T-Mobile USA, operated by Deutsche Telekom, and MetroPCS have agreed to merge under the T-Mobile name. Expected to close in the first half of 2013, the deal would move over 9 million MetroPCS subscribers to T-Mobile's GSM network and repurpose the existing MetroPCS CDMA network for 4G LTE. It's another try at a merger for T-Mobile after its failed agreement with AT&T, and one that's less likely to be shot down by US regulators.
May 17, 2013
Cellphone carriers have generally met net neutrality proposals with varying levels of hostility, but Verizon and MetroPCS have been particularly belligerent: in 2011, they sued to overturn the FCC's then-newly adopted Open Internet rules. Since then, the two have consistently argued in court against the rules, which they've said undermine the freedom to run their networks as they see fit. But as T-Mobile finalizes its merger with MetroPCS, it's decided it doesn't want an old lawsuit to come with its new spectrum. In a court statement filed today, T-Mobile has moved to dismiss its appeals claim.Read Article >
T-Mobile's decision to back out doesn't mean the suit is over. Verizon will continue its litigation, though the court document indicates that it knows about the move and will make no attempt to stop it. And the Open Internet rules themselves haven't stopped companies from pushing the boundaries of what constitutes blocking the competition. AT&T has maintained that it was in the right to block FaceTime over its network, and Comcast started favoring its own Xfinity TV app even after the rules took effect. But for now, Verizon is alone among US carriers in its legal challenge.
May 1, 2013
T-Mobile and MetroPCS have successfully closed the merger both wireless carriers set out on last year. Confirmed in the newly-merged company's fact sheet and investor page, the deal pairs T-Mobile USA's 34 million subscribers with the near 9 million tallied by MetroPCS. The Associated Press first reported that the merger was nearing finalization yesterday, and both companies' investor pages confirm the new company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TMUS.Read Article >
The joined entity will operate under the T-Mobile brand, with plans calling for MetroPCS customers to be migrated over to T-Mobile's network by 2015. Once that's done, the spectrum previously devoted to MetroPCS' CDMA network will be repurposed to help build out T-Mobile's LTE network. The goal is to establish a 4G presence rivaling those of larger competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Even as a combined company, the new T-Mobile lags behind Sprint in subscriber count and will maintain its position as America's fourth-largest wireless provider — at least for now.
Apr 24, 2013
Bloomberg and Reuters are reporting that MetroPCS shareholders have approved a deal to merge with T-Mobile USA. The approval comes after the deal received a blessing from the FCC and the Justice Department in March, and board approval from each company last October.Read Article >
The merger will allow T-Mobile to expand its freshly-launched LTE network in the United States, which launched in seven cities on March 26th. T-Mobile says it expects to deliver LTE to 100 million people by mid-2013, and 200 million customers nationwide by the end of the year.
Apr 11, 2013
MetroPCS is putting a Friday vote on the proposed merger with T-Mobile USA on hold until April 24th. MetroPCS announced the postponement today, and according to All Things D, the revised terms will reduce MetroPCS’s debt burden in the aftermath — from $15 billion to $11.2 billion. The Wall Street Journal reports that the interest rate on that debt would also be cut by half a percentage point in what T-Mobile’s German parent Deutsche Telekom called its "best and final offer." Shareholders had reportedly been prepared to reject the previous terms of the deal if it had gone to a vote as planned.Read Article >
Since 2011’s failed attempt to sell T-Mobile USA off to AT&T, Deutsche has overseen a massive restructuring at the company, scrapping thousands of jobs, hiring a new CEO, adopting a major rebranding, and pursuing an aggressive LTE rollout plan to compete with the more modern networks of America’s top two carriers, AT&T and Verizon. And if the MetroPCS merger indeed goes ahead, it will give the combined company significantly more spectrum to devote to expanding LTE coverage. According to T-Mobile VP Brad Duea, the total could approach 20MHz in some markets — in comparison, both AT&T and Verizon have more than twice as many customers as T-Mobile, and neither has more than 20MHz active in any one market. The deal has already been given the go-ahead by both the FCC and the Justice Department last month, as well as both companies' boards, so aside from the upcoming shareholder vote, there's little left to stop the merger from moving forward.
Mar 12, 2013
We knew things were moving forward, and now the Federal Communications Commission has approved the merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS. In a statement released today, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that allowing the two companies to join forces will "benefit millions of American consumers and help the US maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years."Read Article >
Word first broke that T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, was interested in acquiring MetroPCS last year, with the boards of both companies approving the transaction last October. Regulatory approval was still necessary, however, but earlier this month the Department of Justice let a 30-day waiting period — mandated because of anti-trust concerns — lapse without intervening.
