held some AWS-1 spectrum and they didn’t use it at all. Why? Because they didn’t want to force themselves to offer devices that would be compatible on their only competitor’s network (T-Mobile).

As far as band frequency support for LTE, I know for a fact that ST-Ericsson has several multi-band LTE chips that support most of the frequency bands used in the United States for 3G. Qualcomm’s Gobi chips that have LTE support also do support some of the frequency bands for LTE. Multi-band chips are not an issue, since the manufacturers were prepared this time. Nokia-Siemens Networks, Ericsson, Motorola Network Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent, and Huawei are also all ready for building out towers that broadcast LTE on any of the currently used frequency bands for 3G, and of course, they support US Dig Div spectrum. AT&T will not have a problem getting multi-band LTE chips for cheap, because they are massive enough that the economies of scale will kick in very quickly. They don’t need T-Mobile for any sort of spectrum crunch alleviation.

Another thing that bothered me about the AT&T announcement was the fact that they said that T-Mobile USA had no clear plans for 4G LTE. That is simply not true. They didn’t have definitive plans, but they did have several plans described for deploying 4G LTE. One plan was that they would re-farm their PCS (1900MHz) spectrum to use with LTE after they’ve built out their HSPA+ network sufficiently enough that they can begin taking down the 2G GSM network. That was to be enacted in 2012, when they began shutting down the 2G GSM network in areas that have HSPA+ built out completely. Gradually, they would have replaced 2G with 4G LTE. Since their 2G spectrum is pretty wide in most areas, the 4G speeds would have been pretty good. The expenses would have been the biggest issue, since it would have required several billion dollars. This plan was detailed during the January investors’ conference that T-Mobile USA and its parent, Deutsche Telekom, held.

There was also another option that was seriously discussed by T-Mobile USA executives for launching 4G LTE. That was doing another network-sharing agreement, similar to the one T-Mobile USA had with Cingular for their 2G GSM network before Cingular became “the new AT&T.” T-Mobile could partner with the many rural and regional carriers across the nation to combine their PCS spectrum and build out a nationwide 4G LTE network that would have a larger footprint than any other carrier in the country. They could also partner with Sprint and work together on building out a 4G LTE network on the PCS band. Considering the culture compatibility between T-Mobile USA and Sprint-Nextel, it could work out well for the both of them. They could have even partnered with AT&T, given the compatible technologies and complementary spectrum. Unfortunately, such a partnership probably wouldn’t work out so well because they have very different corporate cultures and values.

Well, if they had a plan of action, why did Deutsche Telekom announce the sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T? Simply because they are reducing their scope from worldwide to just Europe, and probably later into just T-Mobile Deutschland. Their primary shareholder, the German government, probably wants them to focus more on the domestic market rather than international ones. That explains why Deutsche Telekom merged T-Mobile UK with France Télécom’s Orange U.K. last year to form the new holding company “Everything Everywhere” that manages the networks and brands of both T-Mobile UK and Orange U.K. Deutsche Telekom plans on exploring ways of minimizing their direct involvement with markets outside of Germany while still maintaining some sort of presence there. Expect to see Deutsche Telekom do similar actions for other T-Mobile branches across Europe that they wholly own.

Additionally, Deutsche Telekom gave up on T-Mobile USA in 2008, after the iPhone came the Cingular, which was transitioning to become “the new AT&T” at the time. I remember reading somewhere that Deutsche Telekom sent a memo in 2008 to T-Mobile USA executives saying that they missed their chance to become a significant player in the market, and the tone of the memo suggested that Deutsche Telekom was going to be more hands-off on managing T-Mobile USA. Later that year, T-Mobile was unable to acquire any US Dig Div spectrum because their parent chose not to participate in the auction. And of course, then T-Mobile brought out the G1, the very first commercially released Android phone, and it was a great success. The next year, Verizon brought out the Motorola DROID, which completely overshadowed T-Mobile’s myTouch line that launched that same year.

So, what does this mean? It means that the only way T-Mobile USA will get the needed cash infusion to build out a 4G LTE network is if the deal is blocked. The terms of the deal between AT&T and Deutsche Telekom state that if the deal is blocked or AT&T cancels the deal, T-Mobile USA will receive $3 billion and all the AWS-1 spectrum AT&T owns but isn’t using for 4G LTE at the moment of cancellation. The cash and spectrum infusion would allow them to build out their own 4G LTE network immediately.

