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FCC Approves T-Mobile, MetroPCS Deal
Argues Deal Will Help, Not Hurt, Wireless Competition
by Karl Bode 04:50PM Tuesday Mar 12 2013
The FCC today announced they would unsurprisingly be approving T-Mobile's acquisition of MetroPCS. The agency argued that T-Mobile, though only the nation's fourth-largest carrier, has traditionally been a disruptive player and even combined with MetroPCS "would have an economic incentive to continue to play this role. The freshly-fused company would likely not have "the ability to unilaterally raise price or otherwise harm competition at the national level," according to an agency that blocked AT&T's attempted acquisition of T-Mobile for just those reasons. In a statement, FCC boss Julius Genachowski stated that the deal would help shift the market "toward robust competition and revitalized competitors."

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Beans5

join:2005-07-16
united state

My honest opinion...

...is that even though they run on two seperate signals, I would use the cdma part from metro, since cdma has longer reach to get into the wireless home business, and use the gsm for moble.

Just my 2 cents.

jimk
Premium
join:2006-04-15
Raleigh, NC

Re: My honest opinion...

Signal performance inside buildings has more to do with the carrier's build-out (cell site density and locations) and frequency band (lower is better for building penetration) than the network type.
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1

Where are the CDMAGSM Handsets.

I smell a compatibility issue. Remember the Sprint Nextel disaster with service quality going down down down. Or might we see the LTE post haste?

CCNnorthcali

join:2004-03-07
San Francisco, CA

Metro Network

They're going to kill off the metro network by Q2 2015. Overall, this will allow T-mobile to stay competitive with the other big 3's spectrum holdings.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: Metro Network

Yep, it's all about spectrum really, the customers are leaving metro in droves anyway, maybe T-mobile can do something about that.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: Metro Network

This deal is going to give them boucoup spectrum in the NE, Florida, and the West. Add in the AT&T spectrum in middle America and now they have excellent spectrum coverage. In some areas of Boston, SF, etc they will have close to 100 Mhz.

Add to the fact they upgraded to HSPA42 (where AT&T passed) and they will have a very robust fauxG network that they can use for years for prepaid. In fact the Mrs Nexus 4 happily gets over 10 Mbps (slower RTT) on ST w/ TMO network. Since ST roams on T for voice/data in fringe areas where I live, coverage is excellent. In the sticks (UNY) EDGE pops up and pleasantly surprise that Pandora will still stream and GPS is responsive, and web pages render about 2x slower but come up. It's not as bad as people make it out to be.

It's not on par w/ say Verizon, but I would say it's close to T and way better then Sprint which blows chunks in the NE. They are the ones to watch, IMHO w/ Softbank if they get their network ship shape..
jtel

join:2005-06-28
Bristol, RI

Re: Metro Network

MetroPCS was spectrum short in the Boston area, something like 10mhz.

Have you got a link to show combined assets are close to 100mhz in Boston?

michieru
Premium
join:2009-07-25
Miami, FL
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..

Re: Metro Network

Click for full size

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Merger doesn't help coverage in suburbs, rural

Both of these wireless companies are pretty strong in the big city cores. Neither have good coverage in farther out suburbs or rural areas. So this merger doesn't really help the merged company get a lot more customers. All it does is make their big city coverage stronger and maybe let them grab some competitor customers with lower prices and deals.
--
Senate - get off your butts and actually create a budget that has spending cuts 3x the amount of tax increases like you promised.

CCNnorthcali

join:2004-03-07
San Francisco, CA

Re: Merger doesn't help coverage in suburbs, rural

One tower in a city can serve many more potential customers than one tower in a rural area. T-mobile's strategy has largely been to focus on areas where they can get a good ROI and serve the most people. They might expand coverage in less populated areas in the future, but for now they're focusing their investments on the 82% of Americans that live in cities.

This deal does help them gain and retain customers by helping them modernize their network into the future.

wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY

Double standard?

Karl, why is this announcement "unsurprising"? You are many of the other people on this site were crying up an uncompetitive storm during the proposed then failed ATT/Tmobile venture. If anything I would have thought you would tout this as some sort of Obama themed miracle of democracy.....

My feeling is that if they denied the ATT/Tmobile merger, then this one should also be denied. Now, I didnt personally think the ATT/Tmobile merger should be denied (although I didnt WANT it to happen), but consistency is usually a good practice when it comes to government.
--
"No you won't" -The American people to President Obama (11/2/2010)


CCNnorthcali

join:2004-03-07
San Francisco, CA

1 recommendation

Re: Double standard?

AT&T have 107 million subscribers
Verizon have 98.2 million
Sprint have 55.6 million
T-mobile have 34 million
Metro PCS have 9.5 million

This is nothing like AT&T and T-mobile merging. Even T-mobile and Sprint merging wouldn't be the size of Verizon.

