So What Will A T-Mobile / AT&T Network Look Like?

Let’s put aside rumors of AT&T having to divest parts of the T-Mobile network in order to receive FCC and DOJ approval as we look at what the two conjoined networks could look like. Fierce Mobile acquired some images courtesy of American Roamer, an “independent source of wireless carrier network coverage and spectrum information” has gone and done just that. In this block of pretty pictures of the US wireless market, you’ll see both the current coverage and spectrum holdings of both companies as well as what the company could look like when a deal is signed, sealed and delivered.

While most journalists, analysts and tech pundits agree along with the CEO of AT&T Randall Stephenson that they may be forced to divest some assets in order to get the deal to go through, this is just a look at what a potential deal could yield. Of course AT&T has said in no uncertain terms they will refarm T-Mobile’s existing AWS network in order to further buildout the AT&T LTE network and do away with overlapping towers. Sad.

For the full breakdown with lots of pretty pictures of coverage areas hit the Fierce Mobile link!

Fierce Mobile

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  • Wow, all that coverage and the new AT&T still won’t be able to pump out faster HSPA+ speeds than T-Mobile could alone until LTE, maybe… Truly sad.

    • Kerry

      Yeah, I’d expect us to see slower data speeds with a caps and for more money when we are forced to switch to AT&T Plans (yes, I know not for a while). I will wait and see what happens with the deal and then decide in a year where my cell contract/business goes.

      If what I think is going to happen, happens; Verizon here I come.

    • Anonymous

      Various carriers holding own spectrum assets- take a look picture of below:

  • looks..nice

  • from the first picture it is obvious hat they are all most the same)))) very good picture) i liked it much)
    in general good article, very informative) thanks)

  • Manusferrera

    great informative article.

  • I don’t think that people have an issue with the POTENTIAL for increased coverage. Who would say boo hoo to that? I think that the real issue is with AT&T and their policies from pricing to their crippling of Android devices to their horrible plans. Oh and then there’s that customer service issue.

    See, no problem with increased coverage at all.

    • Petey

      I am somewhat excited to see increased in coverage & phone selection, but what you mentioned above is true, I don’t want to see my monthly bill increased and their ripped off plans. Don’t care much about their customer services… as long as they get my shiet done correctly.

      Now about increase in coverage. Sure, we all would experience better coverage, BUT do you think we would get more drop calls since AT&T will add 3x million users (someone correct me) from T-Mobile… wouldn’t that create an network overcapacity? I’m not quite sure what to expect from this. With the exclusivity with the iphone, it created a problem with the network being over packed with users, now with this merge (if it does go through) then wouldn’t that create a bigger problem (of the same issue that wasn’t really resolved)?

      • Samus

        That is exactly the point. There will be no increase in coverage immediately following the merger and you can’t switch everyone together with the pull of a lever as they want you to believe and you are adding more subscribers to an already bad network. Also, your idea of better phone selection is a huge lie too. If this merger is allowed you will see progressively less phone options because right now the cell phone companies fight for rights to certain phones. Why would a company give two craps about a different phone when they own nearly half the cell industry. You will have to adopt the policies of ATT and Verizon of “Take our phones and plans or just don’ t have service.” This is where the whole duopoly issue comes in.

        • Anonymous

          Spot on comment Samus, says it all in a nutshell. It’s interesting to see how others are buying into AT&T’s snake oil sales pitch.

        • Petey and Samus,

          You’re both spot on. When they have users absorbed into the network so they can repurpose the spectrum for 4G, you better believe there will be huge issues. I haven’t read anywhere where they have started to detail how they would roll this out. Has anyone else? Have I missed something? Seems to me this would help to quell a lot of the fears and trepidation of the current T-Mo subscribers. It sure would help me, even though the pricing piece is still at the forefront of my concerns.

    • HeLLkAt31

      Now, thats what I’m saying! I agree 110%. If the merge would mean keeping Tmobiles plans I would put all my chips in this merger. But you know that ain’t gonna happen! F@k!!!

