Will T-Mobile Customers Have To Replace Phones After Merger Completes?

We touched on this in the wrap-up of this mornings AT&T Press call but apparently it’s causing such a stir we’re going to try and clarify a few things:

With AT&T planning to use T-Mobile’s existing 1700 MHz spectrum for future LTE rollouts, AT&T execs are saying that T-Mobile customers will have to replace their current 3G/4G phones once the merger is completed. This will be a mandatory upgrade unless of course you want your phone to work on edge only.

The spectrum they use for third-generation services, or 3G, will be re-purposed for 4G, which is faster. That would leave current T-Mobile phones without 3G. They would need to be replaced with phones that use AT&T’s 3G frequencies. Ralph de la Vega, AT&T’s head of wireless and consumer services, said this will happen as part of the normal phone upgrade process. “There’s nothing for them to worry about … it will be done over time, in a way that’s good for customers and good for AT&T,” says Ralph de la Vega.

This is bad news, no way around it, however the only way to positively spin this is that any change won’t occur for some time. The merger is expected to close sometime within 12-18 months and that’s when the real work begins. It could take years before the time comes where T-Mobile customers will be in a situation where they will be forced to make the switch. It’s not going to happen overnight and it’s likely if you were to sign a 2 year contract tomorrow, you’d run it out before you’d have to give it up.

So what will AT&T do for customers who are forced to give up their equipment? AT&T has mentioned that the cost of issuing replacement phones was built into the cost of the deal itself. Will they be giving away free phones that are of equal or better value? There is no way to answer that question yet but AT&T would have a riot on their hands if they just expected all T-Mobile customers to up and pay for new equipment.

Should you buy a new T-Mobile phone right now? Absolutely. There is no reason to suspect you’d have to get rid of the phone in any time frame that wouldn’t’ allow you to get your money’s worth. Aside from that, this deal is going to drive the FCC and DOJ crazy and until it’s approved, we can’t act as though it’s already happened.

T-Mobile has tried to clear up that they are still two separate companies. T-Mobile is going about business as usual and so should you. If you want the HTC Pyramid, get it! The T-Mobile G2X? Get it and then use it in good health.

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  • 4G_or_not_4G

    Good chance T-Mobile is going to stop putting money into their network and may stop allowing the fast speeds that they have, thus we may start suffering now…been through this before!

    • Galaxylover

      Please elaborate.

  • OCF

    MT4G Bands

    # 850 MHz;900 MHz;1800 MHz;1900 MHz;UMTS: Band IV (1700/2100)

    So, I won’t get 4G :’( But I will get 3G? :’( (after I get an ATT sim card, I’m sure)

    • Petey

      You will not get 4g nor 3g when using on the AT&T network.

      GSM/Edge: 850/900/1800/1900
      Tmobile 3G/4G: 1700/2100
      —-

      AT&T uses 3g/4g: 850/1900 (different from the GSM/Edge: 850/1900)

      • Guest

        Incorrect. The MT4G will work on ATT and does now when you swap in an ATT sim.

  • 4G_or_not_4G

    Best Buy buy back program:)

    • Bigger Mac

      I’m pretty sure Best Buy will stop taking Tmobile phones once the merger is complete

  • Teeiski

    I’m not happy about the merger. Tmobile is a brand that I have come to respect. I may have to go to Verizon just to avoid joining AT&T. I always wanted the Iphone but was too loyal to the Tmo brand because of their exceptional customer service and loyalty to me for being with them from the start.

    Not a happy camper right now but I’ll stay on until the end of my contract.

  • Petey

    Since I’m out of contract now (good thing I didn’t upgrade my phones, since there’s no attractive phones right now), I’m going to wait and see what’s going to happen with the merger/acquisition. If it does get approve, I’m probably going to wait until the next iphone reveal and go for that, or wait til there’s an android phone to come out with ATT that I want. If it doesn’t happen, then I’m going stick with T-Mobile and upgrade my lines whenever those new super phones lands on tmobile!

  • g2 forever

    this is funnny how att now owns tmobile . its funny how a couple months ago tmobile wad makin fun if att and they were at eachers throat lol with their commercials n their trash talk now there hugh as a kite like frends lol.. now wuts the websites new name for this forum?hummm attnews.com or attmonews.com lol or is it goin away?? good question isnt it

  • g2 forever

    hey also wut about the 4g hspa speeds is it gona work now or is it gunna get slower or faster now with att ? r we even guna have 4g cus att doesnt :/

  • g2 forever

    hspa+speeds sorry das wat i ment not hspa

  • J Contreras2172

    Darn! I Just purchased my Nexus S, I guess I’ll go return it since It’s still within the 15 days or I can hold out and enjoy the phone until this acquisition happens. Then, upgrade to an equal value at no cost to me according to what At&t states they will do for us T-Mobile customers.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6BZWRJOKVCUIZWHMEWABAUBLHQ gfam

