With AT&T Out Of The Picture, Where Does T-Mobile Go Now?

I know there is a celebratory aura going around in the T-Mobile world today and employees especially are breathing sighs of relief. Here at TmoNews we’re definitely glad to see AT&T and their proposed takeover of T-Mobile go down the toilet. Now we turn our attention to the fact that T-Mobile still needs a plan and their options are plentiful, with most of them already well-known having been widely discussed as alternatives while AT&T was playing out. It remains to be seen which options, if any, are the most likely or the most plausible but we won’t ignore the fact that T-Mobile still has a bumpy road ahead even as we celebrate the removal of AT&T as a buyer.

With the deal done, AT&T has said they will give Deutsche Telekom the agreed upon $3 billion in cash and $1 billion in spectrum for the break-up fee. Let us emphasize the fact that money is going to Deutsche Telekom and nothing has been shown that says they are under any obligation to spend that money on their US operations. In plain words, they can do whatever they want with the cash. Assuming they did use that money in the US, the breakup fee could give Deutsche Telekom some incentive inside the US market they have seemingly sworn off.

Moving on, let’s be clear about one thing. T-Mobile needs the iPhone. We’re well beyond the point where the iPhone would attract a new customer base for T-Mobile, however it would at the very least boost their smartphone lineup to include all options for all people. Now that the merger is out of the way, T-Mobile needs to broker a deal with Apple, period. T-Mobile has thrown their lot in with Android and, in some sense, it’s paid off. That doesn’t ignore the idea that T-Mobile appears weak without the iPhone in their lineup. First, the company must cut off any reason which customers might choose to abandon T-Mobile and one of the major reasons remains the iPhone competition.

The iPhone aside, what can Deutsche Telekom do? One option is to put that $3 billion to work on potential acquisitions of its own. T-Mobile could expand its prepaid presence, the one area where it is still grabbing customers by the truckload, by making a play for MetroPCS or Leap Wireless. However, both of these deals would have their own set of issues as incompatible technologies would make for a difficult transition. Leap began to see serious rumors about a potential T-Mobile hookup as soon as the AT&T deal started going south.

Another possible scenario is that Deutsche Telekom uses the breakup fee and goes after more spectrum. It’s no secret that T-Mobile needs more spectrum to rollout 4G LTE and Deutsche Telekom has been reluctant to spend money acquiring spectrum for their USA branch. Deutsche Telekom could go after a government auction or get it through an acquisition as Verizon just did by scooping up SpectrumCo.

The conversation moves to Dish Network which has its own wide group of AWS holdings that would lend to a perfect tie-in with T-Mobile. As Dish competitors (Bright House Networks, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox) seek to partner with Verizon for wireless services, perhaps Dish will make a play to partner with T-Mobile. Its CEO has led us to believe that he likes the idea of hooking up with T-Mobile for that very reason. Dish plans to build its own LTE network and a partnership with T-Mobile could be mutually beneficial for both parties. The combination of spectrum from these dynamically diverse companies could allow them to come together even though they run two very different companies.

Now we’re faced with what I feel is the least likely scenario, a potential deal with Sprint. Given the opposition AT&T faced from the government, would a deal with Sprint face less roadblocks? It’s true that a Sprint/T-Mobile deal would create a powerful third competitor, but it would still cut the number of competitors in the top 100 markets. The government has made it clear they want four large competitors in the marketplace. Regulators might also be concerned about two value-priced carriers coming together and possibly influencing higher prices as a result. Aside from that, Sprint isn’t exactly cash heavy and not in any real place to make a serious offer for T-Mobile. Sprint has already committed to a wide launch of LTE and will need all of its cash to make that happen in the timeline it has proposed. If anything, a deal with Sprint could be more of an equal partnership and not one party having more control than the other. This could lead Deutsche Telekom to take a large stake in Sprint but even that may not be worth the trouble. Deutsche Telekom would have to pump cash back to help both companies continue with their LTE plans. A plausible but unlikely scenario.

So what about Deutsche Telekom in general? They could attempt to sell T-Mobile (again) to another major wireless player, likely a global partner. China Telecom and American Movil are two names that have rocketed to the top of the list. China Telecom may face an uphill battle as the government may put significant roadblocks in front of a Chinese-American deal. America Movil already has a combination of smaller, prepaid wireless carriers including Tracfone in the US market that offers an existing 15 million customer unit. Another name is CenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the US, behind AT&T and Verizon Communications. CenturyLink currently owns small pockets of 700MHz and 1700MHz blocks of spectrum and might decide that a T-Mobile deal offers the best way to put that spectrum to use.

The bottom line remains that T-Mobile has taken some huge hits as of late and with the AT&T deal dead, it has an uncertain future. T-Mobile’s failed deal has cost it a lot of time and, with a lot of valuable spectrum, it remains very appealing to a lot of potential investors and suitors. T-Mobile will need to get creative as it begins to write its own path yet again and it might consider looking outside the box at a number of potential partners who can bring significant cash to the table. Examples are Amazon, Facebook, Google…all names that have been thrown about in conversation as potential deal-makers. With AT&T out of the picture, these conversations can get a little more serious and T-Mobile can begin to explore new opportunities in the hopes of improving its fortunes. Some of these names may sound crazy, but spectrum is a valuable commodity these days so it would behoove us not to write anyone off as a potential suitor.

We hope that Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile get together and have a long, hard conversation about the past and where it must go in the future. The spectrum from AT&T is expected to be transferred before year’s end as AT&T prepares a roaming agreement with T-Mobile, allowing customers of both networks to make use of the other’s network. This will help keep T-Mobile afloat for the immediate future but it’s a short-term solution.

We hope by using one of these answers, or one we haven’t thought of yet, that T-Mobile revitalizes and begins to assert its underdog position as it works to grab new marketshare and reshapes its future. Come on Magenta, we’re with you.

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  • Anonymous

    First thing. 
    Stick it to AT&T
    Get iphone
    Spend some ATT $$$ to mock AT&T and its service
    Work with android partners to release even better Phones
    Bring back At-Home calling
    Stick it to At&T

  • Youngt82

    Wow!!! Greatly written David:) good story bro

  • josue cifuentes

    the answer is simple……


    • Hope to goodness that never happens, dont think anyone wants their private information like SSN in the hands of the single biggest seller of personal data in the world. Plus with them owning android that puts too much power in the hands of one company. Dish sounds like the best option, a company who actually has spectrum and wants to use it to compete in a new market and expand choice to their customers.

