MetroPCS Considering Potential Suitors, T-Mobile Among Them

A new report puts T-Mobile right back into the mix for potential suitors for MetroPCS as an “unnamed source” says MetroPCS is having “off and on” conversations with possible merger partners. None of the parties would comment, which include T-Mobile, Dish Network, and Sprint Nextel according to DealReporter. 

The source says that any potential deal would include both stock and cash, though they urged caution as the conversations have not yet hit any sort of “official” negotiation stage yet. MetroPCS remains an interesting target because of its positive balance sheet and in the case of Sprint, similar networks.

Reports had indicated earlier this year that Sprint was at the end of discussions with Sprint to merge, however the deal was reportedly tanked by Sprint’s board. Sprint has never confirmed any talks or discussions with MetroPCS, however a deal with Sprint is the most sensible considering it would be the least technologically difficult as both carriers support CDMA networks.

For now, it seems like this story cycles back around every few months and while it’s certainly possible that the industry will continue to merge as AT&T and Verizon move away from the competition, there is nothing here to show that any of the talks have advanced into anything more than the very early stages of conversation.

It seems unlikely at this point that T-Mobile, never-mind Deutsche Telekom would consider investing serious resources into purchasing or joining with a network that would require significant technological work to join forces.

Fierce Wireless

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  • aNYthing6

    They do use the 700 MHz band for LTE, don’t they?

    • ceegii63

      United StatesMetro PCSBand 4 (2100/1700 MHz)December 2010
      United StatesAT&T MobilityBand 4 (2100/1700 MHz)September 2011
      United StatesCricket WirelessBand 4 (2100/1700 MHz)December 2011

  • I for one would love to see t-mobile acquire MetroPCS doesn’t matter if the towers are CDMA or not t-mobile could use towers of any kind. converting them may require work but we all know t-mobile can manage networks and they are already in the process of changing edge towers to 3g.

    • Agreed then t-Mobile will have some LTE coverage :) and 9 Million new customers which would hopefully boost T-Mo to #3 and Sprint to #4 win win for tmobile !

      • JBrowne1012

        in my heart T-mo is the best carrier if only they had the Amount of coverage that verizon’s slow 3g covers

        • theking_13

          In your heart? Cause that’s what matters to customers…

          But honestly, Verizon 3G isn’t too bad, their LTE is amazing however. Now Sprint’s 3G, thats a different story. Their 4G (WiMax) doesn’t even compare to T-Mobile’s HSPA+.

        • JBrowne1012

          In my heart aka In My opinion… -_- and it matters to customers because I’m the effing CEO of t-mo right? I’m sorry, I didn’t realize my opinion was all that matters to the world, silly me here i was just stating my opinion not realizing that my opinion wasn’t actually fact…

          Their 3G isn’t as widespread as their 3G was the reason why I mentioned the 3G and not LTE for verizon. In past articles that was detailed about speeds… Where t-mo lost with HSPA+ in comparison to LTE it wasn’t too bad of a beat, the carriers with LTE have a higher speed cap so their averages would be higher.

          T-mobile should be top 2 at minimum for their prices, data speed, and consistency.

        • TBN27

          They need to break into states where they don’t have coverage i.e. Vermont.

        • JBrowne1012

          I wish they would, you’d think they would have thought about expanding coverage all over the states but for some reason they just haven’t

        • TBN27

          I wonder heavily because when i go up there i get zilch in coverage unless it is through wi-fi. They say they have partner coverage, but there is zilch in Rutland and Killington.

        • bleeew

          Yeah, if T-mo could refarm every single tower that is 2G, then they have a chance to be third, and if they expand coverage. Verizon is not slow, and LTE ain’t a slouch either, but Sprint is slow and barely has a decent 4G with Wimax, and small LTE coverage(I feel bad for people who bought an LTE device on sprint because its doesn’t include a wimax antenna), I dont even know why Sprint is in 3rd place, they got smaller coverage too!

        • JBrowne1012

          Verizon LTE is not slow, but their 3G of which is what I was speaking of.. Is.. Slow.. T-mo is the underdog in all of this, If t-mobile would up their coverage and marketing efforts they could turn out on top.T-mobile is behind because of the mindset that people have took for years about us.. “T-mobile sucks” the reality is that people that say this are either in it for the iPhone or had a buggy device nothing truly to do with the carrier.

  • mreveryphone

    Forget this news the note 2 just went through the fcc with LTE on board!!! David can you get some ninjas on this ASAP??

  • Aurizen

    wait.. so Metro wants to buy T-mobile? or have T-mobile buy Metro? cuz I would prefer Tmobile to get metro

    • unknown

      yes idiot because metro has the money to buy T-Mobile.

