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T-Mobile, MetroPCS officially merge, bringing iPhone to 9M more in US

post #1 of 11
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Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile announced on Wednesday the completion of T-Mobile USA's merger with MetroPCS Communications, creating an entity with roughly 43 million subscribers across the United States and making Apple's iPhone available to an additional 9 million customers.

meld


The last obstacles to creating the new entity ? known as T-Mobile US and trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TMUS ? were cleared in late April, when MetroPCS' shareholders approved the merger following an improved offer from Deutsche Telekom. The deal saw MetroPCS effecting a 1 for 2 reverse stock split and paying its shareholders $1.5 billion, or roughly $4.05 per share.

T-Mobile is the fourth-largest carrier in the United States, with the 9 million added subscribers from MetroPCS bringing its total base to about 43 million. Based on 2012 financial reporting, the company has about $24.8 billion in revenues and $2.7 billion in free cash flow.

T-Mobile's president and CEO, John Legere, will head the new company, while MetroPCS' vice chairman and CFO, J. Braxton Carter, will serve as CFO.

The combined company will, for a time, operate under separate brands, with MetroPCS customers gradually being migrated into T-Mobile's network. During that transition, MetroPCS' CDMA network spectrum will be repurposed for T-Mobile's LTE network. The process is expected to be completed by 2015.

The deal marks the completion of a months-long process that saw MetroPCS' board of directors approving the merger in October. In the time since then, T-Mobile has significantly modified its pricing structure, adopting an "UNcarrier" brand with a no-contract standard and adding Apple's iPhone to its handset offerings.

Prior to officially adding Apple's iPhone, T-Mobile had been successfully attracting owners of unlocked iPhones to its network at a rate of roughly 100,000 per month. While those customers were limited to much lower data speeds, T-Mobile had brought in about two million by the time the iPhone officially debuted on its network. Prior to the merger, MetroPCS customers did not have access to the iPhone.
post #2 of 11

Thinking to buy TMUS...

post #3 of 11
Migrating CDMA to GSM LTE seems pretty tricky to me. How da do Dat?

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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post

Migrating CDMA to GSM LTE seems pretty tricky to me. How da do Dat?

I seem to recall when Cingular bought the old Att wireless, they operated separately for a while then pushed all those customers to Cingular branded service. Eventually the shut the old service down and repurposed the spectrum. I think that took 3 years to do.

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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post

Migrating CDMA to GSM LTE seems pretty tricky to me. How da do Dat?

From my understanding, LTE is a GSM technology. So Verizon and Sprint LTE phones have CDMA and GSM tech in them. CDMA for their "3G" speeds and GSM for LTE. If you pop open any Verizon Android phone that has LTE, you will find a SIM card present which you would normally only find in a GSM phone. So T-Mobile should be gaining MetroPCS LTE towers without too much of a hiccup, but other customers on CDMA only phones, that part will be more tricky and that I do not have an answer on.

post #6 of 11
Correction in article.. It says, "MetroPCS' CDMA network spectrum will be repurposed for T-Mobile's LTE network..

No.. MetroPCS's LTE spectrum (1700Mhz) is being repurposed to T-Mobiles LTE Advanced Network..

MetroPCS's CDMA (1900MHz) network is being repurposed to T-Mobiles GSM HSPA

They are technically independent separate network technologies..
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

I seem to recall when Cingular bought the old Att wireless, they operated separately for a while then pushed all those customers to Cingular branded service. Eventually the shut the old service down and repurposed the spectrum. I think that took 3 years to do.

And didn't they do that all the while the original iPhone was being introduced by Steve in January, prior to the June 2007 release.  I think I remember correctly Steve said they were going with GSM and had the Cingular logo being shown before everything switched to the AT&T logo.  

 

Probably why, with the success of the iPhone there were so many headaches for iPhone users as Cingular/ATT was repurposing that spectrum...  I may not be accurate in that, just musing...

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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post

Correction in article.. It says, "MetroPCS' CDMA network spectrum will be repurposed for T-Mobile's LTE network..

No.. MetroPCS's LTE spectrum (1700Mhz) is being repurposed to T-Mobiles LTE Advanced Network..

MetroPCS's CDMA (1900MHz) network is being repurposed to T-Mobiles GSM HSPA

They are technically independent separate network technologies..

Do you recall what T-Mobile is doing with the spectrum from AT&T, 850 MHz, I believe?
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

And didn't they do that all the while the original iPhone was being introduced by Steve in January, prior to the June 2007 release.  I think I remember correctly Steve said they were going with GSM and had the Cingular logo being shown before everything switched to the AT&T logo.  

 

Probably why, with the success of the iPhone there were so many headaches for iPhone users as Cingular/ATT was repurposing that spectrum...  I may not be accurate in that, just musing...

/

/

At the time I found it really amusing that At&t felt the need to spit itself up and sell off the pieces only to have someone else come along and basically rebuild most of it. I think all of that may have distracted them from the fact that they had a huge hit with the iphone, and what that success would do to their network.

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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post

Migrating CDMA to GSM LTE seems pretty tricky to me. How da do Dat?

How did AT&T migrate everyone from TDMA to GSM?
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post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post

Migrating CDMA to GSM LTE seems pretty tricky to me. How da do Dat?

 

Well, first, it's not really GSM LTE.   LTE is a different technology from CDMA or GSM networks, but was designed to be added to either.

 

Back when cell networks were just starting up, engineers knew that CDMA was the way to go for more speed and capacity.  However, it was more expensive to set up.  Some carriers decided to go for the long haul anyway, and implemented CDMA from the beginning.

 

When the time came to move into 3G, the CDMA carriers had comparatively little to do, as their towers and phones continued to need only a single CDMA radio and network.

 

--

 

GSM, which started with a more limited TDMA radio, had to tack on a new WCDMA radio network (UMTS-3G).  That is, the cell towers and phones now needed both an old TDMA radio plus a WCDMA radio.  Some parts of the internal radio network were reused, some were new.

 

The problem for some carriers like AT&T, was that WCDMA required a different tower placement scheme than the older TDMA setup.   This is why it took an extra long time for AT&T to roll out 3G across the USA.  They had to redo and expand their tower system to add on UMTS-3G/WCDMA.  On the other hand, WCDMA allowed for higher bandwidth, which was an advantage in the end.

 

(GSM 3G is actually the UMTS-3G spec.   UMTS can be tacked onto any kind of system.  For example, South Korea added UMTS to its CDMA phone network.)

 

Likewise, LTE can be tacked onto older systems.  A CDMA carrier who wants to support 2G,3G,4G would have towers and phones with both CDMA and LTE radios.

 

A GSM carrier who wants to support 2G,3G,4G has THREE sets of radios... TDMA, WCDMA and LTE. 

 

GSM equipment marketing is where a lot of misconceptions come from.  They sold the idea that everything was upward compatible, which it was from some network standpoints, and not so much from a radio standpoint.


Edited by KDarling - 5/1/13 at 9:16pm
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