    EVERYONE, this is what is going to happen when/if AT&T is given the green light to gobble up T-Mobile. AT&T will move – as quickly as possible – to TURN OFF and convert T-Mobile’s 3/4G 1700/2100 HSPA+ network to LTE. None of of the phones with 3/4G HSPA+ data that we previously bought, T-Mobile is selling now, or until the deal closes will continue to work once AT&T does this. AT&T WILL ATTEMPT TO FORCE YOU TO BUY ONE OF THEIR PHONES AT WHAT THEY FEEL IS A DISCOUNT. All of the back haul T-Mobile put in will IMMEDIATELY BE USED TO SUPPLEMENT AT&T”s current poor excuse for a network, providing some relief and improvement for their present customers. Former T-Mobile customers who fall for AT&T’s upgrade/phone replacement ploy will immediately be introduced to what SCREWED is. The will find themselves LOCKED INTO A 2 YEAR CONTRACT with AT&T’s HORRIBLE, MUCH SLOWER 14Mbps HSPA+ network that AT&T NOW CALLS 4G, HAVE HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, and BE PAYING MORE FOR IT!!!???? WTF???!!! In the meantime (while all this is occurring), after AT&T CHEWS UP AND SPITS OUT ANY REMAINING FORMER T-MOBILE CUSTOMERS, they will take well over a year to actually push out real 4G LTE and when they do, T-MOBILE CUSTOMERS WHO CONVERTED WILL STILL BE STUCK WITHIN THE TWO YEAR CONTRACT THEY AGREED TO WHEN THEY CONVERTED TO AT&T. All this time, AT&T will be spewing propaganda about how they are the FASTEST, BEST 4G network while maintaining the present ATROCIOUS DROPPED CALL RIDDLED, SLOW NETWORK that they have now with EVEN WORSE CUSTOMER SERVICE (because they refuse to change tactics) AND EVERYONE WILL BE PAYING HIGHER PRICES FOR THIS CRAP SERVICE!!! Don’t believe it, WATCH.

    • Bratty

      Wow. You need to get off those drugs. Try herbal stuff instead.

    • guest43

      Already experienced the above when Cingular bought ATT Wireless and then they branded back.

    • Anonymous

      Seriously, your writing hurts my brain. Paragraphs are your friend.

      If you bothered to read about this proposed merger, instead of sharing your rich fantasy life with the rest of us, you’d know that it will take 12 months or more simply for this merger to be approved. Thus, no change for a year.

      Both the FCC and FTC will crawl up AT&T’s ass to get further consumer concessions from them in exchange for signing off on the deal.There are assurances that your current Tmo agreement would be grandfathered into the merged company, for example (so your nightmare scenario of being “LOCKED INTO A 2 YEAR CONTRACT”–you’re aware you write just like a 13 year old girl, right?–doesn’t follow, unless the consumer finds merit in going with a contract with AT&T). Otherwise, there are plenty of AT&T phones on eBay right now, and no reason to believe there won’t be plenty for years to come; buy a used (whatever the successor to the Atrix or Inspire will be) and light it up on the AT&T system when you’re ready to retire your Tmo hardware, and keep your current Tmo deal going.

      Then, the companies will begin to merge, and that will consume another 12-18 months of simply sorting through assets and personnel and putting all the pieces in place. Then the process of migrating Tmo customers to AT&T’s 3G band will begin, and THAT will probably take 2-3 years, with a hard sunset date built in for the end of Tmo’s 3G. Any current Tmo phones should work until that day, since both companies currently use the same frequencies for voice and EDGE, differing only on 3G.

      Very shortly after that date, AT&T would launch its LTE, using the repurposed Tmo 3G band as part of the bandwidth required. By now, we’re somewhere around 2015, which (take a moment and look at the calendar if you must) is a long time from now. If the idea of LTE makes you happy, THEN you can sign a deal with AT&T–or Verizon, since they’ll have their system in place as well. Or you can be a retro-hipster in 2015 and continue rockin’ 3G on your grandfathered Tmo plan. You have choices now, and you will have them then. The future isn’t nearly as grim as you want to pretend it is, if you use your head.

      • Nyckat

        Where the future IS grim Geo, is in the customer service side of AT&T. I am STILL being billed- a joke since they bill one month in advance- and I left them mid-month with a fully up to date paid bill!
        I think I am going with metro pc or some pay 40 bucks for everything deal- and 400 for the phone, I will save a fortune- and if I am unhappy simply switch to the next new thing that comes out in the pre-paid line!

    • Anonymous

      If you don’t believe this guys rantings, go talk to a former cingular customer. Or a verizon customer that was forced to switch to AT&T when Verizon bought Alltel. AT&T will offer you the lowest discount on a replacement phone they can, plus lock you into a two year contract. You will get a better deal going to another company when your contract is up then you ever will when AT&T forces you onto their network.

  • TedC

    TMo will stop investing in new towers and build out while this is all happening and won’t be in a position to compete for good phones. Expect a long slow slide until TMo is fully acquired and then a rough transition. Basically this is a death blow for TMo. I know I will have to reconsider staying with them when I’m off contract.

  • Galaxylover

    I just lost HSPA+ connection with tmobile. I only have EDGE now. Is this for real?????

    • Msmyspaz1

      Ur phone just sucks

  • Derrickps3

    damn man, this can’t be true, tmobile been defeated by att???? wow, and att is known for terrible coverage…….all i know is they better give every last one of the tmobile members a free phone for this………..i might even leave when my contract expire in sept and just go to verizon……..i just can’t be under att, this is sad news to me

  • Derrickps3

    hell i might be going back to pre paid phones………..lol

  • Josh

    Help sign a petition to stop AT&T from buying T-Mobile. Make your voices heard. :) Looking for at least 3,000 signatures! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/stop-t-mobile-from-being-bought-by-att/

    • Anonymous

      Done!

    • Anonymous

      done

    • Analog Spirit

      Done.

  • Greyfoxxero

    Who in their right mind is gonna sign a 2 year contract for a phone that they won’t be able to use in a year?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/35HLVJSI34LMH5M274SCGWDZBY mike

    I think this is the worst news (so far…) I have heard about the buyout. There are ALOT of people who do not upgrade every time they can. I just got my Amazing G2 last month, yeah sure in 2 years there will be newer cutting edge phones. BUT, I took a lot of time choosing this phone. And you know what, AT&T just undermined every single T Mo customer by forcing us to buy a new phone, at some point, to work on their network. Certainly our Plans will not be honored at some point either.