  • Anthony ;)

    WOW! This is something we expected after all. I had no clue what the buyout with AT&T would do for T-Mobile. I really think T-Mobile is going somewhere, its just all up in the air right now. With AT&T out of the way, I am sure its all good news from here on out. Plus, we are getting better phones now then before and we are staying competitive in the cell phone market. We have lower rates, good customer service, and the deals keep rolling out. Stick it out, stay with T-Mobile, you’ll be happy you did.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, they NEED the iPhone. I think some people would switch over. T-Mobile does have the cheapest plans out there. Get the iPhone and advertise low rates. If they can get the Galaxy Nexus and iPhone they’d be pretty well off.

  • Vhfy

    I think Apple should buy tmobile and just cash in

    • J-Hop2o6


    • Jarrod

      That would be a very reliably network and through off google XD

  • Anonymous

    google buy them :D or optimum/cable vision.

  • Landon Gonsalves

    Very nice write up David. I’m an Android fanboy (no shame), but as a t-mobile employee, I would be stupid to say we don’t need the iPhone. I would have no problem selling the iPhone and a lot of customers would love to have it. It would bring a HUGE lift to our company as well. Next up on the list would be marketing. We have been doing a great job lately, but I’d like to see more sales for those other than value customers. Expanding our network to cover those still stuck on Edge with 3g/4g is also a HUGE must. I really hope DT doesn’t try to sell us again, but instead realize what they have in T-mobile USA and push the envelope further. First things first though…get the iPhone!

  • Jon

    I think a partnership with DISH could be very beneficial and is most likely the best route for T-Mobile to take. I don’t think magenta and yellow go well together. I have my doubts as to what DT will do with that $3 billion  $1 billion in spectrum can’t be used outside of the U.S. so we know at least T-Mobile USA will get that.

  • PjS

    As a Tmobile Store manager I am so happy this is over.  I am tired of people coming in talking about how we are being bought out.  Lets see Google step up and make us G-Mobile…… Whose in with me? HAHAHA

    • Israel2pr

      That will be great


    I just left T-Mobile last month because after waiting 5 years for them to get the iPhone, they never did. I switched to AT&T since their signal is pretty decent where I live (Houston.) If T-Mobile finally gets the iPhone within the next 2 years, I’ll switch back. After being with T-Mobile for the past 10 years, I didn’t want to leave them. I’m glad AT&T withdrew their bid though. I really think having 4 major cell companies in the U.S. is a good thing. Competition is good for the consumer

    • Wizzkid

      Have you even seen some of the newest Android phones?! My Samsung Galaxy SII eats iPhones for breakfast and craps them out any day of the week!

  • Ediblesweet

    at least the still have Carly Foulkes! would hate to see Carly in a at&t blue and white striped dress.

  • ABE

    Sprint is in enough debt already, they wouldn’t even be willing to change tmobile’s Gsm towers to CDMA/Wimax

  • Mama Jama

    I have been with at&t for about a month, they are the most effed up company! Tech sup sucks, customer service is awful, and I have already made a claim against them!

  • No disrespect intended, but does anyone check spelling and grammar anymore? WTF?

    Anyway… in my humble opinion, one influenced by a combined 30 years of cell phone and internet industry experience, T-Mobile’s escape from AT&T is a good thing for consumers and for jobs. And a potential merger with DISH Network offers a far better risk reward than dealing with DirecTV or any cable company.

    T-Mo is a good company and they offer a decent service. The possibility of them being snatched up by a company long known for it’s anti-competitive nature and activities offers no value to consumers anywhere.

    • Bkidko

      Speaking of grammar. Your first sentence in the second paragraph ran a marathon. It would have continued running had you forgetten to put a period where it didn’t belong.

      30 years of cell phone experience? In 1981, you were a pioneer of the mobile telephone industry. I assume that you are fairly high up in the industry by now. Do you have any insight into the release date of the Galaxy Nexus on Tmobile’s network?

  • FILA

    it doesnt matter if T-Mobile gets the iphone or not, have you seen the numbers for iOS lately? there staying the same and android has already pushed iphone out the water, apple screwed that up by only having ATT have the iphone for 3 and a half years. The only people who want iphones are basically apple fans now, people are switching to android. What T needs to do however, is get on the ball dropping high end phones, Verizon is dropping a new android like once a week, i think its a little much but people want choices, this one new phone every month or 2 months isnt cutting it, neither is sprint. remember when T-Mobile use to have the most android phones? People want the phones and a better network. They need to build out more and more and more, and increase speeds of there “4G” while building a true 4G LTE. Lowering plan cost and marketing. 

    • Hydro

      While most people are either in the iOS or Android crowd at the moment, you still have to remember there are tons of people still using blackberries and as these are phased out, they will need to switch to one of these two (or WP7), so Apple would be unwise to exclude a potentially huge market.

    • Anonymous

      It would be stupid on T-Mobile’s part not to get the iPhone now. Those are bonus sales, it doesn’t really matter if people buy it, the important thing is people will switch to T-Mobile because they have it, which means customer growth. I do agree about enhancing the Android lineup, the GS2 and the Amaze are great phones, hopefully they get in the game of getting some more higher end smartphones, and as well as jump on the Nokia Lumia track.

    • Dpro

      Wow your an idiot. Iphone 4S’s have been selling like hotcakes ever since the release in October. Apple is still the single most profitable handset seller of all.
      Oh and ya Samsung passed them in the 3rd quarter but that was because everyone knew a new Iphone was coming out and held off.
      Watch Apples 4 quarter sales will beat Samsungs for handsets sold.

      Android market share has increased but IOS is still holding its own and will for a long time. You really need to learn markets before you start spouting stuff. 
      Apple has no problems, they make more per handset than any other handset manufacturer. While most handset manufacturers are practically giving away Android handsets and paying Microsoft royalties for patents that Android uses.

      There is room for both and will be for quite some time. Its time the Fandroid’s stopped their constant ragging on Apple its juvenile at best. Uneducated at worst.

