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  • AT&T to Acquire T-Mobile and Become the Largest US Wireless Provider


    In a surprise announcement that has rocked the mobile world Sunday, AT&T has announced what's being called a definitive agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in cash and stock combo. With this transaction, the wireless giant says in a formal statement heralding the buy, "AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans – including rural communities and small towns."

    If the deal is ultimately given the green light via regulatory approval, AT&T will effectively become the largest wireless provider in the US. The move comes as a major blow to Verizon as the carriers (both of which now boast the iPhone) duke it out to an entirely new degree for mobile supremacy. By bringing T-Mobile customers into the fold at AT&T, the carrier is poised to potentially regain some of the mobile mojo it lost to Verizon earlier this year.

    “This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. “It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America’s high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth.”

    To read the official announcement from AT&T, click here.

    Source: AT&T
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T to Acquire T-Mobile and Become the Largest US Wireless Provider started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 306 Comments
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      yea i mean this could be good for service reasons people on both networks but for the overall nation its going to suck because less competition. i have no problem with att, but im still on a plan that ive had since the cingular days.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      ^ I like this Riviera guy. He's onto something. Not to be confused with that squasss guy who is clearly on something.

      Things have been rebadged since long before any of us were born. Just because it happens to ride on the AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile or Sprint network doesn't mean any of those 4 providers is going to help you with problems like Riviera said. They just put up the towers and that's all.

      It is up to the company name on the splash screen when you boot up your phone that determines who you call when something goes wrong(don't give me lame responses like "mine doesn't say a name" or "i unlocked mine so the name is different" or other crap like that. You know what I mean.)

      My dad is cheap and he only wants to spend $25 a month for unlimited data/text/email/web(email/web/data are all essentially the same thing but that's neither here nor there) with Virgin mobile. If he has problems he calls Virgin mobile not Sprint who maintains the cell towers and the network in general. When he constantly complains about crappy service he can't call Sprint and ***** about it because they'll just tell him to call Virgin.

      Furthermore, you all do realize that many of T-Mobile's towers do NOT belong to T-Mobile but instead are contracted from AT&T so yes when you T-Mobile cheapos cough up the extra cash every month when you resign with AT&T you will most definitely get better service.

      To answer a question from before, the reason T-Mobile offers such awesome plans at great prices and has great customer service is because their product sucks. After trying out T-Mobile for 90 days all I got was "we credited your account $X amount for your inconvenience and we're sorry for the problems." They are always lowering prices and apologizing because their network sucks. AT&T maybe doesn't lower prices at all except to compete with Verizon and they sure don't apologize as much as T-Mobile does but do they really have to? You can complain about their network as much as you want but I haven't dropped a single call on AT&T unless I had bad reception on the 4 iPhones I have owned over the years.

      Less competition doesn't always mean worse service. Look at Sprint. Their service has always sucked and they can't ever hope to compete with Verizon or AT&T.

      Plus all this talk about anti-trust and monopolizing the GSM market is BS. Here is a huge example, look at your local cable provider. Most likely there is only 1 choice in the area unless you happen to have other options like AT&T Uverse or Verizon FIOS or the satellite providers for which I only have 2 choices: satellite or cable. Otherwise it's Cox communications/TimeWarner(it used to be Adelphia) around these parts of OC. To clarify that further, you won't be able to choose Cox if TimeWarner is the cable provider in your area and you can't choose TimeWarner if you live in an area serviced by Cox. How is that fair? It isn't and sometimes it really sucks but it's life.

      Take Canada for example, other than the smaller operators there are really only 2(3 if you count Telus) major operators with lots of smaller companies that ride on their networks. Those 2 are Rogers and Bell. The AT&T and Verizon of Canada in the sense that Rogers is a GSM network and Bell is a CDMA network. None of my Canadian friends have complained that there isn't enough competition between providers to allow for decent prices.

      I know this post is lengthy but here's the last part. Consider if there was a TON of competition and AT&T and Verizon weren't nearly as big as they are. That would mean less capital overall for everyone since there would be too much competition and less towers of your provider in a given area which means service would degrade tremendously compared to how it is now.
    1. alukado's Avatar
      alukado -
      Nothing is impossible!
    1. obtrunco's Avatar
      obtrunco -
      This is sad, more and more monopolies.
    1. Gr0undBreak1ng's Avatar
      Gr0undBreak1ng -
      Arguments and/or being problematic on the forums here is a rule that
      must be withstood. Please cut out the unnecessary fighting, and problematic behavior.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by zplit View Post
      really?
      verizon is any better?
      are u 4real?
      Well at 70 million customers right now...if everyone had a $60 phone plan they would make 50.4 billion in a year. Now drop the Tmo subscribers on top of that and you have even more. This is a no brainer for AT$T.
    1. Gr0undBreak1ng's Avatar
      Gr0undBreak1ng -
      AT&T is wasting money, losing their touch.
    1. mm8's Avatar
      mm8 -
      Is like I said NO MORE UNLIMITED DATA on future ATT/T-Mobile...proof is right here...I highly doubt ATT will let customers get a new phone with the same plan unlimited data plan.....