    AND WHAT ABOUT MY @HOME LINE????? Gone for sure. I am pissed at the whole thing.

  • Tmoemployees

    As a tmobile rep it was hard today to take calls and listen to people be upset about this. I would feel the same exact way all of you do. Tmo is such a family atmosphere and nothing feels better than having someone,say “i only stYed with Tmo because of the customer service.” Today we all felt betrayed but what sucked the most is having to answer questions about all of this while having a smile on our face worried about of jobs. If we ave to merge with t&t then fine, but at least give us the chance to be able to give at&t customers the customer care that we were able to give our,tmo cutomers. Let us change at&ts customer service. Nothing is worse than going,to,work not knowing if your going to get laid off and leaving our tmo customers to crappy customer service

    • http://twitter.com/lookitsevan Evan Washington

      I am tmo sales rep… I am 100% with you on this one. Sorry customers, but as much as it sucks for you it sucks for us even more. So when you come in and see your local sales rep or call customer care. Express some love, we are, and always have been here to serve you. Im truly going to miss my job, atmosphere, and customers if this gets approved.

      • Shore

        lol lame

    • Wanda

      I have always told almost every rep I have ever had to speak with how much I love tmos customer service. I can be having the worst issue ever and even if you guys cant fix it, you’re still there to listen and apologize every which way you can. I know for a fact that AT & T is not like this. A co-worker of mine was on the phone with them for literally 45 minutes just trying to make a payment arrangement, which she has never even done before, they gave her a hard time, and she still got no resolve and doesnt know if her service will be interrupted. She even threatened to leave them and come to tmo, but I guess that wont really matter now. I have been with Tmo since they were voicestream and only had prepaid phones. I have talked to many cc reps from the bottom level all the way up to third tier and from the bottom of heart, I truly have never dealt with better people and I pray that this merger doesn’t happen for the sake of you all and the customers.

  • Bobby Jo

    Stupid At&t!!!!! I hope the feds deny this deal…..

  • Philosoraptor

    Now is a good time to try and sell my phone since it will be a paper weight in a year. Use that money to pay my termination fee and jump ship.

    • Nglive2

      I agree! That is a great idea, how else can we get back at them then to jump ship now. The hell with at&t. Lets start the “churning” now dammit

    • Scwrath88

      Exactly…lets show those rich execs that we are fed up. Why invest money in a new phone at T-Mobile when we can go to Sprint who is about the same price and coverage.

    • Anonymous

      Jesus, read up, Nobody has indicated your current phone will be a “paperweight” in a year. The merger isn’t even expected to complete for a year, and it will require 2-3 years for the companies to integrate their assets and reassign frequencies.

      • Philosoraptor

        Satan, I did read up. In a year’s time I will be close to renewing my contact but my phone’s resale value will be $0. Who wants to buy a smart phone that can only run on Edge? Yes I realize that T-Mobile’s 3G network will still be up, but that coverage is going to dwindle down little by little. A year from now most people bright enough to have a smart phone won’t touch a T-Mobile phone with a 10 ft pole.

        So, Satan, either I lose that money now by switching, or I lose it in a year by keeping my phone and having 0 buyers in a year when I want to sell it.

        • Anonymous

          Apparently, you haven’t read enough.

          First of all, the acquisition needs to pass through Federal hurdles. Had you done any reading in the last two days, AT&T’s stated 12 months to get approved could run even longer to an estimated 18 months. No changes happen with T-mobile during that time. It is widely expected that the Feds will rake AT&T over the coals, just as happened with Verizon when it bought Alltel. There will be a lot of work done on this transaction before it is green-lighted, and it will take a lot of time.

          Then, the combined company will be serving BOTH companies from those towers, not just AT&T. This will go on for probably 2-3 years, while AT&T digests its purchase and frames its plan to roll out LTE. A lot of this is behind the scenes work and doesn’t impinge upon current service (quiz any Verizon friends if they noticed anything negative while LTE was being prepped in the background). Your Tmo phone will continue to have 3G/HSPA+ service during this time, although it will come from a wider array of towers than it presently has, maybe the most robust service with Tmo many of us will ever experience.

          This takes us up to 2014 to 2015 before AT&T shuts off the 3G frequency of T-mobile and repurposes it for LTE. And, yes, by then, any Tmo phone will be not much more than a collector’s item. But until then, it is ludicrous to insist that your phone, one year from now, will have “$0 value”. And by that time, a ca. 2010 model phone wouldn’t have had significant resale value, anyway.

        • Philosoraptor

          Oh Satan, I liked you better when we made bets on Job and stuff.

          Anyway, phones do hold resale value… well mine do. I sold my last phone for $200. Once that 12 – 18 month period is over and the acquisition is official I can guarantee you that AT&T will be putting on the pressure to convert T-Mobile customers over.

          Their priority is to convert T-Mobile’s 3G towers to LTE. And where do these conversions always happen first? Big cities. Where do I live? A big city. In fact I live in DFW where AT&T is headquartered. Think they’ll leave their own headquarter last? Right….

          The most they’ll get is me sticking out my contact to the end, but I, for one, do not welcome our AT&T overlords with open arms.

        • Anonymous

          Tell you what, Chicken Little–You keep convincing yourself the sky is falling. That, and deciding whether your phones “hold their resale value” or whether “it will be a paper weight in a year”.

          If you want to believe the End Is Near, then have at it. I, on the other hand, prefer to keep up on current events, read from knowledgeable writers on this proposed acquisition, and have a sober, rational view of the unfolding events.

          Best of luck to you.

        • Philosoraptor

          It’s Jesus to you!

