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T-Mobile gets the iPhone, Apple gets fast new HSPA+ network

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
AT&T's $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom will not only create America's largest mobile carrier but also the largest US iPhone carrier by adding 33.7 million T-Mobile subscribers to AT&T's network of about 95.5 million, creating a total of about 130 million users on a network with ultra fast HSPA+ coverage.

The deal will effectively expand Apple's iPhone to three of what were the top four US carriers when it arrived in 2007. Apple already brought its popular smartphone to Verizon earlier this year, leaving Sprint as the only major US carrier without the ability to offer the iPhone.

T-Mobile formerly had "no chance" at getting the iPhone

Deutsche Telekom specifically cited T-Mobile's lack of the iPhone as a reason why the company's US subsidiary's performance was slumping last fall.

The Wall Street Journal noted that "consumers like T-Mobile but they also want to have the iPhone," which at the time the Journal said that T-Mobile USA "has no chance of getting in the short term."

"The U.S. used to be a cash cow for Deutsche Telekom but it has struggled there since 2008 and has been forced to invest more to keep existing customers and attract new ones," the report said.

A fast new network for Apple's iPhone

Deutsche Telekom was an early (and originally an exclusive) iPhone partner for Apple in Europe, but it could not bring the popular smartphone to America for T-Mobile due to radio frequency differences in the firm's US network. T-Mobile's non-standard 3G radio spectrum allocations were granted due to the scarcity of available spectrum.

By selling T-Mobile to AT&T, Deutsche Telekom retains a foothold in the US market while AT&T will greatly bolster its ability to provide improved coverage now. It also accelerates its ability to roll out "4G" HSPA+ technology that Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to support this summer, thanks to new Qualcomm MDM6600 baseband chip already in use in the Verizon iPhone 4 model, which latently supports HSPA+ and will expose functional support in the new AT&T model this summer.

Both AT&T and T-Mobile have already begun building out HSPA+, the latest generation of GSM/3GPP mobile networking supporting data speeds of up to 21Mbps (as some European carriers have been operating for years). Existing AT&T iPhone 4 models support 7Mbps data downloads, and HSPA+ networks can be backwardly compatible with them; new iPhone 5 models are expected to be able to take full advantage of the fast new network.

In comparison, Sprint's WiMAX offers about 10Mbps, while existing AT&T and Verizon 3G service is closer to 1-2Mbps. Verizon's new LTE data network tests at 40-50Mbps in the lab, but real throughput is closer to 5-12Mbps for downloads and uploads of 2-5Mbps. Neither WiMAX nor LTE currently offer significant coverage in the US.

T-Mobile currently offers or plans to offer HSPA+ service in around 100 markets, and has been advertising the service as "4G" in conjunction with the Android-based HTC EVO. With T-Mobile's HSPA+ network now begin rolled into AT&T, it's likely that the combined company will aggressively push its greatly widening speed advantage over Verizon and focus on selling new iPhones.

It remains to be seen how quickly AT&T will be able to leverage its new T-Mobile towers to improve its coverage, how long the combined company will continue to operate T-Mobile's non-standard 3G UMTS frequencies, or whether AT&T will work with hardware makers like Apple to incorporate support for the additional frequency bands.

In a press release, the two companies stated that AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers "will see service improvements - including improved voice quality - as a result of additional spectrum, increased cell tower density and broader network infrastructure," noting that as soon as the deal closes, AT&T "will immediately gain cell sites equivalent to what would have taken on average five years to build without the transaction, and double that in some markets."

post #2 of 121
Will the iPhone now be sold unlocked now?
post #3 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Will the iPhone now be sold unlocked now?

Maybe that will mean better service by att
post #4 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Will the iPhone now be sold unlocked now?

I doubt it. Most likely it'd be locked to AT&T, as T-Mobile would be re-branded as AT&T. Not that it matters; the iPhone still can't use T-Mobile's 3G frequencies anyway.
post #5 of 121
T-Mobile posted that T-Mobile will remain an independent company am that they will not be getting the iPhone.
So this is largely a network expansion/consolidation issue. I guess that means that while TMo an AT&T will be separate, they'll be the same network.
post #6 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by rf9 View Post

T-Mobile posted that T-Mobile will remain an independent company am that they will not be getting the iPhone.
So this is largely a network expansion/consolidation issue. I guess that means that while TMo an AT&T will be separate, they'll be the same network.