  • so apparently it will allow T-mobile customers to have more coverage area but is the crummy service and high prices worth having coverage in nowhere midwest?

  • switchola

    very nice boss, you come up with some solid informative journalism. I’ve been looking everywhere for a good combo coverage map. should’ve known tmonews would lay it in my lap!

    Okay, so my only question is who says they’ll actually tear down overlapping cell sites? With spectrum needs being at an all time high, why wouldn’t they keep them available to handle the deluge of data needs that compound year after year? Why not turn them off for a year or two to save the cash they need to and then switch then on as needed? Or sell some off to metro pcs or leap to give themselves a better name? A goliath that helps David?

    Unlikely probably, but it’s an option I don’t see any problems with. Could be a good move on top of ATTs steal of the century T-Mobile deal.

  • Anonymous

    So where is the coverage increase from day one? I don’t see much Pink showing up on that map.

    Is it safe to say that the AT&T and T-Mobile Overlap is what will become LTE?

    • Anonymous

      The way I interpret the map, that would be in the maroon areas where the two networks overlap coverage. A lot of holes will get filled at a local level that you can’t see from a nationwide map.

      Then add in all the blue areas for T-mobile customers and it really does look substantial.

  • Bimmerz

    The ONLY coverage “map” I want to see, is the one pictured in image #14 by T-Mobile! Unfortunately the only way we’re ever going to see this beautiful T-Mobile map, is if the deal fails. *sighs*

    • Anonymous

      Would be nice wouldn’t it? Perfect actually.

  • Bman325i

    a PLAGUE

  • I just want all that to be listed under “T-Mobile.”

  • Eatme

    at&t could benefit with t-mobile……if and only IF they fire all at&t employees and keep the t-mobile ones…..JDP awards only come from one side of that transaction so…..that and the fact that t-mobile is buying up bands to help make its sale to at&t look much better……


    notice the way the word memphis covers their’s and our’s southwestern tennessee dead spot.

    i still will have to drive 50+ miles to be in 3g coverage so why do i care?

    my t-mo edge phones will work fine for me.

  • Punisher2all

    I want to know what will happen to all of Tmo’s effort to bring 42 mps speeds? If AT&T really wants spectrum, improved coverage, etc, etc. Why don’t they put that 39 BILLION dollars to improve their network and customer service?

    • Anonymous

      if i read correctly, AT&T will be spending another $8 billion on top of what they planned for the T-mobile merger.

      They haven’t said anything publicly about improving their dismal customer service though.

      • Rolltide

        They have said one of the main reasons they have aquired tmo is because of our frontline and customer service.

        • ghostnik

          yeah but they will be getting rid of tmobile customer service, to reduce cost so thats BS, the reason they want tmobile is b/c tmobile was smart enough to build there network on one type of band or on a unified band so that when tmobile wants to upgrade there network it would be eaiser b/c everything is unified, while retarded AT&T built there whole network on server bands of frequency, now for them to upgrade there network it will take them a lot of money b/c all of the different bands that they would have to change to the new individual band. AT&T just made a bad business move when they built there network on so many different bands and imho the only reason they haven’t paid for this is b/c of mass appeal to the iphone which technically sucks on there network b/c AT&T reduces data upload and download speeds. So if you take out the fact that AT&T got the iphone exclusively, which allowed them to get a wave of new customers (because those customers were caught in the hype) they would not be in a good position in market b/c they would not have the money to change over there network.

        • Anonymous

          sadly AT&T doesn’t seem to be playing up that angle in the media… it would have stopped at least half the whining on the internet

          i read a number of articles and the only thing that kept getting mentioned was that T-mobile USA has great customer service and AT&T has terrible customer service. The implication of course is that AT&T’s terrible service will end up being what the combined company uses.

  • Natg427

    Tmobile deposit slips for corporate stores say att now .fml

    • Noemail


    • How is that possible? The deal hasn’t been approved yet. Such a move would be ridiculously premature.

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps he time traveled to the future… lol

      • Rolltide

        I work for tmo and the only thing that has changed on our deposit slips are that its now wells fargo and not wachovia because wachovia is changing to wells fargo… Hope this helps!