  • As far as an acquisition of Leap Wireless and/or MetroPCS/nTelos goes, the technology transition wouldn’t be difficult at all. T-Mobile already has equivalent devices available that former Leap, MetroPCS/nTelos customers could exchange for. Grandfathering the plans, or even keeping the brands and operations around are a possibility too. Like i-wireless in Iowa, they could be changed into wireless affiliates.

  • Google should buy T-mobile or at least partner with them. 

  • HROSE1965

    in one word tmobile will end  BANKRUPT

    • Maschwar77

      You idiot, they are profitable.  Nowhere near bankruptcy

      • Hrose1965

        they have no help from there parent company dt does not want anything to do with tmobile us  anymore thats why they were trying to sell them moron

        • Nearmsp

          They wanted some cash back and also then own 10% of the merged T-mobile and AT&T. So, no they did not want out of the US market. 

        • IT Guy

          That money’s going to Deutsche Telekom, not T-Mobile. DT has said they don’t want to spend any more money here in the US.

          The *are* profitable. Unfortunately, they’re maintaining that profit by cutting expenditures as their income continues to decline. In the long term, that’s not a good business model.

  • Maaguilar

    you forgot about DirectTV/Dish Network.. which ever one of them wanted to partner w/ Tmo

  • Agazzy Kan

    Anytime now Google….

    • Littlesis1774

      Give it up Google is not going to buy it


    i wonder if the roaming deals in europe are on the rocks too?

  • Maschwar77

    I would like to know how this is going to effect the Monthly4G customers.  Does this mean that our coverage will improve some.  I mean, the coverage is already better than all of the other prepaids.

    • Jarrod

      It will take time but they have been upgrading their network and expanding it for further reach, but with the roaming agreements u should be fine for the next 7yrs(I think that’s how long it’s for).

      • I thought Monthly4G customers didn’t get to roam at all. At least, that’s what i was told last week at a store when i asked about them.

        • Rudy Belova

          If its the prepaid Monthly4G, no data roaming. Voice yes. (But the opera mini prepaid trick does work. I have roamed and used that modified opera mini with my old Monthly4G plan, prepaid)
          If it’s the no annual contract monthly4G, im told you will get roaming for data and voice.

        • If you are using any plan except the $30 100 minute/unlimited data with 5GB 4G data, then you get voice+data roaming. With that plan, you get voice roaming only. Blame Wal-mart for those terms, as they are the ones that created that plan.

  • Whylee77

    I wonder if I will finally get coverage in Tennessee!

  • BP

    T-Mobile keeps saying affordable and it seems that this is the angle they are going for right now.  With no help as of yet, T-Mobile has a long process to go before they are the company that we all loved over the years.

  • Cfulco1181

    Partner with Dish would be a smart move..

  • whitechikinmx

    U guys in the US have it easyy stop ur bytchinqq . Over here in mexico only rich people can afford awesome touch screen phones. Just cross your fingers carlos slim doesnt buy t-mobile. He made telcel crap over here. Im still using a razr v8 and cant afford another phone. .. the telcel iphone 4s costs 12,000 pesos approx 1,000 US dollars . And they just announced the new razr verizon has but its the most expensive phone up to now it costs 14,000 pesos approx 1,6000 US dollars i couldnt believe it when i saw its price tag at the telcel store in guadalajara yesterday obviously not everyone in mexico can afford that. . . And from what i heard u guys still have unlimited data plans on t-mobile we dont all the data plans we have over here only give us 2GB a month for 480 pesos a month which is 40 bucks in american money so yea u guys are lucky!!

    • Jon

      It’s terrible how the mobile telecommunications are over there but currency conversion you can’t be angry at us for that. Blame Carlos and your pesos currency.

      • Unclesam

        ”Yes we can’ competition,currency,stock market,hungry all this got be blamed on the creator of the capitalism, the beast, all about profits.
        I can wait for a news system,order,world,planet,religion or whatever you call it !
        When this all don’t happen,let’s closed our eyes for the rest.God bless !

        • Except… We didn’t create the problems. If you want to turn the brunt of your anger at someone, aim it at the Mexican government. They screwed you over by allowing Carlos Slim to do the things he did, most of it wouldn’t be allowed in the USA.

    • sino8r

      Man… Mexico keeps getting worse and worse. Makes Colombia look like paradise lol! And people complain about our (USA) government being corrupt, sheesh!

  • Agomez0903

    Tmobile will continue its plans with moving up in ranks with the industry. They want to move up with their spectrum they’ll easily do it alone. Does tmobile need the iPhone? Absolutely so many have gotten the phone unlocked to stay on tmobile. Partnering with dish I’m not liking that idea eventually they will merge and tmobile will be gone and who knows what horrendous moves will dish make if that ever happens. Dish is a horrible cooperate alone. As much as I annoy a big fan of tmobile anymore I would hate to see tmobile go down that way.

  • Agomez0903

    On top of all that they should use that money to provide better indoor coverage hence yes get more spectrum/ start acquiring some more smaller companies. I hope DT doesn’t blow that money.

  • dan paller

    first they need better coverage in utah, and more and/or better phones!! period. or partner with nintendo, sony, Microsoft, to make a full on gaming phone…. or like the star wars phone, make a transformer phone, or a 100% google phone like galaxy nexus, nexus s, and nexus one??

  • Jake

    T-Mobile has no path to LTE and will slip off into oblivion.  Their executives admitted as such.  As LTE becomes more widespread, T-Mobile customers will continue to desert them as their postpaid customers have been doing by the hundreds of thousands over the last year. 

    Enjoy your slow HSPA+.  Ha, ha, ha.  AT&T, Verizon and even Sprint are going to be rocking some LTE action. 

    • Anonymous

      HSPA+ 42 outperforms or is as good as LTE as long as you have an HSPA+ 42 device.  It has better coverage, battery life, and it’s cheaper.  Educate yourself.

    • Mark Williams

      Do your homework buddy, HSPA+ can go just as fast as LTE, I believe the T-Mobile phones have a theoretical 42MBS…understanding that they will probably not keep it open to run that fast, but even if they throttle it to 20MB, I believe that hangs right there with the top that LTE is doing right now…so I ask…what’s your issue???

