What Will A T-Mobile, MetroPCS Merger Look Like On A Spectrum Map?

While T-Mobile and MetroPCS execs played up the joint spectrum possibilities today, we’re curious as to what the actual spectrum makeup looks like on paper. Thankfully we have the folks at Moasik Solutions, a company that maps network coverage and they’ve provided the folks at GigaOM some nice visuals showing off T-Mobile and Metro’s network and spectrum holdings.

First up is a look at MetroPCS holdings, where their network is deployed and where they have spectrum assets that remain unused. While the map itself looks pretty blank in the middle, MetroPCS does have some large coverage in the West and Northeast, two large populous areas with many markets that will benefit from the combined company.

As was emphasized on todays investor call, Metro’s spectrum will enable to T-Mobile to offer a 20MHz boost in some major markets which will offer significant speed boosts that can double that of Verizon’s own LTE network.

The second Mosaik map shows areas where T-Mobile and Metro spectrum assets overlap, and these are the companies live networks as opposed to areas where they are just holding unused spectrum. In other words, in these areas, where there is color, is where you should see a signal. It’s in the purple areas where T-Mobile’s network could see huge boosts in LTE network speed.

As for the last two maps, they should be viewed together and not separately as happens with the two earlier maps. The third map shows all of T-Mobile’s current spectrum holdings, without any layering from the MetroPCS merger. This is where T-Mobile both owns deployed spectrum and has unused spectrum holdings.

The last map is where the new company has combined network holdings, showing you the potential for what could come out of this merger network wise.



Tags: , , , ,

  • eanfoso

    This merger better go through and deutsche telecom remain the majority share holder and eventually be the sole owner of the new company, I’d hate it if metro pcs were to eventually own the new company O.o

    • wat

      I know right… It gives me a big WTF?!

      I can’t image that a big company (DT) letting it happens. It is overkill deal for MetroPCS. -_-

      • eanfoso

        Me neither man, might as well hit up Carlos slim or be owned by telefonica, but not metro pcs!!!

        • fixxmyhead


        • wat

          Ehh… Carlos Slim, I won’t trust him cuz of his corruption in Mexico. Telefonica – well, too big. = antitrust laws

          I am more comfortable with DT controlling them cuz of the spectrum swap with Leap situation. This certainly seems like they’re re-committing to the US. I believe that DT lets MetroPCS operating their empire in USA temporally, then retains full control of that when the time is right. DT wants T-mobile to grow asap, but DT need to re-focus on European markets for awhile. Sounds pretty smart move for DT. We will wait and see.

    • epsiblivion

      it’s the reverse of what you’re saying. DT tried to sell TMobile to AT&T and that fell through. they are trying to get rid of Tmo. this is a way for them to slowly offhand the company to Metro PCS. the plan is to slowly sell their shares until they’re fully phased out of the US market.

      • drivethruboy168

        Not true…. the biggest part of this transaction for T-Mobile is to be able to be public in the US. Now they are able to sell stock and shares in the US because the can now be entered in the NYSE.T-Mobile also did this for the network use. T-Mobile won’t be selling to Metro because there won’t be a Metro PCS. The entire merger should be completed by 2015 with everyone on metro converted to T-Mobile. T-Mobile is not going anywhere!

        • epsiblivion


          I’m not saying T-Mobile is going anywhere. DT is just getting it off their hands. T-Mobile will absorb Metro but DT no longer owns it. and everyone wins

        • brianb

          This is actually a backward merger. DT is selling to MetroPCS. They are spinning off T-Mobile “USA” as it’s own entity that they will only own 15% of. They get cash and leave. They don’t want the Tmobile USA division anymore. I think the MetroPCS board of directors would be the controlling board after a “merger” They keep the T-mobile name and keep AT&T roaming agreements.

          IT’s actually a win for everyone. And DT will get out of town as soon as they can.

    • iansltx

      DT is gonna get out of the combined entity as quickly as possible, from a financial perspective. To do this, on paper it looks like metroPCS is the new owner.

      In reality, the merged entity will still be T-Mobile, albeit with a quickly-dwindling customer base on an incompatible technology (CDMA). The company will be three-quarters owned by Deutsche Telekom, but that number will shrink as quickly as DT can make it while maintaining the stock’s value.

      DT obviously wants out of the US market, as evidenced by this deal after a failed AT&T acquisition. You don’t have to worry about metroPCS practices taking over the T-Mobile side of the house, sure, but the German sugar daddy helping to fund network upgrades is gone now.

    • Paul

      DT is going to eventually pull it’s self out by 2015; I believe that is the general date but it could be longer. At that point T-Mobile will be a sole American publicly traded company, and MetroPCS will be completely absorbed and be united as T-Mobile.
      There’s another article that talks about the general plan of the merger.

  • Jay

    So what does this do for me in NYC? Better service indoors I hope…

  • will it finally mean 3g in PR? Im tired of going to visit and being on edge !

  • joel_axel


  • will it finally mean 3g in PR? ! Im tired of going and being on edge

    • Gabrielsp85

      There’s no MetroPCS on P.R, so the answer is no

    • iansltx

      You could always switch to Sprint :p

      Seriously, they’re doing upgrades in PR now. Once they get backhaul online, the upgraded sites will flip to 4G and then you can just skip 3G, provided you change carriers :p

  • bydavidrosen

    so if i’m reading it correctly, this is very good for las vegas where i live, right?