        • Ktwist

          Really depends on where you live bro. Im in Chicago and our slips are US Bank.

    • Deff


  • Anonymous

    don’t really care what it’ll look like because i don’t support or strongly disapprove at&t acquiring T-Mobile.T-Mobile is fine the way it is right now.

  • Natg427

    Total early april fools prank .! Not cool at all

  • Anonymous

    It seems more and more likely that this deal is going to pass one way or another. RIP T-Mobile

  • Honey566

    Well me i honestly dont care what happens I have verizon a tunderbolt so its all good over here, I just want the t-mobile at&t merger to go tru only cuz my sister has t-mobile and shes pissed of cuz she just switched from att which she hated with a passion to t-mobile which she loves and this merger goes tru ima be laughing in her ugly azz face cuz its gonna be like if she had att all over when I showed her this she got so mad. I dont care like I said I have verizon

  • Derrickps3

    WOW, terrible map coverage

  • alexxxxx

    I still dont freakin get it why doesnt att update there coverage map online? I live in helena montana and i get perfect att coverage everywere i go and no i am not roamin on my bb torch it says “at&t” and i get perfect 3G coverage everywere i go i checked online today and on da att website it says montana is a dead zone wtf? O also verizons coverage map looks better just sayin.. I think i might switch soon…

    • Evilbox

      Att phones always say att even if they are roaming

  • Allan

    Nebraska? Sucks to be you.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, Alaska has more than them LOL

    • CactusCat

      All 8 of the people that live in Nebraska use Sprint…..

  • CBlackJeep98

    There are some awful large white spots on this fantastic future map that I know for a fact I get coverage via T-mobile now! Interstate 80 between Salt Lake and Omaha is a pretty large gap!

  • 313dash

    Who cares I’m still leaving TMO . Hey if you dont like ATT put your money where your mouth is and leave! This would be a great way to show big business that we still run the show not them.

    • my2cents

      ummmm.. everytime you make a phone call on your cell phone “big business” gets paid. Ever heard of roaming agreements? Unless you plan on dumping your cell phone all together, and start writing letters. Invest in some stamps.

  • aegna

    Honestly, this does not sound good to me…Don’t want At&T at all..At&t adquired Altell, sound like MONOPOLY!!!!

    • Bill

      its actually monopolistic competition. a monopoly is one firm dominating the market.

    • Anonymous

      Verizon acquired Alltel. AT&T just ended up picking up some Alltel customers due to divestments by Verizon in rural areas to get the deal done.

      AT&T may have to do the same thing to some T-mobile USA customers. Some of us may end up Sprint or Verizon customers due to divestments.

  • Former Customer

    Already left T-Mobile… See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya

    • Ldominguez1986

      I also let T-mobile. Went over to sprint they had a great promo, I am paying less on Sprint. Got the Evo 4g wife got the epic 4g and we could not be any more happier

  • Ehhh. pointless to think about this stuff now. we got our answers the other day

  • Nokia pentaband phones going to be fanatic for use in this gigantic coverage map, if it pass threw the government. No use in fighting after words though

  • Poor Nebraska….

  • Anonymous

    What do I think? I’m a T-Mo subscriber and just purchased 100 more shares in Verizon stock. Moving over to Verizon as soon as my MyTouch4G is outdated.

    • Nospam

      ya know im sicking of people saying they are jumping ship to Verizon or Sprint, we dont give a F^%^K what you do. go jump ship you F*&&k head

      • Spam

        Someone is a little grumpy this morning. One question though…what is ‘sicking of people’.

  • Anonymous

    Wow what shitty coverage good luck in you go into the midwest or half of the US for that matter lol

  • Selacrumb

    Ive had tmobile since august loved it. Great service great price amazing cust service. Just signed a contract for the my touch deal and as I signed I turned to the salesman and said “i hope this doesnt mean the great cust serv will go away now that I have a contracti chuckled but now I scream. 1 1/2 or more wait times, double billing and nasty reps. Thats just the beginning

  • Hhc045

    What am I supposed to do if I decide to go to Nebraska?