For now, until the FCC approves it.
post #7 of 121
So is t-mobile dead? Should I start making plans to transition to Verizon instead? I was very happy with tmobiles coverage and rates, I guess this had to happen at some point.

Will also mean the end of unlocking the iPhone cause we are now stuck with just one carrier per wireless technology.
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post #8 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by rf9 View Post

T-Mobile posted that T-Mobile will remain an independent company am that they will not be getting the iPhone. So this is largely a network expansion/consolidation issue. I guess that means that while TMo an AT&T will be separate, they'll be the same network.

Nonsense! As soon as the deal is done, AT&T will start the process of phasing out T-Mobile and transferring all customers renewing their contracts to AT&T's network. In the process, old T-Mobile equipment will be upgraded to handle AT&T's network needs as T-Mobile customers disappear off T-Mobile's network.

In 2 years, you won't have anyone left on T-Mobile's old network and the brand name will be gone.
post #9 of 121
This means there are fewer carriers, so service will suck more, we'll start getting less for our money, and they will be charging us more money for the service. Great! There are now only 2 major carriers: Verizon and AT&T, and now only one slightly secondary carrier: Sprint. Everyone else isn't even a player. Less competition means the customers get screwed more.
post #10 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT Walrus View Post

Nonsense! As soon as the deal is done, AT&T will start the process of phasing out T-Mobile and transferring all customers renewing their contracts to AT&T's network

FCC won't allow a straight merger of companies this large. This is going to get messy.
post #11 of 121
post #12 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

FCC won't allow a straight merger of companies this large. This is going to get messy.

This is the same FCC that allowed Comcast to buy NBC right?
post #13 of 121
Tmo is not getting the iPhone, its spectrum stays the same, so no 3G service that means no official iPhone. Tmo stays intact as a company for the most part, prices will go up for sure. Well time to look for a new phone carrier, AT&T blows.
post #14 of 121
improved voice quality would be welcome but the article doesn't explain how the merger actually improves voice quality. More towers isn't going to solve a poor voice algorithm. I could stand right under an AT&T tower and the voice would still sound like crap.

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post #15 of 121
I don't want an AT&T iPhone, I want a T-Mobile iPhone, and this merger does NOT produce a T-Mobile iPhone! The only thing this will do is increase the prices and reduce the customer service of T-Mobile. iPhone users were going to switch to T-Mobile despite the iPhone because they don't like AT&T. Now they'll just go to Sprint. It's not like AT&T will offer an unlimited data low-cost-plan "T-Mobile" iPhone. And T-Mobile could have very easily gotten the iPhone 5 if Apple would have just added a spectrum to the antenna. Instead of holding out for Apple, they caved and sold all their users down the river.

I really hope the deal does not go through and that Apple produces a T-Mobile-compatible iPhone 5.
post #16 of 121
Nice to see the US once again playing catchup. I have a T-Mobile iPhone here in the UK and I love it. They have the best coverage, the fastest 3G and best customer service in the UK.

Having frequently visited the US, if I had to put up full time with the lousy service provided by AT&T and Verizon, i'd go mad - I can't believe what a second rate cell phone network the states has.
post #17 of 121
Quote:
It remains to be seen how quickly AT&T will be able to leverage its new T-Mobile towers to improve its coverage, how long the combined company will continue to operate T-Mobile's non-standard 3G UMTS frequencies, or whether AT&T will work with hardware makers like Apple to incorporate support for the additional frequency bands.

Good question. My guess is AT&T will change T-Mobile's 3G frequency to theirs and allow T-mobile customers to roam on their 3G frequency (like T-Mobile and Orange now do in the UK), therefore allowing T-Mobile customers to use iPhones on a 3G network.
post #18 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

FCC won't allow a straight merger of companies this large. This is going to get messy.