          So Satan, tell me why any of us should be excited about paying MORE for LESS? For 700 minutes + unlimited everything + phone protection I’m paying about $140 a month. On AT&T that will run me $209, on Sprint it’s just over $160, and on Verizon it’s $170. OH JOY! Please tell me that they include lube for the screwing they are going to give us.

          Besides being some AT&T troll (I’ve never seen so much perfect punctuational in my life on a message board. throw in a typo for Go… for my sake), I don’t know why you’re perfectly fine with it. If you don’t use data then maybe, but just maybe. Either way it’s still more for less.

        • Anonymous

          You seem to believe that I am concerned with your thoughts and feelings.

          I’m not.

          My only concern is to correct the misinformation caused by your apparent estrogen overload the other day. That mission was already accomplished. At this point, I’ll leave you to your phobias, misconceptions and irrational outbursts. Go crazy. Literally. It is all the same to me.

          Best of luck to you.

        • Philosoraptor

          Come on. For once I’ll be serious. Tell us why we should excited about paying more for less? That’s not misinformation. Anyone can go to AT&T’s website and run the numbers themselves. Numbers don’t lie. You will pay more for the same service (or in my case less) .

          FYI I’m on 2 person family plan if you want to run the numbers yourself. And I misspoke by saying 700 minutes. That’s what AT&T would give me, when right now I have 750 on T-Mobile. Also AT&T would cap me at 4 gb for $45 per line while T-Mobile gives me 5 gb for $30 per line. My fiance hits 2 gb a month regularly and with AT&T it is either 2 or 4 gb so I had to choose the larger one.

          If the merger is approved then I’m going to be paying more even if I don’t move to AT&T. It’s not good for customers. I can handle $20 – $50 more month, but I am not happy about it.

        • Anonymous

          ::sigh::

          Is it possible you’re not aware that the FCC, FTC and possibly even the DoJ will be up AT&Ts ass like a colonoscopy? This isn’t going to be rubber-stamped any point along the way, perhaps even more scrutinized than the Verizon/Alltel deal. As T-mobile is known for low-price service plans, there will be oversight by the Feds to ensure consumer-friendly pricing doesn’t disappear.

          Ralph de la Vega has already said that current Tmo plans would be grandfathered. http://www.intomobile.com/2011/03/22/att-says-tmobile-get-keep-its-pricing-structure/

          We know that AT&T is dedicated to making this merger happen, as shown by the $3 Billion (plus bandwidth) play-or-pay fee it would pay if the deal falls through. This places AT&T over a barrel, and the Feds can be expected to demand plenty to protect the consumer and general public (who own those very airwaves the cell companies use).

          Again, T-mobile won’t vanish in a puff of smoke when the merger is approved 12-18 months (or more) from now. It takes time to integrate two functional companies. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Tmo remained as-is, a subsidiary of AT&T, until LTE was ready to go. AT&T had made noises months ago that it would be testing LTE is a few markets by the end of this year, but a merger will occupy the company’s full attention, especially if combining the companies causes technical changes. They’re rolling out their HSPA+ and figure to be limiting their “4G” efforts to that for the near term–just as with T-mobile, HSPA+ buys AT&T time until they’re ready to roll out their LTE products and service.

          Now, when LTE is ready to go, that will certainly spell the end of Tmo as a service provider, as its 3G band will be repurposed to LTE service, but regardless of which company you were subscribing to, you’d be needing new service to get LTE; just as new 3G phones were needed to upgrade from EDGE (and new service plans resulted), there will be a need for new LTE hardware as well. There is every likelihood that your grandfathered plan with Tmo wouldn’t have survived the change to LTE even if this AT&T thing never happened, as the company would have charged a premium for the premium service.

          And by this time–2014 to 2015–just about anyone would be needing a new phone to replace their 2011 model. Meanwhile, if the data sheet for the LG G2x is to be believed, it will carry 3G bands for both companies, perhaps the harbinger of a trend for Tmo phones for the next couple of years and enhancing value during a transition.

          As an industry trend, people are talking less and less on their phones, and using them more for text messages and data (internet and social media pushes). Where voice was once a profit center for the cell providers, and then text messages (before unlimited became the norm), data will be the new revenue generator. Tmo is already raising its data prices, as has every other company.

          The bottom line is that change is happening throughout the industry. Industry observers will note that the Federal scrutiny of this deal should protect T-mobile customers in the short-term, but in the long-term (2015 and beyond) there will be plan and fee changes to deal with and new technologies come online, which would have happened with Tmo anyway.

        • Philosoraptor

          Long story short I agree with alot of what you said.

          We eventually would be paying higher prices but I don’t agree full with saying that “would have happened with Tmo anyway”. Yes overtime it would have gone up, but never to the price of AT&T.

          Based on AT&T past, grandfathered plans will only work until you want to renew. If they change that for T-Mobile customers I would be very surprised. But hey, you never know. Worth gambling your service on? Not for me.

          No one is sure how long AT&T will take to bring down T-Mobile’s 3G towers. Some are saying a few years until completion, but we don’t know if that is 75% in the first months followed by the last 25% in a year. I do not think they will drag their feet. If you want to gamble your disposable income on it then go right ahead. You obviously aren’t concerned about higher costs in the long run, less choices, or possible lack of service during the transition.

        • Anonymous

          The projections I have seen of the expected merger would have the combined force of the towers from both companies blasting out both services. This has the potential to provide the best wide-area coverage Tmo has ever known once the AT&T network is assisting.

          Instead of “taking down” the Tmo towers, they’d be left up and sending out Tmo 3G, *until* LTE is ready to launch, at which time the band spectrum housing Tmo 3G would be replaced by LTE for the combined AT&T. Not something which would be phased in, but instead something which would be off one day and on the next.