I’ve noticed that very few people in the news media bring up the fact that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA would effectively create a monopoly. Why would it do that when we have two other national carriers? It is because T-Mobile USA and AT&T Mobility are the only two super-regional carriers left in the USA that use the GSM family of technologies. The two competing GSM networks have allowed for a wide variety of devices to come into the American market. This is important because most people are too stupid to realize that their devices cost way more than they are actually paying up front, and that they demand it to be cheaper and don’t care that they are signing two year contracts. If the acquisition is approved, the number of GSM devices in the market will drop considerably. As of right now (March 30, 2011), there are nearly 300 different GSM devices currently available for sale directly from T-Mobile USA and AT&T. If the acquisition is approved, you can expect that number to cut in half, at least. Of course, it wouldn’t matter all that much because there’s only one carrier to use the devices on if AT&T acquires T-Mobile. You can also expect for prices on AT&T to get much higher because AT&T doesn’t really have a competitor that competes against them so evenly and on all fronts. Verizon and Sprint don’t really count because you can’t take your devices from AT&T and use them on Verizon and Sprint, since they use CDMA2000 with EV-DO Rev. A instead of GSM and UMTS with HSPA+.

AT&T is terrible at managing their network compared to T-Mobile. And the service and support has only really begun improving late last year. It will take quite a lot of time for AT&T to catch up in terms of overall quality to the levels expected by T-Mobile customers. And AT&T will crush T-Mobile’s open culture after the acquisition is complete, in favor of AT&T’s monopolistic conservative culture.

AT&T also doesn’t really get open networks and open solutions. Their Android devices are locked down, with sideloading blocked. They are the only carrier in the world that does that, by the way. AT&T prefers nickel-and-diming customers instead of making them happy enough to continue staying with AT&T, which is why they chose femtocells instead of UMA. UMA did exist before femtocells, by the way. UMA was built into the GSM standard with the EDGE and UMTS standards. In fact, femtocells rely on a variant of UMA technology to work. If AT&T acquires T-Mobile, they’ll probably kill off the G-series of Android devices, the ones that are pure Google Experience devices. UMA will probably disappear as well. And of course, no more Even More Plus plans and unlimited data plans.

There is some good news though. If the deal were to be approved, it would take at least three years after the acquisition is complete before they could take over the network and start repurposing the AWS-1 spectrum for 4G LTE. It is even likelier that it would take five years before they have everything in order to begin migrating the AWS-1 network to LTE. So our devices wouldn’t stop working for a very long time. Additionally, AT&T does practice grandfathering when it does acquisitions. Existing T-Mobile customers will never be forced off their current plans, even when they do phone upgrades into 4G LTE. But that is a small consolation prize compared to the larger problems AT&T would cause by acquiring T-Mobile.

Given all the real facts, it is definitely shown that AT&T should not be permitted to acquire T-Mobile USA.

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  • Anonymous

    Carly has a twin? I change my mind now, I’m all for the merger as long as I’m involved.

    • Anonymous

      yuck! The ATT Carly has a bad rash on her pits and arms. you can have her!

  • Cupcake

    Conan…very well written! Applaud..and amen!

  • LBdaMercenary

    Good post I like it very detailed.

    • ghostnik

      This just proves that AT&T whole agenda has been trying to eliminate competition so that they can monopolize market as the only GSM carriers. They have spectrum that they can use and develop LTE but want to use tmobile spectrum b/c tmobile was smart to build there network on unified bands and not a whole bunch of different bands. This should clearly show FCC and DOJ that AT&T shouldn’t be allowed to buy tmobile.

      • Anonymous

        Having less than 50% of the market isn’t much of a monopoly. Going from 4 to 3 national carriers would reduce competition, but it is hardly monopolistic.