      • Mastrorj

        Well heres my issues…no where in CT or NY that ive been with Tmobile ever got those speeds. The coverage is so terrible…look its like saying i drive a ferrari but have no gas to put in it…or I live in a Big ass House but cant afford to furnish it,pay utilities or taxes…Does that make sense? If the coverage were there and reliable for me id be all about Tmobile. Maybe in certain other parts of the country its great and lets be honest a company like Verizon in the coming years will have to necessary funds to EXPAND the LTE Network…Tmobile ehhhh not quite so much.

    • Anonymous

      Jake is either clueless or in the employ of AT&T. HSPA+ is faster than Verizon’s current LTE, faaar faster than Sprint’s Wimax, and of course faster and far more widespread than AT&T’s joke of an LTE network. Not to mention with HSPA+ phones can actually last more than half of day on a charge and don’t need a huge battery to make them chubby and heavy.

      • Tbyrne

        Both clueless & a relative of Randall no doubt!

      • Guest

        Agreed and what Jake is forgetting is T-Mobile USA is owned by DT which is one of the biggest telecommunications company in the world I don’t think they will allow t-mobile to go under.

  • Mark Williams


    The only reason Google made Android was to ensure their presence in the mobile market…now that Verizon is tinkering with Google Wallet, why wouldn’t they take a serious look at T-Mobile…after all they are building a city wide  “ultra high-speed fiber” in Kansas City (sounds like a precursor to bigger aspirations)

    • Anonymous

      The bigger aspiration would be, beating skynet to the chase of owning the world. :D

      Jokes aside, I really wish Google would buy them out. But, the problem is that they bought/buying out Motorola Mobility. I read somewhere that you can’t be a manufacturer and a service provider.

      • Precedent established with multiple lawsuits by the Department of Justice against AT&T Corporation and associated Bell Telephone System Companies. In the United States and Canada, it is illegal to be the producer of equipment and the network the equipment runs on.

        • J-Hop2o6

          But I thought Google only gets their patents, and Moto will still operate on their own.

        • Yes, that is true. However, legally, the owner of Motorola Mobility would be Google, Inc. Therefore, Google is no longer allowed to acquire a network operator.

    • Dpro

      Google did not make Android they purchased it. There once was a stylus touchpad computer called Newton made by APPLE! It was ahead of its time and not perfect and did not sell well . It got shelved. The team behind it left and founded Danger Systems.Yup the people behind the Sidekick. Microsoft purchased Danger Systems and tried to make the Zune phone. Several of the major people at Danger left and started a new small company called Android to make a mobile operating system. Google saw Android and wanted it so they purchased it.

      Google cannot buy a Wireless carrier because it would not stand well with regulators just like was already mentioned. Just like Apple could not buy a Wireless carrier.

      So get off this damn Google kick you are smoking some damn good stuff if you think it could happen.

  • Anonymous

    First they need to make a plan to convert all their towers to have multi-mode base stations. This will improve coverage, backhaul, and efficiency.  Then Sign a deal with Dish to host their spectrum on tmobile towers while getting access to said spectrum.  Move HSPA+ to either Band( prefer 1900, because tmobile has a lot of AWS they can use for nationwide LTE)

    • If they use only PCS, they have to exit the market in several places because they have holes in their PCS coverage.

  • J5

    We, T-Mobile, will be outsourced in 2 years.

    Mark it.

  • TMoFan

    People need to stop with the doom and gloom that T-Mobile is done for. There are two things that won’t happen: DT dissolving T-Mobile and selling the parts and DT keeping that $3 billion for themselves. I know T-Mobile’s name has been dragged through the mud during the past ten months but it is still a viable asset that has value. It would be foolish and stupid for DT to take a profitable company and dissolve it. And if they want to continue to court potential suitors they will have to pretty up T-Mobile and they will do that by investing the $3 billion and roaming rights. Letting T-Mobile languish is another stupid move that would defeat DT’s purpose.

    T-Mobile’s focus should remain on postpaid. Nothing wrong expanding their prepaid but T-Mobile can’t be sustained on that alone. They need to get together with Apple and come up with a compromise for the iPhone. It’s an absolute embarassment that C-Spire, a regional carrier, has the iPhone and T-Mobile continues to be the only national carrier without it. Come on Apple and T-Mobile! And I say this as an Android fanboy who loves his G2.

    T-Mobile will be around for awhile in some form and I’ll continue to stick with them. I’m thankful that our government did its job this time and made it clear that four national carriers need to remain to perserve competition. Don’t write off T-Mobile now. They will return with renewed fight-back and aggression. I’m actually looking forward to whatever happens.

    • IT Guy

      Everything else aside, the fact still remains that DT wants out get rid of T-Mobile USA.

      Dissolving T-Mobile would be a last ditch effort if the customer base continues to slide, profits go downhill, and they can’t find a buyer.

      What happens next really depends on what price DT thinks they can get for T-Mobile. One thing I honestly don’t see happening is much spending on the network or adoption of net technology while DT is still in charge. It may actually be counterproductive to finding a suitor.

      Whoever ends up buying T-Mobile is most likely going to have their own systems and technologies they want to incorporate into the network. Different issues are going to arise whoever the buyer is, and they’re going to have to spend millions or billions of dollars on integration. For that reason, I don’t see T-Mo starting any kind of buildout of new technology until after a buyer is found. It’s cheaper and more efficient to wait and upgrade/integrate at the same time.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome news!!!

    Best case scenario for TMO’s future:

    1. Google purchases T-Mobile
    2. T-Mobile gets iPhone (even though it sucks it will attract the sheeple)

    • IT Guy

      If #1 were to happen, I don’t see #2 happening.

      • Wilma Flintstone

        And if #1 happens, I see Android losing LOTS of Marketshare as Tmobile Competing carriers will most likely pull away from Android.

    • once was

      So True about the sheep. That phone sucks. Customers always come in asking do you have anything like Iphone? we say, yeah, but we have a lot of better stuff too.

      • where’spimpstrong

        Haha I know its pretty funny the devices have way better specs. That’s why I like that samsung galaxy II commerical. That’s a superphone. There is nothing to wait for.