      • theking_13

        Lol, made me laugh. If the guy asking the question wasn’t stupid, he would’ve been able to deduce that T-Mobile might buy Metro.

    • JBrowne1012

      Metro wants T-mo to buy them out.

    • Sniper1087

      it actually be more of a merger not really a buyout, but nothing is official so we would have to wait and see

  • umad

    T-mobile reworks their strategy, and begins to buy out the small companies
    that made fun of them! Although would that be possible. Well in my head
    it would be the ultimate revenge!

    • JBrowne1012

      And then soon enough we eat up AT&T and become the GSM monopoly but doesn’t get too bigheaded and over charges the consumers

  • ceegii63

    metro PCS already has LTE in AWS 1700/2100 so there wouldnt be too much work needed

    • theking_13

      T-Mobile’s gonna use the 700 MHz band for LTE, and then they’d have to convert the CDMA to GSM. So no, there’s lots of work needed.

      • Get_at_Me

        Did i miss something? I thought tmo is using 1700mhz for lte….not 700mhz.

        • Sniper1087

          no you are correct sir Tmo is using 1700 mhz

      • eanfoso

        Noo fool T-Mobile is using 1700/2100 for LTE man

  • blazem25

    better than att

    • jon

      Please read and comprehend. This is nothing like at&t buying out tmousa. This would be DT purchasing metro. Although the technologies for each network is vastly different, tmo would do this for the customer base and spectrum. At this point it maybe tmobiles only way to grow its business. The customer base could offset or at least make it less costly to slowly phase out metros CDMA network and re-purpose the spectrum for gem use.

      • jon

        Meant gsm… damn autocorrect!

      • TMOLOYAL

        Isn’t Metro a prepaid company? It would be pretty damn risky for someone to purchase them for their customer base since there are no contracts to keep them on board.

        • jon

          What risk? You’re instantly gaining 10 million customers…that’s growing tmobs customer base by almost 1/3 overnight. The real gold here is the spectrum. It’s just a huge bonus to grow your customer base to help supplement the cost of changing the network. Also, where would these customers go? At&t? Verizon? Sprint? Or stay with tmob where you’d get to keep your existing plan for the short term; you instantly get better phone options; and a better network?

        • theking_13

          Exactly my thoughts. People are on Metro because they want cheap service. Out of all 4 national carriers, T-Mobile is the cheapest, and 2nd best. No risk, high reward.

        • BigMixxx

          @5e8557899b3278c147a938a8b646da42:disqus that’s it on the money…

          spectrum….thats the oil in Iraq that haliburton wanted…

          even if you have a defect rate of 10 to 20%, you are still spot on. AND t mobile does provide prepaid services as well..

  • GinaDee

    As part of the buyout package T-Mobile could offer a $150 gift card to current Metro subs towards the purchase of a better Android device from their lineup. If a Metro user wants to buy an unlocked iPhone they could use that too. Metro users are used to paying full price for their phones anyways.

    The point would be to aggressively migrate CDMA Metro users over to the HSPA+ and soon to be LTE networks which will allow them to repurpose Metro’s PCS and AWS networks to suit their goals.

    Even though Metro’s PCS network is CDMA it’s much smaller and would be easier to digest. The PCS/AWS combo from Metro is a perfect fit for T-Mobile.


    This is good if T-Mobile buys metro pcs and plus T-Mobile is the only that make sense

  • custom1

    Quick, Someone photo shop those two Indian guys in a side car connected to Carly’s motorcycle as she drives away!

  • UMA_Fan

    Anyone know what would really make DT jump on this besides subscriber count? Does the spectrum they would gain make sense?

    If Metro has tons of PCS I’m betting that would help the refarming process with HSPA+ through those bands. That way they have more capacity for unlocked phones or people just bringing their phones from at&t.

    Also. Rural Coverage. T-Mobile needs that. I don’t know how good Metro is in the boonies but I would assume as a regional operator they would have more of a focus on that.

    • theking_13

      They suck alot here. Being a regional carrier, they focus on low prices, not signal everywhere.

    • SouthernBlackNerd

      It is MetroPCS, not RuralPCS for a reason. they stick with large cities. They also do not have a ton of spectrum, but they do have a good amount of AWS covering the West and Northeast.

      I would not trust the subscriber boost, because Metro customers are not on contract. They could easily leave Tmobile for another carrier. Also merging different technologies is a difficult thing to do, which will likely leave a lot of customers unhappy. Look at what happened to Sprint when they tried it. They averaged 25% retention of Nextel customers over the last 5 years. Only recently have they started boosting their retention numbers.