        The article is loaded with garbage conjecture with very little in substantive complaints.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          In the United States, you need to have at least 40% of the market to be defined as monopolistically competitive. The Herfindahl–Hirschman Index is used to determine market concentration. The FCC defines monopolistic competition levels at around 2800, while the DoJ defines it at around 2200. Given the HHI for the wireless industry is currently 2600 (extremely concentrated) and that the deal will make the HHI jump 700 points to 3200, both the FCC and the DoJ will be severely concerned. Additionally, the DoJ defines an HHI increase of at least 100 points to be grounds for blocking (or at least an in-depth review), while the FCC defines an HHI increase of 300 points for the wireless phone industry to be grounds for blocking (or at least an in-depth review). This deal surpasses both markers. So yes, by any traditional determination of monopolism, it is monopolistic.

        • Thriller

          It would create a monopoly as the only GSM carrier in America. And between Verizon and AT&T if the deal is approved they would have really would be competing with Verizon. As Sprint is too far behind in subscribers to be a factor in the fight.

        • Thriller

          It would create a monopoly as the only GSM carrier in America. And between Verizon and AT&T if the deal is approved they would have really would be competing with Verizon. As Sprint is too far behind in subscribers to be a factor in the fight.

  • Liindo

    i hope at&t dies in hell !

  • http://twitter.com/corys00 Steve Cory

    Pretty good article however, AT&T isn’t really all that great at grandfathering existing plans over. Just ask anyone who had the $99.99 charter plan on AT&T pre Cingular. Even Cingular (now AT&T) required blue (ATTWS) to change to a currently offered plan to upgrade.

    We honestly won’t know the fallout of this merger for years if it’s approved. I just worry about competition and my beloved SIM based technology.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      That was actually the oddball of most Cingular acquisitions. The reason why Cingular did that was because they were required by the government to immediately begin decommissioning the Blue network and migrate customers over to the Orange network. When AT&T acquired many of the GSM regional carriers across the nation after the ATTWS acquisition, they permanently grandfathered existing customers. There are several people in Indiana that stuck with Centennial Wireless (now AT&T) because their plans were grandfathered, even through upgrades.

    • Thriller

      I couldn’t see myself without a sim card phone

  • http://profiles.google.com/bradpitcher Brad Pitcher

    Finally someone mentions the GSM monopoly!

  • k-tee

    perfect…..article was dead on

  • Nik

    Great read Conan! /agree on all fronts and wasn’t even aware that if this were not approved that we’d get that aws1 back from AT&T.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jesseconn Jesse Conner

    That was a great article, and lots of helpful information. Thank you.

  • SoffMouf

    Fantastic article – thanks for doing all the research!

  • ddrum2000

    Very well written. You should send this to the US senate antitrust committee, DOJ, FCC, as well as your US senators and congressmen.

    • http://twitter.com/eb101 Eli Bohnert

      i sent it to my rep of my district

    • ghostnik

      sent to Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General of New York who is helping fight this b/c he knows there will be people in new york state that won’t have phones once at&t decides to raise plan prices.

  • http://profiles.google.com/vampirehunter03 Lucas LeCompte

    very awesome article, i wish stuff like this was out in the media! you basically answered all the question and i had and confirmed all my fears

  • E Hugus

    Great article! Isn’t there away we can keep this merger from happening? I have written my congressmen–even one I do not support.
    I am also disappointed in DT for dropping us of the cliff since their world service was the main reason we chose them in the first place. The second reason was UMA and WiFi calling. The third was the wonderful Android OS. Google we need your help even more than ever to save this terrible situation for all if us who have wanted this company to keep providing a real choice of phone service in the US,as well as innovative phones and new technologies.
    Thank you again for providing all of us a clear explanation of what is occurring.

    • Blacksheep427

      How about…T-Google? :)

  • Fermin

    People are so dumb and they need to stop complaining. Its not ur 39 billion dollars that are being spent out there if att has the money to buy whatever they want then let them theyve obviously worked for that money. If u dont like the merger to come then leave we all got other options its ur money u choose how to spend it just like att is choosing to spend theirs, nobody knows how this merger will affect the network we all come to know and love so just stop complaing and deal with it

    • SphericalPuma

      Art doesn’t have the money and is financing the bulk of it. But hey at least the customers won’t have to pay for i…..oh wait

    • Anonymous

      You think people are ‘dumb’ because they complain -yet aren’t you complaining about people complaining…does that make you ‘dumber’? The point is that tmobile is a better choice than Sprint or Verizon…and definitely ATT. This merger takes away one of the best choices in the wireless business. Verizon is good but pricey, sprint is cheap & sucks…att is expensive & sucks…and tmobile is good & inexpensive. Because they have 39 billion dollars to spend ‘because they earned it’ doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want. Warren Buffet has 50 billion dollars & he wants you exterminated…he earned it so just stop complaining and deal with it. Yes, my logic as as failed as yours…that’s the point.