Mar 6, 2013
The proposed merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS still has plenty of regulatory hurdles to overcome, but now there's one less to worry about. Seemingly unconcerned with the plan, the US Department of Justice has allowed a 30-day waiting period (mandated by antitrust law) to lapse without objection. "Deutsche Telekom has reached an important staging post at the approval process of the merger of its subsidiary T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS," said T-Mobile's corporate parent in a statement.Read Article >
For the fourth and fifth largest US carriers to combine, approval will also need to come from the Federal Communications Commission, the Committee on Foreign Investment, and of course investors. MetroPCS shareholders are slated to vote on the merger during an April 12th meeting. The company is imploring them to vote yes, warning "there is no assurance that MetroPCS will be able to deliver the same or better stockholder value" should the proposal fail. Executive boards at both carriers have already approved the merger, with T-Mobile aiming to migrate all MetroPCS customers over by 2015.
Feb 28, 2013
Another quarter, another half a million fewer postpaid customers for T-Mobile. Today the company reported its fourth quarter financial results, and while revenues are showing signs of growth, they’re still five percent lower than they were last year. Despite the 19 percent growth in the number of prepaid customers (including branded and MVNO numbers), it couldn’t offset the 13.9 percent drop in contract revenues, which make up more than two thirds of T-Mobile’s total revenue stream. The resulting billion-dollar drop in revenues for the year contributed to an operating loss of $6.4 billion — 50 percent higher than 2011’s $4.3 billion loss.Read Article >
It's not all bad news, though: T-Mobile says that around 30 percent of its postpaid retail customers are currently on the Value plans, which allow you to buy a device unsubsidized in exchange for cheaper monthly rates. It says the plans have been a "huge success," and notes that it will soon add Apple products to its lineup, which may help improve its chances of turning its declining subscriber numbers around. Today's financial results come on the eve of a shareholder vote to approve T-Mobile’s merger with MetroPCS, scheduled for March 28th, but with both companies continuing to post such big subscriber losses, the prospect of combining forces doesn't inspire a ton of confidence.
As part of its recently announced merger with T-Mobile USA, MetroPCS will be moving customers off its current CDMA network by 2015, the company says. In a call, the companies said that T-Mobile's GSM network would provide 3G service for MetroPCS subscribers, while the CDMA spectrum would be repurposed to expand 4G LTE. "At the date the deal closes," investors were told, "we will have an array of GSM, HSPA+, and LTE devices available for MetroPCS customers to purchase." Previously, MetroPCS had considered signing roaming partnerships with GSM carriers, using Voice over LTE to make the switch.Read Article >
Citing a 60 to 65 percent annual upgrade rate, they said that the transition should not be difficult, and that "heavy users" on LTE would likely migrate immediately. By 2015, the new T-Mobile will begin shutting down MetroPCS cell sites and using that spectrum for an LTE network it hopes will rival that of AT&T or Verizon. For people who are slow to make the switch, it could also offer incentives for the last 8 to 12 months.
The boards of Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS have approved a deal that would combine MetroPCS with T-Mobile USA,The Wall Street Journal reports. According to sources, the new company will run under the T-Mobile banner, headed by T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere. However, though Deutsche Telekom reportedly has a substantial stake in the new company, it could reduce it over time, effectively letting MetroPCS take over the T-Mobile label in the US.Read Article >
No-contract carrier MetroPCS had about 9.3 million subscribers in mid-2012, while T-Mobile USA had closer to 27 million under its contract and prepaid labels and more under MVNOs. Both trail larger carriers like Sprint or Verizon. T-Mobile USA previously attempted to merge with AT&T, but the move was blocked by American antitrust regulators. While those regulators will still need to approve this deal, the relatively small size of both companies makes it potentially less controversial. So far, neither MetroPCS nor Deutsche Telekom has officially confirmed the agreement.
Oct 2, 2012
Deutsche Telekom is allegedly very close to making a deal to purchase MetroPCS, according to a report from Bloomberg. The purchase would be used to strengthen the T-Mobile brand in the US, which is currently the fourth-largest carrier in the country. Bloomberg cites unnamed sources that claim that Deutsche Telekom's board is due to meet tomorrow to approve the transaction.Read Article >
MetroPCS is just under a third of the size of T-Mobile, which has 33.2 million subscribers in the US. It currently operates a 4G LTE network and 2G CDMA network in various parts of the country. This alleged deal follows T-Mobile's recent sale of the rights to operate its cellular towers for $2.4 billion.
May 10, 2012
Wednesday's report comes barely a week after MetroPCS reported an 82-percent year-on-year drop in new customers, and a few months after T-Mobile reported a similar plunge in its subscriber base. In today's Q1 earnings report, T-Mobile announced overall customer gains, but substantial losses in contract subscribers.Read Article >
Earlier this year, it looked as if Sprint was on the verge of acquiring MetroPCS for $8 billion, but the deal ultimately fell through at the last minute. Over the past year, MetroPCS' stock has fallen by 24-percent, which, according to Bloomberg's insiders, may complicate its current negotiations with Deutsche Telekom. The potential merger would make sense on a technical level, since MetroPCS owns substantial AWS spectrum, though the prepaid carrier is reportedly in talks with other companies, as well.