    • 1. No to google/microsoft/apple/HTC/Samsung/Motorola/nokia running a carrier. I want a broad range of devices to choose from and as good their intentions, any os maker/device maker taking over will reduce that.
      2. Have to convince apple it’s worth it (they refused to make AWS version as not enough customers), And apple is famous for having among the worst terms for carriers having their devices.
      3. I want high spec Windows Phones too 

  • Anonymous

    My idea is just a rehash and remix of all the ideas out there. What T-Mobile should do is:
    – Start advertising that they don’t have horrible receptions and call quality (very important here, most    think T-mobile has a negative image in terms of signal quality)
    – Get the iPhone right away because they have a roaming agreement with ATT (do this at the same time as the above)
    – Rehome the 1900 to 3G as soon as possible
    – Buy more spectrum and/or partner/acquire someone, then decide on what route to take for LTE/faster network

    Now, this is wishful thinking, but here comes:
    Since T-Mobile is gunning for the value carrier route, they should reintroduced a non-contract plan that has absolutely no perks except for being cheaper than the value plan. 
    This will definitely cause a huge upset in the market. It can also potentially grab them a large amount of market share and customers if the above two are fulfilled.
    Meaning the following:
    – No contract plan (cheapest plan, no contract) 
    – Value plan (cheap, contract, but gets a phone finance perk)
    – Classic (little bit more expensive, contract, cheaper or free phones)

  • carlysmybiiiach

    up carly’s a$$ i know that where id go

    • Tbyrne

      Okay Mr. Sodomite!

  • Once was

    If T-mobile get’s Iphone, Tmo will be a huge competitor. Many customers have left t-mobile only to get iphones (discounted). We constantly have customers coming in to buy Iphone. When At&t announced the Buy out (huge commercials etc). The braindead masses kept coming to stores thinking we were alrteady owned by AT&t. We used to take a lot of At&T customers. Now they have all been saying they won’t come to us, because At&t bought us. So sprint won many of them buy getting Iphone. in actuality, AT&T sucked back in the day. Before Iphone launch Everyone hated them. T-mobile was just begining to really compete then, and Boom.. Iphone mania.

    Fact: if Tmobile get’s iphone 5, Tmobile becomes a huge competitor.

    anyone who remebembers AT&T (Cingular) back before Iphone knows that we had a very good chance of competing until that phone launched, and T-mobile took forever to catch up with anything close.

    If Tmo stops playing catch up and gets out there… We could actually have a chance.

    Will that happen. Probably not.

    Tmobile isn’t rteally known for making good business decisions, or having good marketing.. Unfotunately.

    • As I understood it, No iphone is because Apple didn’t think it worthwhile to create a 1700/2100mhz version just for T-Mo only. T-mo tried to get iphone, apple said no.

      • Littlesis1774

        I think AT&T had same thing to with that

      • Craigers

        Wrong. Apple will give the iPhone to any cell company who makes an agreement with them. Tmobile, or rather DT simply didn’t want to do the agreement.

        • J-Hop2o6

          And what is that agreement other than just buying a bulk load from Apple like every carrier does with other manufactures?

    • Dpro

      This is true I was on Cingular back in the day. I started on it when it was Pac Bell wireless before SBC gobbled it up. In 2002 when T Mobile came to LA I jumped ship. I have been with T Mobile since then. The Iphone did really blow AT&T err SBC up.
      Now fact is T Mobile needs the Iphone if they plan on competing and the fact is they would have the same advantage AT&T has over Verizon and Sprint . I.E. being able to talk and surf at the same time.
      So at this time its a must for T Mobile to get the Iphone if they want to compete they cannot compete on Android alone.

  • Travis_jacobs

    I have been a TMo customer for many years, even back to previous company names, and I have been a customer of two of the other large carriers, too.  But my experience with TMo has always been positive and pleasant.  During the hurricane when we had no landlines they gave me more minutes.  Every single contact by phone with their service department is like talking to a helpful friend. This is so rare and so appreciated and why I have stayed with them.  So, now I say, “Go T-Mobile.  Forge a new path, expand, innovate, and keep up the excellent customer service.”

    • Kevin

      I have been an employee of T-Mobile since 2004 and I have to say that T-Mobile does it’s best to reach out to people in time of need. Thanks for being loyal. I work in PDA tech support and I enjoy talking to customers and fixing issues.

  • Anonymous

    From Bonn, Deutsche Telekom has released its public statement on the merger break up fee, spectrum, and roaming agreement.

    Highlights are that T-Mobile will receive AWS 2100+1700 MHz spectrum from AT&T in 12 of the top 20 markets and 128 markets in total, as well as a new seven year roaming agreement with AT&T that will include access to 3G/4G W-CDMA.


  • They go to the top, where they belong!

  • Keith Stevens

    I know I am gonna get reamed for this…. But Apple needs to buy T-Mobile. With 80 Billion in cash reserves they could build out the network far faster than any other company. Not to mention no matter how you hate to admit it… the iPhone is a bigger seller than any other phone by far. What we need is customers. I love my galaxy SII but even iPhone aside… The shit Apple makes just works. Telcom would be no different. (here comes the hate mail)

  • John

    Can someone explain to me why T-Mobile needs to bother with LTE at all? I’ve used both T-Mobile HSPA (on 3G phones, too) and it was just as good at leading web pages and streaming video as my new LTE phone. More impressive speed tests, but indistinguishable on web sites and video. What’s the big deal?

    • Anonymous

      With the soon-to-be HSPA+ 84 I don’t think it’s anything to worry about…

      • tommy

        it’s still slow compared to LTE and I’m afraid can never be quick enough because of the ping time problem. unless that can be solved i’d like to see! I’m one of those TMO customers from voicestream days.

    • Jennyjonescutie

      The only thing i can think off why some people might prefer LTE is because of the better buidling penetration cuz it runs on the lower 700 mhz band. I live in los angeles were both t-mobile and verizon have there fast data network. I may be only 16 and in highschool but i know my stuff about phones cuz im a phone geek. In my school which is located right in the city in the gym, most classrooms, library im running on 1-2 bars of t-mobile edge ALL the time on my sensation same thing with my friend on her t-mobile galaxy s2. While my other friend on her new droid razr always has 3-4 bars of LTE on all those places my friend and me have edge. She did a speed test in class she got 15 mbps up nd 4 mbps down while i got 352 kbps on sucky edge lol : / . Yea outside i get a 4G icon and get great speeds sometimes up to 15 mbps but inside school i get sucky edge i tried using my schools wifi but either it was eally slow cuz alot of people were on it or it was locked while verizon still mantains a strong LTE signal. I know some people will probably tell me to stop using my phone in class but i wnt im already failing all my classes so wateva i just txt in class all the time.. but yea thats the only reason i can think of why some people might prefer LTE cuz it works better inside buildings. ..