    • jarjon76

      People are mad because this merger will end up costing them money–and a lot of it. Plus, T-Mobile customers are very loyal and they feel like something they love is being taken from them for no real reason. Perhaps you should do a little research before you spout off.

      • Fermin

        Like I said why would it cost the customer money if they can choose to go to another carrier any time tgey choose u my friend are what they call retarded….the customers chooses what to pay like I said if u dont like it then leave simple as that people just cant accept the fact that tmo is dead

        • jarjon76

          Whatever carrier they choose will be higher priced than T-Mobile, therefore they are upset about having to spend more money. Not to mention the poor service the other carriers provide. Not sure why you can’t grasp such a simple concept.

        • Blacksheep427

          It “cost me” $200 in ETF to leave, yeah, blah blah, my choice. I had 3 things to help make that choice: had to buy another phone to replace my 3rd HD2, don’t like the pending deal with A Fee&Fee, and I may move to an area where there’s no TMO signal. Reasons aside Vermin, it COST ME!

    • ChiTownNative

      So you’re infavor of a new monopoly? If the merger should go through then we’re almost back to having one choice for phone/mobile service. Wow talk about taking a step back in time. Lookout 1970′s here we come.

      • Fermin

        How is it a monopoly if theres still going to be 2 major carriers out there in sprint and verizon not to mention all the other small carriers like boost and virgin which derive from sprint and verizon only cheaper versions theres lots of options just deal with the reality that tmo will be nomore we just have to wait and see how this merger will turn out

        • Thriller

          Fermin the point is this do any of the companies mention use the sim card other then T-mobile and AT&T short answer no but for the other companies ala boost or any of the other carrier give us a reasonable priced phone with the features we want on a GSM network. Again the answer is no so the competiton aspect really isn’t there as just like with Cricket the one price fits all approach doesn’t work. Sprint says unlimited everything but it is really a 200 minute a month plan and to get the full unlimited the calls are limited to other cell phones. So as a comsumer this doesn’t work for me.

    • Blacksheep427

      You sound like you’re already on AT&T. Calling others stupid….part of iBlame’s marketing strategy.

  • 2JZ_NOS

    Great writeup. I also hope that this acquisition doesn’t come through.

  • Anonymous

    Love the Carly picture lol

    Now let me grab some popcorn so I can read this book of an article.

  • http://profiles.google.com/claudine.gandolfi Claudine Gandolfi

    Hmmm… maybe we should send this to the phone manufacturers: Blackberry, Apple, HTC, Samsung, etc. to let them know about how their products will be messed with in this GSM Monopoly. Maybe they have more sway with the FCC, DOJ, and everyone else in Govt.

  • Kcassidys

    Wow. A reasoned, thought out, technically complete argument – not just the fevered panic we have heard of late. Thank you – “Given the Real facts…” is quite a definitive word on the issue.

    • jarjon76

      Agreed. This article gave thoughtful insight that didn’t sugarcoat anything. Well written!

  • Anonymous

    Really? If you are against ATT merger, and ur expect to stop DTE sell T-USA to ATT? You demand DTE keep T-USA in america for you and customers sake? DTE will start not care about T-USA and Customers after if deal blocked.

    I dont think DT willingly spends 3millions on T-Mobile USA for new 4G LTE and coverage improvements, period. Once DT told the world, Billion-dollars would be directly to Europe and Germany, not USA ( http://www.telekom.com/dtag/cms/content/dt/en/1005632 ). DTE will selling spectrums to different carriers such as sprint, US celluar or other.. there will be worst fragmentation in GSM US Spector.

    I wondering why you aren’t against Black, White, foreigners as mixed races in one country? I know there will be more and more segregated among black, white and foreigners, then they shall destroy USA into pieces as fragments forever and never will be the same.. . No Questions.

    • Guest…

      Whats does your last paragraph have anything to do with the acquisition? Overall your entire comment is poorly written and hardly makes sense.