    • wtf is a nebraska

    • Anonymous

      morse code

    • Anonymous

      Believe it or not, roaming still works. I travel to northern Wisconsin for a few races each year, where I get to be reminded of just how awful 2G was.

  • E Hugus

    After seeing the CEO of AT&T or what ever he is speak about what will happen to T-Mobile customers, I hope this merger can be stopped. The IPhone still rules. Maybe Google would like to take over T-mobile. I think I could go.for that since they would constantly bring innovation and improvements into the system.

    • Tigerz0202

      Iphones are just a fad, theyre ugly and drop calls like crazy, Google phones are better now iPhone getting left in the dust that’s why they have come out with another phone this year so all you idiots who waited in lone for an iPhone 4 will be having to upgrade again and pay more .

  • E Hugus

    Don’t even think about going to China either. We know people who were told AT&T would be available in China. It worked one day and then their service was cut off. Great service.

  • I’m on T-mobile and am kinda waiting for AT&T… The only reason they have limited, expensive plans is because their network is SWAMPED. Like AT&T said, the merger will be an instant relief, and will possibly DROP prices. And also with all the iPhone people thinking of switching to Verizon next go around, it should free up more. And about people saying T-mobile’s HSPA+ will disappear, cant AT&T switch the bands it runs on? Make the current 42mb run on the 850/1900 instead of AWS? It IS the same hardware. Most people are scared of Ma Bell coming back, but I’m kinda looking forward to it. Having a universal band could also make it easier for phone manufacturers to make unlocked phones Stateside, it IS the #1 market after all… As long as CA coverage doesn’t change I’m good. It seems EVERYONE is pessimistic.

    • Jimbo831

      If AT&T switches the bands then my T-Mobile 3G phone will stop working on 3G and I will definitely expect AT&T to relieve me of my contract at that point. I did not sign a contract for 2G service only and I will not be forced to buy a new phone to continue using my 3G.

    • Anonymous

      Your assertion is laughable. Companies NEVER lower prices even when their costs best they simply stay the same or throw the customer a nominal bone. No way AT&T will alienate its shareholders by making less profit.

  • CactusCat

    Well, still don’t know what to think. I’m sitting here on 3/31 late at night watching the Lakers / Mavs game. And what do I see. Carly still ripping AT&T about their high prices on a Tmo commercial. I wish this was the other way around and Tmo was buying AT&T…..

  • Levin49

    Please help and stop this merger from happening by signing my petition. Thank you.

    • sorry but that’s not going to do shi# focus your efforts on getting those people who sighed your petition and others to email with your disapproval inside but you must say and mention how this will give at&t a monopoly and raise prices for all consumers less competition always means higher prices in there and your own words

  • Well, my plan is to lock in my price with TMobile for the next 2yrs. That way it will give me time to see what this merged company will look like. If pricing drastically changes or plans then I will move to another carrier. I was upset at first but after cooler heads prevailed I have a wait and see approach to it now. That way I have an option to leave if I choose to. But it certainly doesn’t make sense to leave now when the deal is still at minimum a year away. Why pay more for 12 months when you don’t have to.

    • Anonymous

      This is my plan as well. My current contract runs out next January. I need to figure out when the latest time is that I can renew my contract.

  • Anonymous

  • Mikey90

    I hate AT&T but there business plan is brilliant. They need clear unused band to build their new LTE network. T-mobile has prebuilt towers and the 1700 and 2100 bands T-mobile presently uses for it’s 3G/4g network. AT&T would slowly shut these down and build their 4G LTE on these bands old T-mobile bands without disrupting AT&T’s present 3G customers on AT&T’s 850mhz 3G band (some on the 1900 for 3G). The also gain better density in the 1900 T-mobile voice band for the already swamped AT&T voice system who also use the 1900mhz for voice calls.