      • Rwalford79

        Babe, you’re on 3G of you’re pulling in anything over 220kbps, T-Mobiles max EDGE speed. Average EDGE speed is roughly half that so yeah, you’re likely in a 3G area and your phone needs updating to reflect a 2G and 3G/4G icon.

        • Bettyboob

          Correct me if im wrong but from what i heard , read online and 4 people who work at t-mobile told me t-mobile edge is limited to 760 something kbps im not exactly sure whats the number but its on the 700’s range . Same thing wit atts edge it goes up to 760 somethin kbps.. so if thats true then that gurl above me is getting 2G edge speeds and her phone is correct. Cuz no 3G is as slow as 352 kbps not even at&ts crappy 3G( which is very crappy ) and i know because i have at&t and looking to switch soon . The LOWEST i have gotten with 1 little bar of 3G on my iphone 4S is 978 kbps. And in an area with bad edge coverage with 1 little bar of edge i got 421 kbps and my iphone was displaying an “E” edge icon so yea i got higher than 220 kbps why wasnt my phone displaying a 3G icon or is that a t-mobile thing only???

        • T-Mobile’s deployment of Evolved EDGE does mean EDGE maxes out at 1Mbps. However, most devices max out at 500Kbps for EDGE. Where I am, my average speeds are 250-300Kbps for EDGE.

        • TMOLOYAL

          Actually most real world Edge speeds are well under 100K roughly the speed of dial up is average. If T-Mobile has a 3G site that is running on a single T-1 instead of Ethernet or multiple T-1’s for backhual, it is very likely that you will see speeds around the 250-500K range. Your phone may even display 4G and see these speeds as your phone does not detect a speed when it is displaying this on your screen, but instead a feature that is enabled on the network that is broadcasted to your phone.

      • tommy

        the ping time is very bad on tmobile, it’s fast maybe but video chat doesn’t really work. the ping time on LTE is OK. ping time is time it takes to make a connection. after the connection the speed is ok. don’t know if it affects video chat or not.

  • Guesty

    wasn’t there a news that dt may pullout of uk if tmous deal doesn’t go thru and  focus on us with new partner? 

  • Jarrod

    What they could do is take the three billion tell deutsche Telekom to goto hell and then make an investment in iPhones and iPad and continue switching 3G onto 1900mhz and gradually phase out gsm

  • Sanman202

    Does this mean we will see the mock AT&T ads again with Carly? The piggyback slow speeds one was great. Long live Tmo!!

  • Hey AJ, that link isn’t working, got a working one? I’m googling for it now. 

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Well a lot of what’s in this article is what I published elsewhere and in here. Humph. In any event, seeing how all my predictions have been accurate, I suggest you look at my other comments.

    When this deal was announced I said that Deutsche Telekom executives needed this deal to save their jobs.  Since the deal is no longer I assure you, DT and its investors are looking for heads to chop off. Expect to see changes at the top quite soon.

    And there’s no other suitors who are going to pay DT three times what TMOUS is worth (this 9 months cost DT big in terms of TMOUS value; $3 billion and some spectrum does not make up for the fact that Deutsche Telekom paid $63 billion (in today’s dollars) for VoiceStream.

    Too big to fail? As I said, look at Borders, or Murdoch’s MySpace debacle. I can  assure you DT is ready to get rid of TMOUS any way it can.

    My suspicion, DT guts TMOUS and “sells it for parts,” or

    Sells it to someone who will convert it to a prepaid carrier (see previous posts).

    It may sell it at a discount and retain a non-controlling partnership interest (depends on how bitter DT’s investors are about the “U.S. problem.”)

    As to Herr Humm, is there anyone nowadays who believes a word this guy says. HA.

    Sidenote: Anyone working for TMOUS is NOT breathing a sigh of relief. All they got was a stay of execution. They are in a worst situation than before.

    And all YOU got is more uncertainty. At least with the AT&T acquisition you knew who all the players were and what options you had (go with AT&T, switch to another carrier, go prepaid).

    About bonuses: You can bet the employees are aware that in all likelihood they will NOT see a dime of the $3 billion DT is getting. DT will tell employees “We had expenses on the acquisition and TMOUS suffered a decline in value, so we have to use that $3 billion to make up for our losses. There’s no money for bonuses.

    • Dakane

      Really a bummer, but I think this is where its heading.

    • jon

      I respectfully disagree with most of what you said. As I have said many times before, I really think the likely outcome is a partnership with dishnetwork. DT will likely keep T-Mobile or spin it off many, many months from now.
      As far as the bonuses, you are incorrect. T-Mobile has commited (in writing) to pay 70% of what at&t would have paid for a retention bonus. T-Mobile committed to do this as a way to say thank you to employees who “stuck it out”…

      • Occupytruth

        as a former T-Mobile employee (just quit thank god) that retention bonus was 500 dollars for me (sales rep)….. That’s joke.

        • tmoworker

          you must be new then. Mine is 1,600. Not great, but hey I’ll take free money. 

        • Pikachu

          I don’t think you all got it right, maybe I got it wrong. I figured the retention bonus, was if I stayed on after the merger. Am i wrong?

        • jon

          Yes and no. The retention bonus would have been paid by at&t to its “new” employees. However, T-Mobile has come out and said in writing that if the merger did NOT go through T-Mobile would pay out 70% of those bonuses as a way to say ” thank you” for enduring the unusual circumstances this whole mess has caused…So in my family’s case 70% of 5k or a 3500 dollar check is what we can expect. Not too bad for doin’ nothin’ if you ask me. (The one thing I am not sure of is if it is taxed 36% like a traditional “bonus check”. Regular incentive bonuses are considered “gifts”; which is why uncle Sam rapes you on it…)

        • Occupytruth

          4 years ……. 