T-Mobile isn't a "large" player.
post #19 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

So is t-mobile dead? Should I start making plans to transition to Verizon instead? I was very happy with tmobiles coverage and rates, I guess this had to happen at some point.

No, first of all, coverage will only get better so don't een bring that up as a reason that makes no sense. Secondly, if you have a contract you'll be protected by terms in said contract; thirdly T Mobile is for now just a fully owned subsidiary and rates will theoretically no be affected.
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post #20 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

FCC won't allow a straight merger of companies this large. This is going to get messy.

The FCC is a rubber stamp agency.

Corporate monopolies run the US now. Political parties are a front to keep the populace distracted.
post #21 of 121
So finally T-Mobile iPhone rumors become true somehow
post #22 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

Secondly, if you have a contract you'll be protected by terms in said contract

Until it expires in two years maximum. Then they can do whatever they want to you.

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post #23 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This article is a bit clearer.

http://arstechnica.com/business/news...st-carrier.ars

Are you kidding? The Ars article says nothing, is campy and lame, and doesn't provide any technical information. There is nothing "clear" in it.
post #24 of 121
Since Apple and AT&T no longer have an exclusivity contract, this means nothing to the iPhone as far as potential customers. The extra coverage for voice will be a boost, but not for 3G data. Well, not for existing phones. Perhaps the iPhone5 (or 6) will be AT&T and T-Mobile 3G frequency compatible (if the chips exist).

Now, what would be really nice would be is the USA finally had a nationwide network under one standard. Enough of this compatible-phone-network crap. When does that happen?
post #25 of 121
So much for all those Anti-iPhone ads T-Mobile have been running with their fake claim to be operating a 4G network - the big lie.

So glad AT&T is pulling away from those dorks at Verizon. This is incredibly great news.

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post #26 of 121
This is horrible news for everyone including AT&T and Verizon customers. T-Mobile meant alternatives for people. I am on T-Mobile because the rates were better and the customer service was good.

My iPhone is happily running on T-Mobile. I have AT&T for my Internet Provider and dealing with AT&T is horrible.
post #27 of 121
Less competition is good news? I guess if you are a AT&T stockholder and aren't stuck using its services your view might be valid.

Further, all what is going to happen is Verizon is going to buy Sprint. Americans will have the choice of two companies. It will be like gas companies the two companies will wink at each other to keep prices high. T-Mobile is a european company. In Europe the laws actually benefit consumers, not the other way around like here. Some of that carried over here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post

So glad AT&T is pulling away from those dorks at Verizon. This is incredibly great news.
post #28 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Perhaps the iPhone5 (or 6) will be AT&T and T-Mobile 3G frequency compatible (if the chips exist).

The chip being used in the Verizon iPhone already supports all frequencies.

It is up to Apple to use that capability when they release an iPhone 5 using the chip.
post #29 of 121
I was just driving down RT 17 North in Carlstadt where there are two large billboards. One for T-Mobile hawking their 4-G network followed by an AT&T billboard asking me to "rethink possible." I guess the merger will save the company on advertising with two billboards.

SOOOO glad I have a viPhone!!
post #30 of 121
This is an utter disaster. I was alarmed by the rumors of TMobile merging with Sprint last week, but at least going from four to three major carriers involved consolidating two smaller carriers. This opens up the serious possibility of only two national carriers in the US — giving us a less competitive wireless market than any other major economy. Even Canada manages to have three. Sprint will have to absorb every minor carrier simply to be competitive, or they'll end up subsumed into Verizon. Will the FCC even require that phones on AT&T and Verizon support each other's frequencies on LTE, specifically the 1700 band of TMobile?
post #31 of 121
I think this is great news for both AT&T and T-Mobile customers. By combing both networks, which have compatible technology, coverage should improve for both carriers. A number of articles point out that this will increase tower density in many urban areas - particularly on GSM/UMTS technology where you have hard hand-offs between cell phone towers, it seems to me that this should eventually improve call quality and improve data transmission as well. I do think the FCC is likely to impose some conditions on this acquisition. I wouldn't be surprised if some of T-Mobiles assets will have to be divested, probably to Verizon (much like Verizon had to divest Alltel assets when it acquired Alltel). With the Obama administration's push to expand mobile broadband to rural areas, the FCC may require some additional commitments from AT&T to expand mobile broadband to rural areas it does not currently service (again, an improvement for customers).