    Benefits: AT&T didn’t have to build new tower for 4G, Didn’t need a ton of permits to build more towers in each town, didn’t have to buy new Bandwidth from the FCC for new 4G LTE network AND AT&T improves voice call density immediately on their present 1900mhz band!

    IT really is awesome for AT&T. They could have spent 30 billion on FCC bandwidth alone. They get a prepackage, pre-built compatible system for what they would have paid for spectrum.

    If you are a T-mobile customer? you don’t get to much accept a bigger monthly bill and a bit less customer service. Sorry.

    • Fyp

      I get the sense in all of this that AT&T is after the towers and permits, and could care less about the millions of T-Mobile customers and the T-Mobile employees. The people potentially impacted seem to be irrelevant – the potential merger seems to be all about getting AT&T larger and more powerful without concern about the impact on others.

      Instead of innovating, AT&T is trying to buy out their competition to get to the top. Hopefully the government will see through this, but their track record is exceptionally poor.

      • Redarah

        Yes. I am a T-Mobile employee who may or may not be losing my job but that’s business. If I was an AT&T executive I would do the same.

    • remixfa

      you got it backwards mikey. the real winners are the Tmobile customers in the merger.

      1) tmobile customers will retain their current contract pricing. ATT cant touch the contract plans and wont force anyone off contract to a new plan.. its bad business. As long as tmo customers dont try to change their plans they can ride it till the cows come home.

      2)Tmobile customers will gain the most from the doubled up voice network as far as coverage goes.

      3)Tmobile customers will still be using Tmo’s MUCH MUCH BETTER HSPA+ network for the forseeable future until ATT starts rolling LTE which wont be for a few years anyways. ATT’s “hspa” network is a sad joke. Tmobile’s is the fastest out.

      4) more than likely, when LTE gets turned on, Tmobile customers will be offered an extra discount to get them off of their mytouch4gs and onto a new LTE device so ATT can shut down the tmo hspa bands faster. of course, at that point, Att will also push those customers onto ATT plans, so the plans should be a little lower otherwise you will see a bunch of pissed off people migrating to sprint/vzw.

      5) ATT will still have data problems for its ATT customers, since the merger wont help ATT’s 3g signals.

      • Anonymous

        While you paint a rosy picture for us T-Mobile customers, I fail to see how AT&T can’t force us onto one of their plans after our contracts run out. If they expect me to pay more than I am now, and accept 2gb data plans, etc., they are sorely mistaken. I’ll jump to Sprint before I switch to an AT&T ripoff of a plan.

      • i like it… lol awsome point. its even better when i hear someone talkin about how att will eventually win over the customers by presenting a discounted LTE phone .. awsome just awsome¬†

  • Aortiz2k

    It’s going to look like s h i t. Just like AT&T’s service

  • Reality

    According to the above image, it looks like – contrary to what the execs want everyone to believe – the AT&T area of available reception will barely improve if this merger goes through. The amount of magenta-only area (the areas that T-Mobile has coverage and AT&T does not) is exceptionally small.

    Is this evidence of another lie by the execs about this proposed merger?

    • Dave

      You miss the point. Tmobile give the more populated area MUCH greater density and more bandwidth to help ease the IPHONE overload on AT&T. ALSO Tmobile’s 3G band is worth a ton to AT&T because it is two band they don’t use. They can build their new LTE network right away by ‘killing’ Tmobiles right away (the 1700mhz and the 2100 mhz on tmobile would be used for AT&T’s new 4G lte).

      They get the most out of buying a pre-done 4G network in another bandwidth comepletely. They can then offer 4G without disrupting present 3G customers.

      • Reality

        I was referring to all the comments from the execs claiming that if AT&T buys out T-Mobile then they can offer service to much more of the USA, which according to the maps just isn’t true.

        • Me.

          Not immediately, no. But with TMO’s bandwidth/spectrum rights, it allows them to put up towers in new places, on the frequencies they want. It opens up the future to them.

