Although Sprint was rumored to be a contender, in swoops AT&T to buy T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom for a healthy $39 billion, pending regulatory approval which could take a year. The deal will make AT&T the largest carrier in the US with a huge base of 140 million subscribers (Verizon has 93 million, Sprint just 50).
From the presser:
With this transaction, AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) 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. This helps achieve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and President Obama’s goals to connect “every part of America to the digital age.” T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE.
“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.”
Pretty huge deal but considering how T-Mobile has been floundering for the last few years, it makes sense someone would buy them. But will Sprint be able to continue competing against AT&T/Verizon or will the invevitable happen and someone swoop them up too?
To our T-Mo users, how does this effect your future plans? We imagine many of you are on T-Mo to get away from AT&T. For us, we're having flashbacks to 1934. Full press release after the break.