        • jon

          My wife’s retention bonus was 5,000. She is a salaried manager…My family will gladly take 70% for doing nothing. I am wondering why free money is “a joke”. Granted, things haven’t been rainbows and ice cream the last six months. But, it is still money noone should have counted on. I am a salaried manager for a retail company. I get semi-annual bonuses that can reach as high as 25% of my anual salary. I have never counted on those bonuses and never will. Some might view bonus money as “earned” and to some degree that is correct. However, I still think of those checks as gravy. It is play money..maybe instead of calling it a joke, you should view that cash as free money as well and be thankful to get anything. Just my opinion…

        • Occupytruth

          Nice opinion but I do see it as play and free money, its a joke for the things a rep has to deal with at that company. I’m not an internet soldier so i’m not going to sit here and cry about everything and my reasoning. I have been a rep for 4 years and I get a nice 500 dollars for dealing with questions I dont know the answer to, new random rules,  random bill cycle changes, random pay changes and in my case constant disorganization from management. You as a retail manager know the front line employees are the face of the company and make the company most money.So yes sir that is a JOKE to offer me 500 dollars. Also no disrespect to you or your wife but I was management at T-Mobile and stepped down because I made more as a sales rep. You and I both know being a Salary manager is not hard.

        • jon

          Not to call your integrity into question, but I highly doubt in four years, you managed to go from rep, to Sr rep, to coach, to manager and then step back down to rep and then decide to leave the company after all those moves. I’m not going to call you a liar, but what you’re saying is highly unlikely…and being a manager in any a retail environment is WAY different than a call center environment. I’m not saying easier, but very, very different.

        • Kevin

          I agree I was greatful that t-mobile paid the retention bouns as I am an employee… They didn’t have to but they did. :)

    • Rudy Belova

      Well, if it means anything. D.T. Announced a few hours ago they are changing t-mobile usa to “continuing operations” now instead. Who knows.

    • James

      T-Mobile won’t be shut down for parts. The borders comparison is deeply flawed, books are being replaced by e-readers, phones are not being replaced. Borders had years and years of losses, T-Mobile doesnt.

      • jon

        You are correct James. On top of the many flaws with his comparisons, the United States government has spoken loud and clear. It wants FOUR national carriers. PERIOD. The government will not allow T-Mobile to be stripped for parts. In a day and age where “bailouts” are the norm, I can easily see good ‘ol uncle sam stepping in IF DT has exhausted all possible options. It’s easy to envision a spin-off with a little “tax payer funds” to help T-Mobile USA cut the cord from DT. And before anyone says one thing about that being stupid, I have a few words for you…General Motors, Chrysler, solyndra, Fannie May, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, AIG, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs….I could go on and on…The point is, if the US Government wants 4 national carriers and they mean it; it’s not a far stretch to say they would help a spin-off of T-Mobile USA…

        • Anonymous

          adendum: the US Government wants AT LEAST 4 national carriers.

          Anyway, I would hope, and expect that a non-carrier suitor would step in (like the Dish Network rumor) and buy.

        • Anonymous

          adendum: the US Government wants AT LEAST 4 national carriers.

          Anyway, I would hope, and expect that a non-carrier suitor would step in (like the Dish Network rumor) and buy.

  • Rwalford79

    Apple couldn’t buy TMobile in the same way Google can’t buy TMobile or Sprint. Remember why AT&T broke up in 1984? They had a monopoly on the phones, telco lines, service, price and everything was done in-house. Apple, iPhone, network…see where im going here.. its sketchy enough Google is buying Motorola but if you already have everything monopolized except the actual infrastructure its gonna be a cold day in hell when the FCC and DOJ allow that to combine.

  • kkkk

    carly is hired by CAIN for  one night to celebrate this news!

  • Anonymous

    I really hope the bring some new high end phone to there line up.  example the samsung galaxy note :)

  • It is pretty obvious Dish network is the way to go. They have the spectrum we need. Not to mention we would have dibs on Hulu content which would sell a few handsets. Also bundle deals would be nice. I have been really close to switching to Cincinnati Bell a few times for a bundle pack with Directv (not to mention they have the Sensation free now and soon will offer a GSM version of Galaxy Nexus and Droid Razr)

  • Lupon

    I don’t know whether TMO getting the iPhone would be a good or bad thing. Sure, it could attract more customers but look what happened to AT&T and Sprint’s networks when they got the iPhone. I know TMO has a much better 3G network than either of them but I don’t want all the new iPhone users slowing down our network…

    • Anonymous



      Sprints network was garbage even before the iphone

  • My God, proofread your article before you post it…

  • Bratty

    There is no win for Apple in buying TMo.

  • Down the toilet…TMobile USA is a lost cost…

    • Tbyrne

      Then goodbye already!

  • Anonymous

    Now that AT&T is out of the picture, what I want to know is, when is T-Mobile coming back to its roots as a consumer-friendlier carrier? We saw many MaBell-ish moves from T-Mobile this year: data cap dropped from 5GB to 2GB, death of FlexPay, value plans with no value whatsoever… T-Mobile should reverse some of these policies.

    • CRT24

      Facts please? You pay for the data that you use so T-Mobile didn’t drop the data cap from 2gb to 5gb, you can sign up for either of those as well as a 10gb option. The value plans are the best price of the big three carriers even when with paying full price for the phone which has been shown time and again in this site and flex pay has been replaced by lower deposit requirements to go on a regular post paid account…..flex pay caused nothing but problems and it needed to go. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about.

      • archerian

        What was the problem with Flexpay? I believe it had a lot of customers

        • CRT24

          It was good for customers with credit issues because it allowed some to get service where they would have had large deposits with other carriers but the internal system and billing issues were a nightmare and that’s is what I was referring to regarding the problems with flex pay.

      • Kevin

        as an employee I agree flex pay needed to go… the concept was great but there were a lot of technical issues with it and it created some poor experiences for the customer… T-Mobile is on the right track with value plans if you compare those with other providers you won’t even come close to what T-Mobile offers. You might not get discounts on upgrades but you get 20 months to bill the price of the phone and most people don’t mind paying for phones.

  • YogiBear

    For the time being FORGET THE I-PHONE
    and go full steam ahead  with the
    BEST 4G
    and the BEST WINDOWS PHONES. < let NOKIA be your friend.

    • YogiBear

      Oh oh oh I forgot anonther…..

      The carrier that is the:


    • Occupytruth

      Verizon has the best customer service: jd power
      Verizon has the best 4g: LTE

      other than that i agree

  • tommy

    Some cable company Comcast or Cablevision, time-warner? Goog would be nice.