      • Anonymous

        I really dont care what the comments you made. My point is DTE will not keep the T-Mobile USA if FCC blocked the deal. DTE will get 3bn from att if deal is break up or block, Guaranty DTE wont spend $3bn on T-Mobile USA, but rather pay 3bn directly T-Mobile Europe only for debts and shareholders, etc.. DTE will turn T-Mobile USA and Customers into nightmare dream if the deal is blocked. you will seee.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          Except, DT can’t do that. The money for the deal goes to T-Mobile USA directly. Even though DT owns T-Mobile USA, they can’t steal money from T-Mobile USA that belongs to T-Mobile USA contractually. Besides, DT stopped funneling in money to T-Mobile USA two years ago, I believe.

    • jarjon76

      You might want to sober up before you post.

    • Blacksheep427

      Is there a parallel between a human’s race and the various cell phone providers? …………..uh, NO! I’m not drinking your KoolAid.

  • Philosophics

    AT&T has already been detirmined as a monopoly. They were forced to sell off their mobile which became Cingular. And then bought it back a few years later.
    Just thought that should be brought up too…

  • Anonymous

    Well said. i am so sick of people trying to say the merger is good for T-mobile customers, and the only reason they have to back up that claim is that then we too can own iPhones! Like i give a damn about some over-priced, over-restrictive, damn near useless device with a silly apple logo!

    • Blacksheep427

      Really, IF someone from TMO just had to HAVE an iPhone…get this…go buy one. You may need to put it on another network, but hey you could always “buy” an iPhone. just sayin’

  • Anonymous

    Well written, thank you for your inciteful literary contributions. Yes, everyone please do write your congressman.

  • Someone save us

    I can’t believe that this merger hasn’t already been nixed . Instead it looks inevitable . It really lets you know the true amount of government corruption that exists . Both parties are for sale . The interest of the politicians will always come before your average American consumer . Higher rates , less service , and less choice are pretty much a given to all in the wireless market . I’m really shocked at the amount of apathy .

  • Anonymous

    300 different GSM devices available form AT&T-Mobile? Like walk in the store and buy 1 of 300(150) kind of devices?

    Well I just wanna know what is DT/TMOUSA’s plan if it doesn’t go through. We’re gonna be like a red headed step child until we’re sold off to I don’t know who or we will be the New and Improved T-Mobile USA!!

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      If DT continues its current plans, probably the red-headed step child until we’re sold off to somebody else.

  • http://profiles.google.com/pappasan.d daniel choi

    Do not like this merger. There is a reason I left AT&T and signed up w/ T-Mobile – excellent choice of plans, phones, and Superior Customer Service! I’m praying this merger is reviewed and DENIED!

    There has to be a way we the CONSUMER have a voice in this deal.

  • http://profiles.google.com/pappasan.d daniel choi

    I’m wondering if we can file a class action suit to prevent the merger.. under consumer protection or anti-trust case?

    http://www.lieffcabraser.com/practices.php?PracticeID=4

    • nero

      I’m with you! As per their website they already have an open case against ATT and an ongoing investigation. Damn you, ATT… =(

  • Anonymous

    The T-Mobile and At&t merge doesn’t have to be bad. Keep the At&t and T-mobile phones, Use T-Mobile spectrum, Use T-mobile pricing, and some of At&t and Most T-mobile support people.

  • BrianAZ24

    Just a thought… I want to preface that I LOVE T-Mobile & am sad to see it get eaten up….

    If T-Mobile’s operations were so profitable why did DT want to sell? Maybe all that stuff we love and expect as T-Mobile customers is not feasible from a business perspective…

    I don’t think we can hate DT for wanting to do what makes business sense… At some point T-Mobile had to be made more profitable (Restructured & Increased plan prices for voice & data seen today). T-Mobiles income in the hundreds of millions vs the billions of ATT is not good for a stock holder and the company must work in the best interest of the stock holder….

    So – with increased prices/capped data/tethering plans/etc wasn’t T-Mobile slowly going down the ATT/Verizon path anyway? are we that shocked that it would end at some point?