          As for “gambling [my] disposable income”, did you notice that Even More Plus is nearly gone the way of the dodo, since corporate must have discovered that the enticement of lower monthly pricing didn’t lock customers in, and thus led to more churn? Or that the data charges are being raised? Even if this whole thing with AT&T hadn’t come along, there seemed to have been marching orders from DT to increase revenue ASAP. The good times to come at T-mobile would have been less so with or without AT&T.

        • Liphot

          i really dont,t like any of those company especially att thats why i have no landline phone. i think i would buy a prepaid phone like cricket where there is no contracts really nice phone and everything is unlimited for $60.00

  • Jeanninecomeau

    If we’d have wanted to be AT&T customers, we’d have been AT&T customers.

  • BeVol13

    I am the type of person that finds a good phone, gets equipment protection, and uses it for 3 years. Then when I get a new one, after months of debate, I keep my old phone, which are still in perfect working order, as my back up phone. So what this means for me is no more back up phones and I’m gonna have to upgrade sooner then I want. Also what’s going to happen to my wifi calling and @home service?

  • Nospam

    Look if you have a ohone that handles the 1900Mhz you can still use att 3g. I have the motorla defy and if the merger happens I can still use it on ATT.

    • Thehawk555

      That phone sucks take it from an employee

  • JBLmobileG1

    I have a feeling this merger won’t happen. For one Walmarts very own branded cell phone “Walmart Family Mobile” is powered by Tmobile. This would effect those customers as well because they would require new phones. This would most certainly piss off those customers and I don’t think Walmart wants for that to happen considering customers must buy their phones at an outright price. I really hope Verizon, Sprint, and Walmart team up to help stop this from happening. Those companies combined should have a bigger influence than crappy AT&T. Plus there is Simple Mobile which I am sure made a deal with Tmobile to use their towers. Iam sure there was contracts involved.

    • Anonymous

      This is a problem for Walmart YEARS from now. It is more likely that Walmart would abandon this service (if it isn’t profitable for them) before T-mobile surrendered its 3G band. Walmart drops products and services which don’t return a minimum standard of profitability.

      Read up, educate yourself. If you’ve followed electronics for more than the last few minutes, you know that we can’t even imagine the sort of products and players we’ll find in the marketplace in 3-4 years, which is the timeframe for the most drastic changes to Tmo in the proposed merger.

  • now_onTMO

    i love tmobile to death, but not really that worried about the merge…umm well except for higher rate plans on att if the deal ever finalized.. ughh

    is tmobile doing real bad here in the US or is it worse in europe that DT has to come up with such ridiculous idea of selling tmoUS? pffft..

  • Scwrath88

    So can someone please clear this question up then?:

    What is going to happen to T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network, the network that they have been enhancing and boasting about and creating new phones specifically designed to run on.

    The info i’m gathering is that, its going to be dead technology is less than 2 years, and all the money customers have invested in new handsets will only be useful until the deal is complete.

    This sounds so bad, I can hardly believe it.

    • Anonymous

      You’re really overthinking this.

      HSPA+ was always only a bridge to LTE for T-mobile. Now that the companies are planning on combining their assets, it will accelerate the addition of LTE. At that time, HSPA+ would have gone by the wayside, too.

      More to the point, we’re discussing a 2014-2015 timeframe for the HSPA+ service to vamoose, which means if you buy your phones on a two year schedule, you’d have dumped the HSPA+ phone you have now, anyway, replaced it with another one, and finally been ready to swap out with AT&T for a third one.

      There is a lot of time between now and then, and a lot of dominoes need to fall first. Don’t sweat this. Enjoy your life.

      • Mark

        From some of the stuff that came out during the buyout announcement, I think HSPA+ was more a pier than a bridge. One of AT&T’s comments was that “T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE.” Cite: http://www.tmonews.com/2011/03/breaking-att-acquires-t-mobile-from-deutsche-telekom/

        • Anonymous

          True, it was a stall offense while the company tried to figure out how to acquire the bandwidth necessary to bring out LTE, but it also served to satisfy the customers of Tmo. This is why there were frequent rumors of partnerships with Clear and/or Sprint, as Tmo sought the necessary bandwidth to roll out “true” 4G.

          AT&T,as we see, had the same problem, and the joining of the two companies solves the problem for both.

  • jlwstl

    damn i just got a htc hd7 with tmobile a month ago will that phone still work or will i need a new one

    • Patrix_star

      Only on Egde — 3G spectrums differ.

  • Heyyou488

    So if you have a phone supports: 850 MHz;900 MHz;1800 MHz;1900 MHz;UMTS/HSPA+: AWS Band IV / 2100 / 1900 / 850 Wouldn’t that work for AT&T and T-Mobile even after the buyout?

  • Dfireballwow

    GUYS READ IT AGAIN THIS IS GOING TO BE 2 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.

  • http://twitter.com/Spokker Spokker

    If there are no providers that offer off-contract plans, I guess cell phone service is not in my future. I definitely won’t be a customer with AT&T.

  • AdrianG2

    Can the title of this article be fixed already.

  • AdrianG2

    Can the title of this article be fixed already.

  • AdrianG2

    Can the title of this article be fixed already.

  • Loco4e

    Is ATT going to give same price value of my current phone??

    I spend a lot of money $$$

  • vo5

    How about UMA?

  • http://twitter.com/GlennAllenN Glenn Allen

    Given that I have little (or no) doubt that I’ll be dropping T-Mobile/at&t (since there is little (or no) doubt that they’ll discontinue their PAYG plan(s) just as Verizon did with Alltel), then, yes, I’ll have to get a new phone (with some other provider [Sprint? Does Sprint even have PAYG?])… if I want any service at all.