    • loopyduck

      Yes, as long as they don’t drag their feet about it.

  • rwc1792

    Looks like I will finally be able to get coverage when in Montana!!!

    • thegeek

      hold on there… just because they own spectrum doesn’t mean they build towers… but one can hope…

    • jay_max

      (sigh) You already get coverage in Montana through Chinook/CellularOne as a roaming partner of TMO. You’re just not on TMO’s native network. I never have voice/data issues when traveling there.

  • thinmanXXS

    so i live in minnesota and from what i understand this will not affect me whatsoever

    • sagisarius

      I’m in MN too… and as far as frequency, this won’t add any. Keep in mind that TMO actually got a whole bunch of spectrum in MN from ATT when that merger fell apart (a bunch up by Duluth), and they also just did a big spectrum swap with Leap, which also gave Tmo more in MN.

  • remister

    Anyone lost reception after the merger? I usually have full bars where I work, right now there are no bars WTF?

    • ashole

      the merger hasnt happened yet retard

      • Nick Gonzalez


    • bleeew

      they never merged yet. the merger happens in 2013.

    • jonathan3579

      That’s pure coincidence. The “merger” has not happened yet, lol.

    • drivethruboy168

      They could be working on the network where you work. My signal was weak to none today because they have been working on updating the towers and re modernizing.

  • George
  • Oh yeah! Now this is what I’m talking about. This looks much better. I wouldn’t mind T-Mobile eating them up, then DT can just slide out the backdoor. That’s perfectly alright for me.

  • wtf is DT

  • UMA_Fan

    People are reading into this reverse take over point WAY too much. It basically was the fastest way for T-Mobile to be listed publicly in the US.

    If they wanted to acquire Metro it would make no sense for DT to fully acquire them and then spin off the combined thing into an IPO… that would be more costly and complicated. This essentially is T-Mobile buying Metro PCS without them fronting a bunch of cash… they gave them equity.

    If the combined entity ends up growing wouldn’t DT be foolish to try and rid itself of it???Why does everyone keep saying DT wants out of the US to such ridiculous lengths!
    DT just changed the game with this move. If their move pays off they reap the benefits. They want to see how this plays out first and they’ll give it a decent chance to grow and if they get the network where they say they are going to I have no doubt they will likely grow.

    • Perrella

      It’s not the fastest way. Not sure why you use that term. Practical, yes. Fastest no. If DT had acquired MetroPCS then it effectively means they are doubling down on the USA market, which is not what they want to do. If they had the interest and capital they could have bought MetroPCS entirely and just as “fast” to use your poorly conceived term.

      By pursuing a reverse merger they are NOT doubling down in fact this transaction is a dilution of thier ownership of a US NewCo. It’s also tax efficient to pursue this strategy bc in an IPO there would be a capital gains tax. In a reverse merger this is not treated the same way. You are right though. A bunch of these muppets are reading too much into this transaction structure and inventing some really stupid conclusions by reading too much into it.

    • umad

      That’s what I thought. I feel that DT will not leave anytime. They want less involvement in USA for awhile. They need more energy to re-focus on European Markets. DT may sell few shares if need some extra cash. DT knows that new T-mobile will be very profitable in the future, so they may retain full control of it when the time is right. Remember DT is still a a majority shareholder. Still win-win for consumers and DT.

  • O-Town

    About to get some better service in ORLANDO!! lol

  • steveb944

    If/when this goes through, I’m SO glad I’m in Florida

  • Jon

    “It’s in the purple areas where T-Mobile’s network could see huge boosts in LTE network speed.”

    Not so fast there. MetroPCS’ LTE network has insufficient backhaul and is generally pretty weak. It’s better than their CDMA1x network, but significantly worse than 21mbps HSPA+, much less 42mbps DC-HSPA+

    • philyew

      Why would the newco need the MetroPCS backhaul in any areas where they already have sufficient tower density? They will eventually simply shut down the MetroPCS presence and upgrade the remaining backhaul wherever there is a lasting need, but those towers will be upgraded to use TM-standard hardware.

      The migration program doesn’t suggest network consolidation is going to start until 2014 anyway.

      The technological value of the acquisition is that, after transition, they can implement the use of the MetroPCS-owned spectrum blocks from the existing TM infrastructure.

  • Mark

    That last Maine map makes very little sense… how do they suddenly lose spectrum in the western (=more-populated) parts of the state?

    Regardless, it doesn’t look like this will bring me 4G (either HSPA+ or LTE) expansion. :(

  • Trevnerdio

    Soo since they own at least some spectrum in every part of the US…then why haven’t they deployed at least something in the rural US???

  • Mirad77

    Having done some research and reading one can stipulate that by no means is DT using this deal to exit US market. Just take a minute and look at this for a minute, DT just named a new CEO for TMOUS then turn around and announce this deal. My take is they had being in talks for a minute and knowing what was going down as in owning 74% of the T-Mobile Inc, they put in a new CEO. DT doesn’t have to insert cash no more to T-Mobile Inc but just harvest when it is fruitful in the near future when the LTE will be up and running with very good chance of competing in this market. Since 74% of T-Mobile Inc only give DT ~$14B I don’t think they will exit the US market anytime soon but just sit and have their investments generates some good revenue for them. All in all is the with or without DT, T-Mobile Inc is here to stay.