      • UMA_Fan

        The difference is Sprint wanted to maintain that iDEN network at the time.

        Even though it’s not very likely T-Mo would buy out Metro, they could process exchanges for equivalent handsets and force people on gsm/hspa+. I believe at&t has done this during one of their buying sprees in the past. In fact, they did this most recently when purchasing a lot of Verizon’s divested Alltel markets. It’s even easier since Metro is prepaid there are few contracts to honor.

        T-Mobile does have to make some moves however. If they want any sort of merger to scale them up to the other big three they have fewer options than ever. For one, you can rule out all of the regional players who carry the iPhone… I would imagine T-Mobile would have to honor the terms of that commitment which most likely would screw them financially.

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          ATT lost a ton of those Alltel customers. Also, ATT did not care to keep those customers, They wanted to make sure Sprint did not get the divested areas. The customers who stayed were just icing on the cake. In this case, Tmobile would be paying almost exclusively for those customers. They give them an ultimate, and many will likely leave, which defeats the purpose of the deal. If tmobile is only paying for the spectrum and towers, then I could see this as a good deal, but if they pay anywhere near what the Sprint offer(8 billion) was suppose to be, then they are getting ripped off… Not a smart move for either tmobile or sprint.

          I believe the smarter move would be going after USCC. Less customers, but they have way more native coverage. It would help them in rural coverage. Increasing coverage would be huge for enticing customers of the big two to join their network.

  • rj

    Watch out caution network the little network that could be steamrolling to that 3 spot very soon and then its on to take down that death star and big red machine,if this metro buy out don’t happen DT unleash the sleeping giant and IPO TMOUSA. I wonder if metro customers even care lol!


      The only way we could IPO TMOUSA would be if DT disowned T-Mobile. DT is 30 percent owned by the German government. This prevents T-Mobile from having stock in the U.S. So It is not going to happen.

  • davedsone

    Tmo is really moving in a great direction, I don’t see them buying Metro. They are really focused on building out the network. The ATT deal, the Verizon deal, now the selling off of towers to Crown, all focused on building that network. They already have the best backhaul, if they position themselves to get that 4g up and running they can compete with anyone. I’m happy with them now, will be happier with more consistent data coverage.

    • Whitney

      If T-mobile wants gain Metro 9 million customers beating out Sprint they will buy it

  • Jose Andino

    T mobile buying Cricket would make more sense since they use AWS spectrum and transitioning the customers would be easier than moving those customers who use CDMA phones.

    • Whitney

      Metro looking for merger. I don’t think Cricket is

    • Hamster

      Also, Cricket is a CDMA network as well. And MetroPCS uses AWS for its LTE.

  • Paul

    I heard about this a lil while back. Honestly, I think this could be a good move:
    – Acquire smaller companies
    – Gain more customers
    – Use towers and spectrum
    – ??
    – Profit.

  • Sean W

    “Sprint was at the end of discussions with Sprint”

    I guess no one else would talk to them?

  • jack

    iphone is running on 3g in my area t-mobile all the way great come back

    • od312

      How’s maps working for you?

  • BigMixxx

    I guess cincinnati bell is next up….

  • Dakota

    How would a GSM/CDMA merger work? Tmo + Metro sounds like it would further Tmo reputation as a “less than,” Cheapcompany

  • tomarone

    Isn’t it an issue of how much debt a company has? if Metro has very little debt, they could buy TMO. if TMO has already too much, they could not buy Metro. Sometimes little guys can gulp big guys if the little guys are healthy! Partly cause of capital companies who like to over-leverage like the Bains.

    • T-Mobile is not in debt, they’ve always made a profit despite losing customers. Sprint however, has been in the red for quite some time.

  • od312

    Still waiting for the article outlining iOS maps as a complete JOKE. God forbid it were Samsung or Google–it wouldve been on here before it happened :)

  • bleeew

    I don’t care who buys Metro. As long as its T-Mobile or Sprint, because it creates competition and hopefully causes greedy VZW and AT&T to loose customers, or lower prices.

  • Doesn’t metroPCS have some form of LTE? It could help with TMO’s LTE System.

  • Another thing: What would happen to those customers who use CDMA phone on metro? They would be forced to get a new phone when TMO changes the old CDMA towers.

  • Hamster

    “It seems unlikely at this point that T-Mobile, never-mind Deutsche
    Telekom would consider investing serious resources into purchasing or
    joining with a network that would require significant technological work
    to join forces.”

    For T-Mobile, it’s all about the 4G network sharing — which requires no work to interoperate with MetroPCS since they’ve put LTE on the same band that T-Mobile is working on. The Metro and T-Mo 3G networks would likely remain separate until it comes time for that refarming.