    • Guest

      Idk where you are located, but what about Metro PCS??? 

  • Nick

    Looks like my new G2 will be nothing but a fancy media player when my contract expires.

    • AdrianG2

      LOL! Same here man

  • Anonymous

    Yes you will have to replace your phones, but at&t will offer comparable phones free with no contract. i work in an at&t sales call center and answered thousands of Alltel transitioning customer calls, the way it worked out was whatever type device you have, att offered a similar or comparable phone, allowed alltel customer to keep their really good rate plans, and did not make you sign a contract unless you want a device different from what they are offering you. so lets say you have the Samsung vibrant 4G when you time comes to select a phone, you will be offered an HTC inspire 4G, Atrix 4G or and another mid range smartphone, then they offered another 3 phones(6 in all)which were quick MSG phones and a couple flip phones. so they will give you options, you do not need to worry. HOWEVER!!!!!!! We are currently FORCING CINGULAR migrated customers who have REALLY good plans, change their plans and upgrade to a new at&t phone(three phones are offered contract free) and if they do not change their rate plans, at&t will finalize their accounts by MAY15TH!!!!! THESE PEOPLE ARE FUCKING PIST and i hate talking to them. I hope that this deal will not go through and dont think that it will, if it does, then at&t will probably get certain markets and will have to sell some markets to Verizon or sprint because that is what happened with alltel, the FCC forced at&t to sell a little less than half of the alltel customers to Verizon.

    • Anonymous

      Oh yeah, the Alltel customers HAVE to at least try the service out, you CAN’T refuse to receive a replacement phone, if you do, at&t sends you the one they feel is closest to what you got automatically. especially if you are under contract at the time. They give alltel customers 30 days to try the service out, and if you do not want to stay, you can leave and your contract from T-Mobile(New or Old) will be squashed WITHOUT ETF. Hope this clears up some stuff for some people. This is how at&t handled alltel, lets see how things shape up.

      • Northernborn76

        I thought Verizon bought Alltel. We had Alltel and Verizon became our new carrier after the merger.

  • Catsigh

    So it’s so long nice innovative phones, decent prices, good customer service and few dropped calls and God only knows how many jobs. hello metered internet service, higher prices, less service, less support, at&t attitude and lets not forget the over price over promoted iphone. Lucky us.

  • Bashaallen

    I hate AT&T. T Mobile has been a great company and I am very sorry that it is going away. Just when you think you have the best wireless service, the big blue and white monster eats it up

  • Pleasestopthebashing

    This is the problem with blogs, so many wrong opinions and everyone thinks they are experts providing uneducated opinions and write stuff that worry others. First, I am not an expert either but I do know people that work within T-mobile and AT&T, plus I am highly involved on mobile industry news. If you are worried please take 3 minutes to read this.

    First, I love T-mobile, it’s been a great company with its flaws as any other, but in my opinion it provides great value, the best customer service (not just my opinion as you can see all the JD Power Awards), and in the last couple of years they have delivered great devices and let’s not forget that Android introduced its first device via T-mobile. So do I want T-mobile to be bought by AT&T…of course not, but here are the facts:

    Although it’s not set in stone, AT&T will most likely be approved by the FCC and regulators to acquire T-mobile since they will have to pay roughly $3 billion to T-mobile if the deal does not go through…this tells you that AT&T lawyers and lobbysts have done their diligence to make a proposal that will most likely be approved…once again I am saying most likely, no one can know for sure, but it’s highly possible…you may not like AT&T but you need to know that they will not gamble $3 billion dollars.

    If this deal is approved, it will take about 12 to 18 months to get cleared by all authorities (FCC, etc.), therefore at this given time AT&T will start fine tuning the strategy to migrate customers, this may easily take 12 additional months or more since they have to integrate internal systems, phase out the T-mobile branding and educate consumers (both new and existing), and many more activities…all of this takes time.

    What does this mean for you? It will be about 2 or 2 1/2 years before you see the T-mobile brand phase out and have an impact on your plan or phone…more about this next.

    Most likely AT&T will honor your existing plans, this is known in the industry as having your plans “grandfathered” (believe me they have done it with other acquisitions, most importantly with Cingular)…remember they know that if they cancel your plans you may opt for another carrier. So, you will keep your existing plans for quite some time until they can not longer keep it on their systems, and by the time this happens you will most likely have better options as plans on the industry are cheaper or offer more minutes for your money…don’t believe me, just remember how many minutes you were getting on your plan 3 years ago.

    What about my cellphone/smartphone/device? Your phone will continue to work to make and receive calls, send text messages and use internet using EDGE in 3 years, 5 years…and many years from now…AT&T and T-mobile use GSM and this will continue to work for customers. For those customers that have a Smartphone or device where you need 3G access, AT&T will not turn it off for some time, most likely they will keep it until they are ready to transition to LTE…it’s not in their interest to shut down the 3G from T-mobile in order to overflow their towers with new traffic…this will be transitioned slowly. In regards to 4G, it’s a similar scenario, and AT&T will benefit from the existing coverage T-mobile has on its HSPA network expansion.

    If and when AT&T decides to shut down 3G or 4G, remember not anytime soon, those customers affected will be offered a comparable device at no extra cost to offset those customers impacted…of course they will ask you to extend your contract for 2 more years, but you’ll be getting a newer device…so its kind of like getting an upgrade…remember this may occur in about 2 1/2 years or even 3 years.