  • Anonymous

    i doubt a sprint/t-mobile deal will happen that combines the companies.  The government has really pushed it’s message clear that it wants four major carriers. 

    AT&T could have made major divestments in T-mobile USA to create a fourth competitor and that still wasn’t enough for the government. 

    The regulatory hurdles for a sprint/t-mobile mashup are being way underestimated.

  • BigMixxx

    Man…I read this and think…did he already write the story for t mobile or what….

    Yup, iPhone would be my first announcement.  While I’m not a fan, there are a couple of million people that are.  and a Low cost, National carrier with an iPhone and an aggressive attack schedule, I am for SURE going to get this for my network.

    Get you customers back t mobile.  The defection rate was SO high.  The aggressive marketing campaign should kick in and be just an all out assault on all carriers, showing the best rate plans in the industry.  clear out that old inventory and get ready to stock the shelves with some other interesting devices….

    Give some stuff away every weekend to get them into the store.  As they tell me, giving a phone away doesn’t really hurt (Giving a phone, cutting prices so low that you just have to consider it free) as long as you get contracted customers….(this get a rebate thing just is not attractive, while simple and understandable…it’s too much talking)

    I would even go as far as getting those on contract an opportunity to re-up their contracts with a Special day for those customers that want to just get a new phone! (IMHO). 

    • Bob Cheval

      Good post, BogMixxx…Much appreciate that although you don’t personally care for the iPhone there are many who perceive T-Mobile as not being as winner because they don’t offer it.

  • Lawrence of Arabia


  • Vim

    The problem with T-Mobile carrying the Iphone is the combination of the huge subsidy and large minimum order that Apple demands. That big subsidy Apple demands goes way beyond what T-Mobile offers for its android phones.  AT&T and Verizon are used to offering bigger subsidies and make it up by charging higher monthly fees. Sprint is under serious financial stress and the $20 billion Apple IPhone deal is a huge risk that could potentially help drive the company into bankruptcy within the next few years.  IPhone lovers don’t want to hear any of this, but the fact remains that Apple’s demands are a bad fit for T-Mobile’s current business model.  For T-Mobile to start carrying the Iphone, Apple will either need to either lighten up a bit on its demands, or T-Mobile will need to increase its monthly fees.

  • lair

    Can u do an article about what spectrum actually is how much it costs how u acquire or build it does it mean towers im confused are there diff types

  • where did tmo service go?

    Id like 49.99 for individual. Also as a longtime customer trying to stay loyal to tmo i have to say custserv at all levels has declined. reps constantly give me incorrect info, dont follow thru on promises, even ecr doesnt return calls &tforce doesnt email back. Frustration is so high that for first time, im very close to leaving magenta… And as long as ive had a cellphone, ive had tmo. bit they r basically forcing me put. On tmo forums and blogs u even read about reps telling customers to leave if unhappy. ive been calling ecr – leave voicemail twice in 2wks – rude unprofessional to not even return a call. prob will do sprint sero plan for 69 or take advantage of vzn double data

    • may be tha reps caint under stand your terr able ing glish

  • I think either Google or Dish Network would be a good option or both of them G-Mobile and G-Network TV lol

  • JR

    Vodaphone UK should invest in Tmobile USA or buy it! That will give them a good global GSM network even though it has invested in Verizon’s CDMA network. Hey, atleast it will give the new owner more coverage, market penetration, less washington red tape, and above all….more competition….meaning more choices to us, valuable customers!

  • BlackSheep427

    No matter if you are talking about the iPhone deal that is needed or a deal with Sprint, there are huge risks involved with either. This is not to mention yet whether either is even likely or possible.

    As mentioned, Apple demands big from the carrier to even talk a deal. Sprint may be in hot water for their own recent deal. To gain iPhone fans, though, it may be worth attempting.

    Here is my scenario with a Sprint and TMO deal. Somehow or other, they combine cash assets to work out both companies’ needs but without a full-on merger or buy-out. Two separate entities boosting each other into better financial and business standing. Sorry, my plan is only half-baked, I am not a business expert. But, on the other hand, CenturyLink or Dish Net deal may be better for TMO.

  • Alandicho

    Iphone deal is a big JOKE for T-Mobile.  By the time T-Mobile carries iphone, Apple will launch Iphone 5 and guess what…It is an LTE phone!  The problem is, T-Mobile doesn’t have LTE network so the other carriers will still be ALWAYS ahead of poor little magenta.

    • Susanmeg

      AT&T and tmobile had backdoor talks about sharing spectrum and technology after the merger failure.  Don’t be surprised if LTE isn’t part of the sharing agreement.  AT&T still wants that company BAD and wants to see it technology stay in par with AT&T “until they can buy it.”  Although, I hope AT&T does never buy it.

  • volvoV70guy

    Fuck the iPhone and fuck Apple.  Want the iPhone, go to another carrier.

    That aside, T-Mo not having the iPhone is as much a decision of APPLE as it is T-Mo.

  • v

    I don’t think iphone is required anymore. Android has reached the level of maturity where it has all the apps it needs to attract consumers and it is growing stronger by the day. iphone is yesterday’s news and without the gay tantrums of Jobs, it looks even less appealing.

    I do hope they buy dish network or something, thereby gaining AWS and also prospective new customers thru bundling.

  • Brianb

    Clearwire had been interested in a merger with T-mobile before the AT&T attempt.  Why not merge with Clearwire who is already ahead in the LTE market?  Yes, they work with Sprint but sprint had no objections.

  • Brianb

    The Iphone is coming to Tmobile in the next few years because the parent company isn’t going to sink two years of cash into buying it.  android is close enough now.  There is also a sort of “I own an Android NOT an Iphone” caucus out there.  Did you see how much cash Sprint had to give Apple upfront just to get the phone?  Sprint even said they risked bankruptcy if they couldn’t sell enough iphones (because they put all cash reserves into buying two years of Iphones).

  • Jcj1

    the iPhone causes carriers to lose money, check with ATT, verizon and sprint, facts are facts and when selling alot of iphones they LOSE money

  • Kevin

    I think it would be horrific for t-mobile and sprint to make a deal. Their technology is not the same in that t-mobile is GSM and Sprint is CDMA. How would they make the 2 networks work together? I heard that GSM is better anyway because most of the would uses it.