AT&T announced an agreement to buy T-Mobile from German company Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion, making AT&T the largest wireless network in the United States, ahead of Verizon.
Moreover, the consolidation has left the US telecom industry with only two giants plus Sprint.
T-Mobile has told its customers that:
- The purchase, pending regulatory approval, is expected to complete in about 12 months; until then, nothing is expected to change for T-Mobile users.
- T-Mobile devices will continue to work the same in the future as it does today.
- Customers will not get the iPhone immediately. T-Mobile USA remains an independent company... We do not offer the iPhone.
- Customers will experience improved voice and data service almost immediately after the networks are integrated, claimed T-Mobile, because of the combined networks and spectrum of the two entities.
This is the official story from T-Mobile; there weren't any substantial comments beyond what is listed above.
Given the magnitude of this development, though, there have been plenty of reactions so far.
Casey Chan of technology blog Gizmodo thinks T-Mobile's history of taking chances on devices will not translate to the new company. In addition the cheap plans and really good customer service could go by the wayside.
Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin told Mashable that there was good news and bad news. The good news: high-speed mobile broadband service will improve in quality and coverage, including... those in rural communities outside the reach of terrestrial broadband today. The bad news: the cost of that service won't come down nearly as fast as customers would like, since AT&T and Verizon Wireless combined would own nearly three out of every four wireless subscriptions in the U.S.
Om Malik of Gigaom asserts that T-Mobile USA has been fairly aggressive in offering cheaper voice and data plans to compete with larger carriers like AT&T. With it out of the picture, consumers are going to lose out.
Daniel Eran Dilger of AppleInsider said even though T-Mobile users won't get the iPhone immediately, they eventually will. On its own, T-Mobile probably never would have gotten the iPhone in the U.S., so its acquisition by AT&T may have been the only way.