    So to wrap this up, yes I think this transaction it’s going to happen…and I don’t like it, I love my magenta and wish it stayed like this, but the reality is that in terms of revenue it is not providing Deutch Telekom the income they expect…it’s just business at the end. But I can only tell you is stop the negativity, stop thinking about leaving T-mobile now since it’s not going anywhere for some time, and take advantage of the awesome plans T-mobile has and the new devices coming up. It’s still an exciting time to be a T-mobile customer, and if at the end the unfortunate fate is to be transitioned to AT&T you will have the opportunity to see your options at that time…in my case I will keep my existing plan which provides the best value out there and I’m looking forward to the announced T-mobile G2X which was just announce… No way I’m leaving my beloved Magenta, I’ll stick till the end.

    • Anonymous

      Hmmm…accurate, thoughtful and reasoned. Writing like this has no place in this thread. If you can’t be hysterical and irrational, then keep your thoughts to yourself.

      • http://www.volkswagen.de Quailallstar

        Amen! :) hahaha

    • YouSuck

      you sound like an att rep ! please eat Sh$t

    • kracker

      All well and good for people with contracts. However as a T_Mobile customer with an Even More Plus plan, I don’t know what this merger means for me. Hell, the whole reason I got T-Mobile was for the plans. Will AT&T honor non-contract plans? Will they offer people on non-contracts plans new phones? Will they give us a contract with no hassle, considering my credit is not so good. So, I think the answer is no. Looks like I’ll be going back to prepaid and just get a tablet on Verizon.

    • Gambo

      Umm they do NOT grandfather anything. I know because I’ve just sought legal counsel for AT&T giving me a date of August 31st to get a new more expensive plan and phone or they will cancel my service. I have had a phone with them for along time and they want me off it.  Their Customer Service told me a few months ago they would’nt actually do it but that my reception would degrade. But today on the 10th  they shut my phone off for a few hours and when I called them they turned it back on . They said they did it so I’d call them and get me to switch over. The notice was August 31 for the service to be terminated and like I told the guy today,  if you give me a date of termination and then you turn it off 3 weeks earlier to get me to call you it’s unjustified especially since I’ve called them like 10 times since they notified me and I told them my postion and what I was planning on doing. My bill has never been late, no issues, so they really crossed the line today pulling that stunt.

      • Katie

        They shut off your service just to get you to call them?  That sounds highly illegal.  No surprise coming from AT&T, though.

  • Pleasestopthebashing

    This is the problem with blogs, so many wrong opinions and everyone thinks they are experts providing uneducated opinions and write stuff that worry others. First, I am not an expert either but I do know people that work within T-mobile and AT&T, plus I am highly involved on mobile industry news. If you are worried please take 3 minutes to read this.

    First, I love T-mobile, it’s been a great company with its flaws as any other, but in my opinion it provides great value, the best customer service (not just my opinion as you can see all the JD Power Awards), and in the last couple of years they have delivered great devices and let’s not forget that Android introduced its first device via T-mobile. So do I want T-mobile to be bought by AT&T…of course not, but here are the facts:

    Although it’s not set in stone, AT&T will most likely be approved by the FCC and regulators to acquire T-mobile since they will have to pay roughly $3 billion to T-mobile if the deal does not go through…this tells you that AT&T lawyers and lobbysts have done their diligence to make a proposal that will most likely be approved…once again I am saying most likely, no one can know for sure, but it’s highly possible…you may not like AT&T but you need to know that they will not gamble $3 billion dollars.

    If this deal is approved, it will take about 12 to 18 months to get cleared by all authorities (FCC, etc.), therefore at this given time AT&T will start fine tuning the strategy to migrate customers, this may easily take 12 additional months or more since they have to integrate internal systems, phase out the T-mobile branding and educate consumers (both new and existing), and many more activities…all of this takes time.

    What does this mean for you? It will be about 2 or 2 1/2 years before you see the T-mobile brand phase out and have an impact on your plan or phone…more about this next.

    Most likely AT&T will honor your existing plans, this is known in the industry as having your plans “grandfathered” (believe me they have done it with other acquisitions, most importantly with Cingular)…remember they know that if they cancel your plans you may opt for another carrier. So, you will keep your existing plans for quite some time until they can not longer keep it on their systems, and by the time this happens you will most likely have better options as plans on the industry are cheaper or offer more minutes for your money…don’t believe me, just remember how many minutes you were getting on your plan 3 years ago.

    What about my cellphone/smartphone/device? Your phone will continue to work to make and receive calls, send text messages and use internet using EDGE in 3 years, 5 years…and many years from now…AT&T and T-mobile use GSM and this will continue to work for customers. For those customers that have a Smartphone or device where you need 3G access, AT&T will not turn it off for some time, most likely they will keep it until they are ready to transition to LTE…it’s not in their interest to shut down the 3G from T-mobile in order to overflow their towers with new traffic…this will be transitioned slowly. In regards to 4G, it’s a similar scenario, and AT&T will benefit from the existing coverage T-mobile has on its HSPA network expansion.

    If and when AT&T decides to shut down 3G or 4G, remember not anytime soon, those customers affected will be offered a comparable device at no extra cost to offset those customers impacted…of course they will ask you to extend your contract for 2 more years, but you’ll be getting a newer device…so its kind of like getting an upgrade…remember this may occur in about 2 1/2 years or even 3 years.

    So to wrap this up, yes I think this transaction it’s going to happen…and I don’t like it, I love my magenta and wish it stayed like this, but the reality is that in terms of revenue it is not providing Deutch Telekom the income they expect…it’s just business at the end. But I can only tell you is stop the negativity, stop thinking about leaving T-mobile now since it’s not going anywhere for some time, and take advantage of the awesome plans T-mobile has and the new devices coming up. It’s still an exciting time to be a T-mobile customer, and if at the end the unfortunate fate is to be transitioned to AT&T you will have the opportunity to see your options at that time…in my case I will keep my existing plan which provides the best value out there and I’m looking forward to the announced T-mobile G2X which was just announce… No way I’m leaving my beloved Magenta, I’ll stick till the end.