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

1 recommendation

said by wifi4milez:

Karl, why is this announcement "unsurprising"? You are many of the other people on this site were crying up an uncompetitive storm during the proposed then failed ATT/Tmobile venture. If anything I would have thought you would tout this as some sort of Obama themed miracle of democracy.....

My feeling is that if they denied the ATT/Tmobile merger, then this one should also be denied. Now, I didnt personally think the ATT/Tmobile merger should be denied (although I didnt WANT it to happen), but consistency is usually a good practice when it comes to government.

Two completely different companies. One is a small regional provider and the other is well, t-mobile. Metropcs needed a merger or something to compete with the big players. It had to happen. Even u.s. cellular is getting out of the business (or so it appears, calling it quits and selling off a chunk of the midwest and chicago to sprint).

(Oh and i always take articles here with a grain of salt. The bias in articles is extreme and not needed a lot of times.)
--
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
Alden Nowlan

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Verizon or Sprint should have bought them

It would be better for VZW or Sprint to buy MetroPCS as they operate on a CDMA network and integrating the existing fleet of handsets would be easier.

When then Cingular bought the former AT&T wireless, the transition was seamless as both carriers were GSM based. With a GSM carrier buying a CDMA carrier, one carrier's customers will have to buy new handsets to integrate into the combined network.

Verizon buying Sprint might not be in the distant future but VZ has a much larger footprint than Sprint so there would be no advantage (other than to snuff out a competitor) as they overlap each other. AT&T and T-Mobile overlap each other and AT&T wanted to snuff out a direct competitor so that deal was blocked.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

CCNnorthcali

join:2004-03-07
San Francisco, CA

Re: Verizon or Sprint should have bought them

It has less to do with network type, but spectrum holdings. The last thing we need to do is let Verizon buy up more spectrum. The MetroPCS LTE network is also compatible with T-mobile's (soon to be) LTE.

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4

Re: Verizon or Sprint should have bought them

T-Mobile lit up their Lte network here in San diego this past weekend. Not letting users on but shows up on a network scan in lte only mode. Soon!

jimk
Premium
join:2006-04-15
Raleigh, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
Everyone is moving away from CDMA2000, so that isn't a huge factor.

Also, it is possible for carriers operating with different technologies to merge without being a complete disaster. AT&T did it when they acquired some areas that were divested in the Verizon/Alltel merger (and is about to again now that they are acquiring what is left of Alltel). Verizon has acquired GSM carriers in the past and switched them over to CDMA2000.

The Sprint and Nextel merger was a disaster, but that doesn't mean all mergers or acquisitions involving different network technologies have to suffer the same fate.

MetroPCS is a very good fit for T-Mobile spectrum wise. Spectrum auctions don't happen very often, and they can be very expensive. Any time new spectrum is used for wireless services, the network infrastructure has to be updated (antennas and radios only work at certain frequencies), and phones have to be re-designed. This is not a fast or cheap process. Metro's spectrum works with what is on the market now, so this is a very smart move.

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

Re: Verizon or Sprint should have bought them

Not to mention that t-mobile has plans on refarming metropcs's spectrum. Getting rid of cdma will happen rather quick it said. Apparently metropcs customers get new phones rather quickly vs. a normal postpaid account.
--
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
Alden Nowlan

jimk
Premium
join:2006-04-15
Raleigh, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Verizon or Sprint should have bought them

All very good points.

There's another reason why the issues that plagued Sprint and Nextel won't happen here. Nextel had a unique push to talk technology that was superior to any of the competing standards. Their customers were loyal to this technology, and at the time, there was not an acceptable alternative. As time went on, the old Nextel network didn't see any real upgrades, and it did not survive the widespread adoption of smartphones.

The MetroPCS network is nothing special. It just offers voice and data. It doesn't really do anything that the T-Mobile network can't do, especially when you consider that T-Mobile will probably have LTE in most major markets by the time the transaction closes.

Another option is for MetroPCS to sell phones that support CDMA and GSM/UMTS/LTE, and send customers SIM cards when they are ready to transition.

djdanska
Rudie32
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4

Re: Verizon or Sprint should have bought them

Not to mention it's almost like MetroPcs is just cheap on LTE. keeps backhaul low on purpose. That's something t-mobile will fix asap.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

God

I hate MetroPCS.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Spectrum in MT

Hmm.. Looks like Metro PCS has some spectrum in my state.

Hey, T-Mo.. How 'bout a tower or two here? Just nail the bigger areas (Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, etc.) first.
meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT

Re: Spectrum in MT

T-Mobile has plenty of spectrum here too, they just refuse to use it. Illegally, I will add, they're violating their build-out requirements.

P.S. to clarify, they're on legally sound enough ground but they're violating the INTENT of the law.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

look

look at what they DO not what they say they're gonna do..

measures of success:
MORE COVERAGE
CHEAPER RATES

many companies "SAY" this, but none in wireless have done this for at least the last 5 years. if anything rates have gone UP!! Also, coverage after infrastructure damage is abysmal for all companies!!