      NEW YORK (AP) -- AT&T Inc. said Monday that if its deal to buy T-Mobile USA goes through, T-Mobile subscribers with "3G" phones will need to replace those to keep their wireless broadband service working. But there will be plenty of time to do that.

      Dallas-based AT&T said Sunday it had agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. If approved by regulators, the deal would close in about a year.

      AT&T said that some time after the closing, it plans to rearrange how T-Mobile's cell towers work. The airwaves they use for third-generation services, or 3G, will be repurposed for 4G, which is faster.

      That would leave current T-Mobile phones without 3G. They would need to be replaced with phones that use AT&T's 3G frequencies. Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's head of wireless and consumer services, said this will happen as part of the normal phone upgrade process.
    1. Gr0undBreak1ng's Avatar
      Gr0undBreak1ng -
      Yes. They will just add another data plan even in the occasion of
      changing over SIMs from T-Mobile to AT&T etc.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      I just hope that if this gets approved there is significant regulation enacted to protect everyone. I do agree with what AT&T is doing but with the current deregulation of the wireless telcos then yes I do agree with some of you that this could be bad. It's simple though to regulate and the U.S. lawmakers, FCC, etc. can come up with some pretty strong rules that AT&T will have to abide by in order to make this go through.
    1. mm8's Avatar
      mm8 -
      I will tell ATT, but Sir I already have an iphone 3G....they will be like it HAS to BE an ATT approved device regardless of what you have, so here $199 for a iphone 4 and 2GB of data...that would be a sad day...
    1. squassss's Avatar
      squassss -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riviera View Post
      Yes Really.

      And yes, FYI: there is a 7-eleven Wireless.

      You can call it what ever you want: "Re-badge, Re-label, re-seller".... BUT, they are a "cellular provider".

      Why?

      Because they have their own prices for the service they "provide" to their consumers, even though they operate under AT&T network

      Read --> 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Now why 7-eleven prices are different with AT&T?
      Both are on the same network, aren't they?
      Who do you call if you have issue with your cellular?
      Of course your provider.

      So is 7-eleven wireless is a re-badge AT&T?
      You tell me.
      Can you call AT&T if you have an issue with 7-eleven wireless?
      The answer is no, because the "provider" is not AT&T.

      Let me re-phrase it in different & simple analogy:
      You own a car, let's say it's an Audi.
      Do you know that Volkswagen owns Audi in which Volkswagen shares its technology in Audi's engine and its bells & whistles? But why are their pricing different, even though supposedly there 2 models with the same engine configuration which use the same technology?

      Now all of a sudden you have an electrical problems with your Audi.
      Do you complain to Volkswagen dealer or do you go to Audi dealer?
      Of course you will have to whine to your provider, right?
      Who is your "provider"? Yes ... Audi it is.

      Also, do you call an Audi is a re-badge Volkswagen?
      Also, do you call a Bugatti Veyron is a re-badge Volkswagen/Audi?
      FYI: If you pop Bugatti's hood, you will find Audi/Volkswagen engine in it
      Anyways, there are more than 180 cellular providers in the US
      Do you still disagree with the term "Cellular providers"?
      Call this guy - Steve Largent, President and CEO - CTIA The Wireless Association.
      Tell him that he's been wrong all this year.
      Or better yet ... call the FCC.

      Even T-mobile back in 2008 was using AT&T communication towers to streamline their signals in some metropolitan areas. Did you know this?

      AT&T is the largest GSM providers(subscribers wise), but there are other (small) providers.
      Thank you for summing that up very nicely. It was late, I should have typed mine out a little better but that was pretty much the point I was making.

      Quote Originally Posted by Gr0undBreak1ng View Post
      AT&T is wasting money, losing their touch.
      Please explain? Not being "problematic", I'd just like to hear how they are losing money. Link to you source?
    1. Gr0undBreak1ng's Avatar
      Gr0undBreak1ng -
      Quote Originally Posted by squassss View Post
      Thank you for summing that up very nicely. It was late, I should have typed mine out a little better but that was pretty much the point I was making.