  • Really, no 4G

    I just re up’ed my family plan via Costco. When contacted about the merger, and any implications to Costco customers, Costco support quickly wiped their hands of any direct involvement in the matter (nice to know that Costco customer care only goes so far).

    I had wondered how the news would affect T-Mo’s commitment to increasing “4g” infrastructure and had assumed any new builds would be brought to a standstill. I had no delusions that I would get 4g in my little 80,000 person suburb in the near future, and the purchase by AT&T affirms that suspicion.

    This article seems to give me a two year head start at finding another provider. AT&T is crap, and no amount of PI work will make me feel otherwise. I don’t want the I phone and I damn sure don’t want to be a part of a bad company. Maybe Metro PCS will have grown by then. Or maybe it is time to start buying phones outright and just go month to month? Ahh, in 2 years, maybe some new wimax plus 7g technology will be present and Obama will have mandated universal cell service.

    • Guest

      “Costco customer service”? There’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

  • Nyckat

    We finally got out of our God forsaken AT&T contract- I dumped the i-phones and we went to android phones with T Mobile . Love the customer service t mobile offers. AT&T was the WORSE ever- service/prices and accurate billing- every month there was an issue. THANKFULLY I found an OUT for the contract WHEN AT&T robs us of of customer service, and droid phones- not to mention the dropped calls of at least 10 per day in Manhattan- an no service in some places in the city (t mobile has wonderful coverage!) It is called a “Material Adverse” clause..here is T Mobiles quote
    T-MOBILE
    Changes to the Agreement or Charges. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, IF WE: (A) INCREASE THE CHARGES INCLUDED IN YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING ACCESS RATE PLAN, OR (B) MODIFY A MATERIAL TERM OF OUR AGREEMENT WITH YOU AND THE MODIFICATION WOULD BE MATERIALLY ADVERSE TO YOU, WE WILL NOTIFY YOU OF THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION AND YOU CAN CANCEL THAT SERVICE WITHOUT PAYING A CANCELLATION FEE (WHICH IS YOUR ONLY REMEDY) BY FOLLOWING THE CANCELLATION INSTRUCTIONS IN THE NOTICE. IF YOU DO NOT CANCEL YOUR SERVICE BY FOLLOWING THOSE INSTRUCTIONS, OR YOU OTHERWISE ACCEPT THE CHANGE, THEN YOU AGREE TO THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION, EVEN IF YOU PAID FOR SERVICE IN ADVANCE. IF THE NOTICE DOES NOT SAY HOW LONG YOU HAVE TO CANCEL, THEN IT IS WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE NOTICE, UNLESS A LONGER PERIOD IS REQUIRED BY LAW. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, CHARGES FOR PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OPTIONAL SERVICES, OR ANY OTHER CHARGES THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING ACCESS RATE PLAN (SUCH AS DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE, ROAMING, DOWNLOADS, AND THIRD-PARTY CONTENT) ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE, AND IF YOU CONTINUE TO USE THOSE SERVICES, OR YOU OTHERWISE AGREE TO THE CHANGES, THEN YOU AGREE TO THE NEW CHARGES. VISIT OUR WEB SITE, RETAIL LOCATIONS, OR CALL CUSTOMER CARE FOR CURRENT CHARGES.

    They are , IMHO, directly hurting me by forcing me to be stuck with horrible customer service- not to mention buying a new phone- dumping my i phone because I no longer wanted to stay with ATT- having to “learn” to use a new phone- now going to have to give up my new phone because it’s 4g, and having to deal with ATT once again- when the buy out is done- end my contract- or take me to court!

  • Sylvia Allen80

    t-mobile customer service SUCKS since the AT&T takeover! I’m so going to Verizon!!!!!

    • Gentleman559

      Good luck. When they suck you dry like they did to our family you will regret ever going to Verizon. Mark my words.

    • Guest

      I have had only good experiences with T-Mobile customer service. And you’re talking to someone in the US who speaks English.

    • Guest

      I have had only good experiences with T-Mobile customer service. And you’re talking to someone in the US who speaks English.

    • Craigalderman

      No problems w/ TMoblie here in the past 7 years I have had them. Will leave though if ATT acquires!!! Have HATED ATT products and services for a looooong time. That is why I do not have ATT NOW!!!

  • Leighyanagihara

    i agree with sylvia my internet sucks i sometimes cant get on even though i have full bars and some of my calls dont even get through

  • Lyn

    I am NOT happy with this  Merge at all.  I have been with Tmobile over 10 years.
    I have a good repor with them.  I love Tmobile.  I am already compaing all the
    companies with each other

  • Lyn

    I am NOT happy with this  Merge at all.  I have been with Tmobile over 10 years.
    I have a good repor with them.  I love Tmobile.  I am already compaing all the
    companies with each other

  • Nerdacide

    Hey, When The Takeover Happens, I’m Switching To Sprint Because;
    A) Cheaper Than Verizon
    B) Faster Than AT&T
    C) I Love “Unlimited” Data Because With AT&t Unlimited=2GB Of Data & Verizon It’s 4GB

  • Jefferykazimer

    i have a samsung fascinate with verizon wireless…works great, bill isnt too bad, but only conspiracy i beleive in is that, 3g, 4g, 5g, etc….so dumb, just create a network that can be updated, and phones can receive firmware updates to change the different bandwidths or frequencies, or whatever…its just for the money, kinda like pharmaceutical companies, theres always a new pill here in america, then 6 months later u see a commercial about deadly side effects or repercussions….bwahahahah