I know some people have a knee jerk reaction of less competition being bad for consumers. This is true generally, but you also have to keep in mind the particularities of the wireless industry. Unlike Europe, a national wireless carrier in the U.S. has extremely large amounts of land to cover in order to provide effective service. If you are a smaller carrier (i.e., Sprint or T-Mobile) and you can barely keep from losing customers, it just doesn't make sense to expand and improve your network in any significant way. You will just run bigger and bigger losses, and that can't be sustained. Of course, AT&T and Verizon, as the two big players (and, now, going to get even bigger) can push their weight around as they get bigger, and refuse to improve service with the rationale of where are you going to go? The other big carrier that has no better service? There certainly will be a role for the FCC to play to ensure that America has a robust, improving national wireless network. However, I think Verizon and AT&T will continue to vye (much like Coke and Pepsi) for who has the superior network. And, because they are both very large, they will actually be able to spend money to improve their network, even where it doesn't make short term financial sense. Long story short . . . the wireless industry is complex, but I think an argument can be made that consumers will benefit from the AT&T/T-Mobile consolidation.
post #32 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT Walrus View Post

Nonsense! As soon as the deal is done, AT&T will start the process of phasing out T-Mobile and transferring all customers renewing their contracts to AT&T's network. In the process, old T-Mobile equipment will be upgraded to handle AT&T's network needs as T-Mobile customers disappear off T-Mobile's network.

In 2 years, you won't have anyone left on T-Mobile's old network and the brand name will be gone.

They're going to be a single network. There won't be a such thing as "AT&T's Network" or "T-Mobile's Network" ... the two are compatible with one another. This primarily gives customers access to more towers.

On the down side, AT&T's customer service and rate plans leave something to be desired. My current T-Mobile bill is probably going to double after this goes through. I'm not at all happy about it.
post #33 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by webweasel View Post

Good question. My guess is AT&T will change T-Mobile's 3G frequency to theirs and allow T-mobile customers to roam on their 3G frequency (like T-Mobile and Orange now do in the UK), therefore allowing T-Mobile customers to use iPhones on a 3G network.

AT&T doesn't have enough spectrum to merge T-Mobile customers onto the "AT&T 3G" frequencies. If you think there's congestion now, wait until they add many millions of customers onto the same towers they've been using. They'll keep the T-Mobile 3G frequencies... they're too valuable to not use them. And that network is already running equipment that can go up to 84 Mbps with software upgrades. It would be stupid to turn that off. T-Mobile owns a huge amount of radio spectrum in high frequency band, which allows really fast data transfer. The higher the frequency, the more data you can transmit.

What we'll see is AT&T phones released that can run on either 3G network. Most T-Mobile phones are already capable of using either one, but AT&T's can't.
post #34 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

The chip being used in the Verizon iPhone already supports all frequencies.

It is up to Apple to use that capability when they release an iPhone 5 using the chip.

you first need an antenna and RF front end for all those bands, a capable baseband chip is necessary but not sufficient.

RLK
post #35 of 121
Good deal, and hopefully better service and unlocked iPhones.
post #36 of 121
Poor Verizon
post #37 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

The FCC is a rubber stamp agency.

Corporate monopolies run the US now. Political parties are a front to keep the populace distracted.

Change monopolies to oligopolies and you're all set.
post #38 of 121
T-MOBILE said on its website; NO iPHONE.
post #39 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

T-MOBILE said on its website; NO iPHONE.

When did they say that?

Could you supple a link?
post #40 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by rf9 View Post

T-Mobile posted that T-Mobile will remain an independent company am that they will not be getting the iPhone.
So this is largely a network expansion/consolidation issue. I guess that means that while TMo an AT&T will be separate, they'll be the same network.

Could you supply a link?
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