News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday October 03, 2012.
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T-Mobile and MetroPCS made their union official earlier today when the two companies announced that they would merge operations in the U.S. The deal still requires government approval, but T-Mobile confirmed some critical details about the transitional period that will take place once the deal is finalized. Here are a few questions that the company has answered since the deal was officially announced:
What happens next?
In the interim, the two companies will continue to operate independently, but T-Mobile will expand its prepaid options when MetroPCS officially comes under its control. MetroPCS has more than 9 million customers under no-contract plans, meaning they could easily walk away from the carrier without penalty. T-Mobile, which also has millions of prepaid customers, will work to ensure that those consumers choose to stay with its new company.
How will T-Mobile merge its technology with MetroPCS?
T-Mobile took a dig at rival Sprint and said that its acquisition of MetroPCS makes more sense than Sprint's merger with Nextel. Unlike those companies, T-Mobile and MetroPCS are both building towards an immediate future based on LTE. MetroPCS has already launched in some areas of the East Coast, Florida, and southern California. While that's not much in comparison to bigger companies, MetroPCS has spectrum holdings that will help T-Mobile improve its nascent LTE network. The two companies will collectively have enough spectrum to deliver competitive LTE service in more than 100 major markets next year.
What about existing customers?
MetroPCS reports that it has a hardware upgrade rate as high 65 percent per year, so moving those customers to T-Mobile is very feasible. T-Mobile expects to transition all existing MetroPCS customers by 2015. Existing CDMA phones won't work on the new network, but most customers will have upgraded to compatible phones by then.source: T-Mobile
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.