    Just my thoughts about this whole deal…. I will stick with T-Mobile/AT&T until 1. Things get expensive 2. Customer service sucks…. Then I might consider Sprint or Verizon depending on who is the cheaper than AT&T…

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      You should probably read the companion piece to this article from the site this article came from then. It takes in this deal from the perspective of an AT&T customer, and you may be interested in reading it: http://goo.gl/RasoW

    • Mbregar13

      Who says DT ‘wanted’ to sell? I love my house, but if you make me an offer for twice its market value, its yours in a second.

  • Anonymous

    Very informative article!

  • Anonymous

    Great article… too bad the powers that be are turning a blind eye.

  • Anton Nekhaenko

    Wait, I thought Tmo killed EvenMorePlus BEFORE the AT&T troops arrived…

  • http://cosmicbreeze.tumblr.com/ DtheArtist

    Smart customer. *Hope this was sent to the FCC, in addition to their state senate*. I made a few similar points in my letter, just not as elaborate & factual rich.

  • Quailallstar

    You should send this story to all the media outlets as a press release. This way they have the real facts to report ;)

  • http://cosmicbreeze.tumblr.com/ DtheArtist

    I think T-Mobile USA should become completely independent as a US-based Wireless carrier & branch off from DT. Hopefully, there is someone who’s been in the industry, maybe owned a few small carriers or something, or being a CEO or on bores of directors in the cellular industry. & if (& when, lol) the deal is blocked, they make a offer to buy out T-Mobile USA (since DT doesn’t care anyway & all they want is the money in the 1st place, & to get rid of T-Mobile USA, even though their dumb arses were better off giving us to Sprint) & we take our earnings, & continue as a separate venture, successfully. Maybe even acquire a few smaller gsm companies by the way, or some other carrier’s that have LTE spectrum (maybe even MetroPCS). I don’t care if T-Mobile USA is great by the standards of compared to Verizon or AT&T, as long as our line of products, plans, & services are successful, & we can make constant profit I’m good, & so should the owners.

  • Dr Badnasty

    You’ve obviously done your homework, but there’s one important underlying fact missing: T-Mobile is dead. I work for “our beloved magenta” and it pains me to say this, but look at the numbers. Deutsche bought VoiceStream for fifty billion dollars. After a decade of inflation and network enhancements, they’re willing to sell it for ELEVEN BILLION DOLLARS LESS. The fact is, Deutsche is getting out of the American market one way or another. If the acquisition is denied, the alternative is most likely NOT a fourth nationwide carrier under new ownership. The alternative is T-Mobile being sold off in pieces. It’s pretty well known that there were no other buyers interested in our floundering number four carrier. Sadly, opposing the acquisition is NOT truly standing up for T-Mobile’s well-being, because T-Mobile is dead.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      Umm. Actually, VoiceStream was bought by Deutsche Telekom for $32 billion, not $50 billion. So the margin is much smaller.

      • Dr Badnasty

        http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/how-the-iphone-led-to-the-sale-of-t-mobile-usa/
        “Deutsche Telekom entered the American mobile market in May 2001, when it completed its $50.7 billion acquisition of VoiceStream, a wireless operator in Seattle whose network ran on the global system for mobile communications, or GSM, the same technology as used by Deutsche Telekom and most other European operators.”

      • Dr Badnasty

        http://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/18809269/voicestream-deutsche-telekom-seal-50-7b-deal-reuters.htm;jsessionid=aAQOBOAott6j+uNMMo1Qqg**.ecappj03
        “VoiceStream Wireless on Sunday agreed to a $50.7 billion cash-and-stock takeover by Deutsche Telekom AG in a move that will give the money-losing wireless firm a cash infusion to buy new telephone licenses. “

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          I’m still partially right, but you are correct that the total amount was $50.7 billion. It was $35 billion in cash with debt assumption. The remaining $15.7 billion was in stocks.

        • Dr Badnasty

          No, you’re actually just as wrong because the current $39 billion deal is actually $25 billion cash and $14 billion in stock. See the NYT article above.

        • Dr Badnasty

          actually it’s below. My bad.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          Okay, okay. Fine. Jeez….