  • Sk8man53

    Alright guys heres what it comes down to you still get all yout tmo coverage plus the at&t towers when you loose coverage. Also better connectivity in the more populated areas. Hopefully at&t switches to a 2 ethernet system instead of the t1’s theyre using but more towers means less noise noise on the calls and more open space to take advantage of the then 42 mbps at full speed compared to bogged down because of too many ppl on a tower. This is a great merger for both companys and as long as they can justify it im behind it as a tmo employee

  • Here’s the deal. If your are on tmobile you could have gone with ATT. You didn’t. ATT-tmobile won’t have tmobiles prices.

  • Anonymous

  • Tim

    So, here’s my question: as an even more plus customer, do I get back onto a contract now (or, rather, the near future,) and lock in a better price now, or play the waiting game and risk getting jammed onto an AT&T contract right away…

    • Anonymous

      I’m an Even More Plus customer, and I’m just running out the clock on my Galaxy S and jumping ship. No way in hell I’m putting up with AT&T again, even their monopoly on GSM means I’m forced to spend extra for a dual-band phone (and hopefully there will be some good Android options by the time I’m ready to jump).

  • If you think just because AT&T has said they will honor all of T-mobile’s contracts that you are not going to have to pay more for less like every current AT&T customer you are sadly mistaken. See the thing is for your 3G/4G data to work after the merger you are going to need a new phone, and to get a new phone you need a new contract, a new AT&T priced contract. What this says to me is Goodbye GSM hello Sprint……….unlimited baby.

    • MikeFarmer A

      That would not be the case if you paid full price for equipment, correct?? I opt to buy my phones and have not had a comtract for years

    • “update” intenet is full of em’

  • Anonymous

  • Jason melotti

    listen up i work for at&t. and when at&t acquired alltel they let existing alltell customer keep their plans features and devces. most newer devices are quad band. and since 4G is not complete yet any quad band tmobile phone will still wrk.

    • twbradio

      I can use the ATT network now for roaming and data, but only at Edge speeds. I have no doubt that a TMO 3g phone will work, but will it work well? I doubt it. Also, what about those people that took advantage of T-Mobile’s $10 home phone router? I find it hard to believe that I will be allowed to keep it with the same product costing $35 at ATT.

      • remixfa

        ATT isnt allowed to forcibly change anyone’s plans. People are bound to contracts, and that is binding even through a merger. ATT will simply leave everyone grandfathered until the moment they need to make any changes to the plan and then go “well, if you need to change ur plan u need to come to an existing ATT plan, because ur grandfathered plan is unchangable”. Quit worrying. Also, while ATT might have plans to “refarm” the Tmobile AWS spectrum, its not going to shut off existing Tmo HSPA signals. Your Mytouch4g will work the same after the merger as it did before the merger. You will just get better voice signals from the new network.

        If people are smart they will jump into Tmobile now and get the new promo plans that launch on the 13th. That way if the merger happens, you will get the benifits that come with the bigger network, while being locked into Tmobile’s ultra low pricing.

        • JAz

          Now that is useful information! Thanks for the tip.

  • fhdenhjsjdj

    I see that fcc commisioners are not liking the merger right now so there is still hope don’t give up. And if they do the merger then they say the network will be better. Maybe at&t’s network won’t be so crappy.
    Also, there’ll be more coverage in more places and more spectrum so less dropped calls for AT&T users and less no bars or gprs for t-mobile.
    I don’t think that paying a little more for that will be that… well a lot more for that will be that bad.
    Lastly, I believe I read somewhere that if you have an hspa+ device that you’ll get a free lte device. Have y’all seen the thunderbolt speeds?

    • Jeffreygreen1315

      have you seen the daily life span of the thunderbolt battery

      • no whats it like my sister just got hers an hour ago she has full lte bars?

  • Aklaimd

    Damn! It doesn’t look like the extent of coverage extra will amount to anything. At the very best, I’m hoping it’ll at least take the strain off the AT&T towers. I suspect it’s this strain, that’s put the breaks on tracfone’s smart phone circulation – which has come to a stop. I hope this merger goes through, TMO aren’t managing to it’s full potential, and maybe I’d be able to also $g it on the network with a straight talk phone.