      Please explain? Not being "problematic", I'd just like to hear how they are losing money. Link to you source?
      No source. Just that AT&T is spending money on not developing, although they're
      improving coverage in areas they couldn't cover.
    1. squassss's Avatar
      squassss -
      Quote Originally Posted by mm8 View Post
      Is like I said NO MORE UNLIMITED DATA on future ATT/T-Mobile...proof is right here...I highly doubt ATT will let customers get a new phone with the same plan unlimited data plan.....

      NEW YORK (AP) -- AT&T Inc. said Monday that if its deal to buy T-Mobile USA goes through, T-Mobile subscribers with "3G" phones will need to replace those to keep their wireless broadband service working. But there will be plenty of time to do that.

      Dallas-based AT&T said Sunday it had agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. If approved by regulators, the deal would close in about a year.

      AT&T said that some time after the closing, it plans to rearrange how T-Mobile's cell towers work. The airwaves they use for third-generation services, or 3G, will be repurposed for 4G, which is faster.

      That would leave current T-Mobile phones without 3G. They would need to be replaced with phones that use AT&T's 3G frequencies. Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's head of wireless and consumer services, said this will happen as part of the normal phone upgrade process.
      You are right..Unlimited data is probably on the way out the door for most providers not just in this case. As for the phone upgrades... this will probably end up taking while. Seems like the average smart phone user is upgrading every time the contract was up.

      Quote Originally Posted by Gr0undBreak1ng View Post
      No source. Just that AT&T is spending money on not developing, although they're
      improving coverage in areas they couldn't cover.
      I know they are working on a lot of improvements this year. I'm sorry I got wrapped up in too much argument and not enough actual positive commentary before but I honestly think things will get better. Will consumers see magical changes? Probably not, but where the real changes will be is that we will be able to progress in terms of mobile broadband. If any AT&T customers remember the wait for 3G you know what I'm talking about. I see this merger as a way for AT&T and T-Mo to take the best of each other and work together for a better product. Hopefully when the network is stronger the data pricing will normalize.
    1. Gr0undBreak1ng's Avatar
      Gr0undBreak1ng -
      I see your point. I agree they are working on lots of improvements.
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by mm8 View Post
      I will tell ATT, but Sir I already have an iphone 3G....they will be like it HAS to BE an ATT approved device regardless of what you have, so here $199 for a iphone 4 and 2GB of data...that would be a sad day...
      It is an AT&T approved device. The issue at hand is frequencies, not "generation."

      AT&T is going to use the T-Mobile frequencies (which are NOT supported by current iPhones, and is the reason you don't get 3G) for "4G." This means that any "4G" device will run on the frequencies that used to be exclusive to T-Mobile. So any "4G" device should be backwards compatible with AT&T's 3G, but not vice versa.

      The phones will have to be changed, because T-Mobile's 3G phones won't read the "4G" signal, and therefore, only ever see edge.

      The big advantage for people like me, who are still waiting for 3G from AT&T, may very well see "4G" first.

      I keep using 4G in quotes, because NEITHER HSPA+, or LTE, are actually 4G. Only LTE-A is.
    1. Gr0undBreak1ng's Avatar
      Gr0undBreak1ng -
      They bought better coverage, more spectrum, and towers.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Been reading about this all over.

      In many cities this will broaden coverage. SF as an example will give ATT 40+% more coverage.

      Also after the deal goes through they will begin phases. One will be to slowly bring T-Mobile customers to the ATT 3G spectrum. This will clear up T-Mobiles 3G spectrum for use for LTE plans.
    1. Gr0undBreak1ng's Avatar
      Gr0undBreak1ng -
      Also places AT&T didn't or seldom provided coverage, and AT&T did have amplified the coverage
      in those areas. Specifically rural areas, and very suburban areas. All AT&T wants is
      coverage where corporates, and large corporates, or Wall-Street.
    1. squassss's Avatar
      squassss -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gr0undBreak1ng View Post
      Also places AT&T didn't or seldom provided coverage, and AT&T did have amplified the coverage
      in those areas. Specifically rural areas, and very suburban areas. All AT&T wants is
      coverage where corporates, and large corporates, or Wall-Street.
      That may have been the case a few years ago I don't know but now I know they are working on new towers in the more rural areas. I've seen them putting up new towers all over the place back in my home town.