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t agree with you more. I’m in the same boat. I want this deal to go thru for the sole reason that DT has shown interest in getting out of the US Market. If the deal gets rejected, TMO will be a lame duck carrier & DT will most likely seek other means to rid itself of TMO USA. It would’ve been AWESOME if Google could’ve bought TMO USA, but that fact still remains it would still be very hard to compete and grow being the #4 carrier…..The odds are stacked against TMO… It seems the only way a company can grow substantially is to acquire other companies. The politics involved in the wireless industry stifle growth (especially for the underdogs)…..I think DT finally realized this after all these years…..If the powers that be from DT & TMO USA would’ve been more aggressive on all fronts earlier on, maybe we wouldn’t all be on this blog making comments regarding a TMO Buyout.

      • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

        Perhaps you’d be interested in the other point of view: http://goo.gl/RasoW

  • Anonymous

    “Given all the real facts, it is definitely shown that AT&T should NOT be permitted to acquire T-Mobile USA.”
    beautifully written.everyone should bookmark this and send this link to your fellow co-workers,friends and family who also has concerns of this matter.people need to know the facts.I LOVE T-MOBILE and hopeing AT&T or anyone else miserably fails to acquire t-mobile and also all the blame goes to Deutsche Telekom for trying to sell us out.BTW carly looks better in pink NOT blue ;)

  • Anonymous

    Great read, im well informed!

  • Wilsondh

    Best article seen so far on the topic, very technical and down to the heart of the spectrum problem.

  • Quailallstar

    I posted bitching at the Federal Trade Commission on their official Facebook page. You should all do the same!

    http://www.facebook.com/federaltradecommission

  • Derrickps3

    good read

  • Doccolorado

    Good article btw. I agree with your UMA/FemtoCell comments, however I did work for the company that helped them develop the UMA for Tmobile and the FemtoCell for AT&T. We were able to try out both ahead of public release, I liked the UMA better, made more sense from a RF (Radio) perspective to use existing wifi infrastructure and I needed an easy way to get coverage for my cell phone in a poor cell area, (All Carriers).

    I also bought the @home uma router and have two phone lines on it. This is the primary reason I’m on Tmobile. (UMA at home and mobile).

    I use my UMA phone when I’m driving down the road in areas of the country where we have no Tmobile coverage by using my Virgin Mobile cell data card. Works great, and we travel in our RV alot.

    If AT&T drops UMA, there will be no reason to stay with them. FemToCell is a very poor alternative using cellular frequencies who’s only advantage that I can see is you don’t have to have a special GSM phone to use.

    I plan on writing several congressional representatives and putting forth a comment about concern over AT&T building a monopoly again, increased pricing on me as a consumer, and worried they’ll shut off my fantastic home phone service.

    • Tricky2000

      I to am a fan of UMA over FemtoCells. I use UMA to avoid international roaming charges when I’m out of the country by making calls and checking email on Wifi hotspots abroad. Something you cannot do with a FemtoCell. To me its the killer app of T-mobile. Even without UMA T-Mobile’s international roaming rates are better for both voice and text than AT&T. If T-Mobile is absorbed by AT&T there will be only one national GSM carrier leaving it the only option for people who do a lot of international travel.

  • Stay Strong T-Mo

    If the deal doesnt go through, why doesn’t DT just spin off T-Mobile USA (Keeping it as its own separate entity) letting keep its 3 billion it will acquire from the deal not passing through the FCC, DOJ, and Congress, pump a couple more billion in there (Making it either a majority stock holder or the largest stock holder in the new entity) and let it operate itself instead of shutting it down.

    I think this will be the best option. They would still acquire revenue from the company, and won’t have to worry about maintaining it. As a T-Mobile employee one thing I know is that our customers love us for our values, culture, and the way we keep them happy, and I would hate to work for a company (AT&T) that does not give a crap about the one thing that keeps it running, its customers.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      DT doesn’t want to do that, but it probably could. But if that happens, T-Mobile will need investors very quickly, because otherwise it will collapse into bankruptcy. Remember, VoiceStream was bought by DT because of financial issues in the first place.

      • Stay Strong T-Mo

        Yeah but T-Mo is no financial struggle. We keep posting profit year after year. They will need investors and I’m sure someone will love to invest into T-Mo USA. They are not a bad entity. Yes, they do have network problems, but who doesn’t?

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

          I don’t ever remember T-Mobile USA posting financial information. As far as I knew, T-Mobile USA is wholly owned by Deutsche Telekom, and has no obligation to report financial information because it acts like a privately owned company.

