T-Mobile/MetroPCS Merger: Okay By DOJ

The T-Mobile-MetroPCS merger is getting a go ahead from the U.S. Department of Justice. On Wednesday, T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom said the DOJ has let the antitrust clock run out – typically a 30-day waiting period – without invoking its powers to investigate or block the merger.

The merged company would make T-Metro a publicly traded company majority owned by DT, though it still faces regulatory scrutiny from the FCC as well as vote from Metro stockholders, notes Kevin Fitchard in GigOm.

Combining T-Mobile and MetroPCS’ complementary spectrum is expected to provide greater network coverage, deeper LTE network deployment and a path to at least 2×20 MHz of 4G LTE in many areas. Existing MetroPCS customers will be migrated to a common LTE-based network as they upgrade their handsets. That migration is anticipated to be complete by 2H 2015.

MetroPCS and T-Mobile use AWS spectrum (1.7/2.1 GHz) making it easier for the two companies to combine their resources, and move to a unified LTE approach. Both see the AWS band as the future for 4G LTE.

In the more common PCS band (1.9 GHz), used by virtually all U.S. carriers, the two companies currently use different 3G technology for voice and data — T-Mobile uses GSM/UMTS while MetroPCS uses CDMA.

The combined company delivers around 42.5 million subscribers in the U.S. with an estimated revenue of around USD 24.8 billion with an EBITDA margin of around 28.6 percent.

The merged company will be headquartered in Bellevue and have $24.8 billion in annual sales, although the combined company will “retain a significant presence” in Dallas, its release said.

A significant round of layoffs is happening at the Bellevue headquarters of T-Mobile USA just ahead of its merger with MetroPCS, reports Brier Dudley in the Seattle Times. Last year more than 4,200 jobs were cut, including 3,300 at call centers and a later round of 900 across the company, but the company expected to add at least that many as it built up its business sales group. Last year it employed about 36,000 people nationally and 4,800 in the Seattle region.

Dudley notes that McCaw Cellular established the first national, roaming network in 1990. Two years later, McCaw sold the company to AT&T for $11.5 billion. That led to the founding of Western Wireless in 1994, which became VoiceStream Wireless which was eventually sold to T-Mobile in 2001 for US$35 billion. McCaw then took interest in Nextel. Within four years Nextel grew significantly and was later acquired by Sprint Nextel, for $6.5 billion in 2006. In August 2004, McCaw founded Clearwire Corporation, which now covers some 120 million people in the United States.

Related Dailywireless articles include; T-Mobile & MetroPCS: Spectrum Rich for LTE-A, T-Mobile: iPhone, LTE, Contract-free, Unlimited data, MetroPCS Merges with T-Mobile USA, T-Mobile USA Upgrades to LTE, T-Mobile Gears Up for LTE, T-Mobile Gets AWS Spectrum from Breakup and T-Mobile & Leap Wireless Do Spectrum Swap

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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