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T-Mobile Gets Roaming Deal, Cash, Spectrum After Deal Collapse
Is It Enough to Keep T-Mobile Viable For DT?
by Karl Bode 12:47PM Tuesday Dec 20 2011
Now that the AT&T deal is officially dead (unless they refile a new deal next year) T-Mobile's talking a little bit about that $4 billion consolation package they'll get from AT&T. As we've previously discussed, that package includes a combination of cash, spectrum, and network roaming deals both companies are talking more about now that the deal is officially in the grave. In a statement issued by T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom, the company notes that in addition to $3 billion in cash, T-Mobile gets a new seven-year roaming deal with AT&T -- and some delicious new spectrum to help with its 4G expansion ambitions:
As part of the break-up fee, T-Mobile USA will receive a large package of AWS mobile spectrum in 128 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), including 12 of the top 20 markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle). The UMTS roaming agreement for the U.S. in T-Mobile USA’s favor has a term of over seven years and will allow the company to improve its footprint significantly among the U.S. population and offer its customers better broadband coverage for mobile communications services in the future...
AT&T's recently on record saying the breakup fee really won't be that bad because Uncle Sam will pick up part of the tab courtesy of tax deductions, making the actual hit around $1.4 billion for AT&T. The question now is whether or not this little cash, spectrum and roaming boost will be enough to get T-Mobile over the hump and convince Deutsche Telekom that they want to remain in the U.S. wireless market.

Obvious speculation will now lead to Sprint potentially acquiring T-Mobile, something that AT&T's deal was created, in part, to stop in the first place. But Sprint may be legally tired, and has plenty on their plate already with a massive upcoming LTE network build. An attempted Sprint acquisition of T-Mobile might depend on whether or not their LTE partners Clearwire and LightSquared financially implode, something that was a distinct possibility before AT&T/T-Mobile, and remains so after.

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