  • Stay Strong T-Mo

    If the deal doesnt go through, why doesn’t DT just spin off T-Mobile USA (Keeping it as its own separate entity) letting keep its 3 billion it will acquire from the deal not passing through the FCC, DOJ, and Congress, pump a couple more billion in there (Making it either a majority stock holder or the largest stock holder in the new entity) and let it operate itself instead of shutting it down.

    I think this will be the best option. They would still acquire revenue from the company, and won’t have to worry about maintaining it. As a T-Mobile employee one thing I know is that our customers love us for our values, culture, and the way we keep them happy, and I would hate to work for a company (AT&T) that does not give a crap about the one thing that keeps it running, its customers.

  • TMoGuy

    This is extremely awesome of you to put this into perspective for us. Everyone is either for or against and is ready to bad mouth t mobile at any cost. T Mobile has been a great company and for five years I have never been this happy with a cell phone company. It really sucks that DT went through with this plan in the first place and T Mobile USA and it’s customers are the ones that have to suffer to this deal. So bravo! And thanks. From this hopefully people will actually read and not jump ship right away to put T Mobile USA in worse trouble then it is already in…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S3O75STXSRWE2XQ4AZJAQCDRYM Gerardo

    “Given all the real facts, it is definitely shown that AT&T should not be permitted to acquire T-Mobile USA”

    I Strongly Agree. And a proud loyal customer of T-Mobile, this BETTER not go through. I will jump ship and join Sprint if this merger occurs.

    JOIN SPRINT IF MERGER FOLLOWS THROUGH

    • Spooln3

      Yes please, go to sprint, their network and service is so much better. Hell try out Metro PCS while your there. ignorance…

      • Anonymous

        actuly sprint has put in many changes that have given them a higher customer satisfaction then AT&T.

      • Anonymous

        tin cans and string are better than AT&T

  • 1waymuzik

    I keep asking the question???? “Why didn’t google jump on tmobile?” They’ve got the bucks. They couldve allowed tmobile to run as an independent us company and all would be well. Or at least sell shares in the company so that jt wouldn’t have to be sold off only to be used for scrap parts. “No disassemble! Stephanie, Johnny 5 is alive!” Please don’t go Magenta! I’ll pay what the competitions rates are to help out. I think we all would. You’ve been so good to us throughout the years that its only fair. I know someone in the higher hierarchy of things has to hear us.

  • Tmorocks

    AT&T has confirmed they’ll be using their newly announced T-Mobile US acquisition — more specifically T-Mo’s 1700MHz AWS spectrum (currently providing 3G and “4G” HSPA+) — for a bigger, better LTE rollout (“4GS?”). See the slide above for details.
    Apple hasn’t announced any plans for an LTE iPhone or iPad yet but as the technology matures and coverage improves they almost certainly will. Meanwhile we can hope for better HSPA+ support in iPhone 5, as current iPhone and iPad radios max out at 7.2Mbps.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      All currently available HSPA+ chips support the AWS spectrum on the chip, so if the iPhone 5 supports HSPA+, it will likely support T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network.

    • Anonymous

      Too bad iPhone’s are crap.

  • Guest

    Sorry cant post the slide. Also, ATT has unlimited mobile to mobile across carriers.

    This is gonna be great!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chrisrockrocks

    ATT rocks. I am sick of the no coverage areas here in Central FLA. The orlando 42 is such a joke to those of us that live here.

    DT is controlled by the German Govt just as is happening here. The government will control what you drive how fast you drive what you eat and when you use the commode.

    Just sit there making love to your Nexus while the country goes down the tank.

    And where did this dude get his EE degree? He has no idea of what he speaks. Oh, yeah, I can cut and paste from other sites as well.

    The very dual banding that he alludes to will allow multimode phones and towers.

    This will rock, DUDE!

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      I’m confused. What? What are you talking about?

    • j-man

      Hey we all know that European things are better than American made things. For example, the cars LOL

    • Jeffreygreen1315

      Yeah this will be great for AT&T customers because you are tired of the poor cs and dropped calls! It sucks for T-Mo customers because we loose great cs and competative pricing!

  • http://twitter.com/DrBaconator Dr.Prof.Baconator

    Great Article!