Following AT&T’s failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion, AT&T had to pay a lofty break-up fee as per the terms of its agreement. AT&T’s related expenses totaled $4 billion, and included in that sum was the transfer of AWS spectrum licenses to T-Mobile in 128 different markets. On Wednesday, T-Mobile announced that the Federal Communications Commission has approved the transfer. “We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement. The nation’s No.4 carrier will use its newly acquired spectrum to help build out its next-generation 4G LTE network, which it hopes to launch next year.
T-Mobile and AT&T have filed with the Federal Communications Commission to transfer $1 billion worth of AT&T’s AWS spectrum into T-Mobile USA’s ownership. AT&T previously promised the spectrum to Deutsche Telekom in the event that its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA failed. “This additional spectrum will help meet the growing demand for wireless broadband services,” Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile’s senior vice president for government affairs, told The Wall Street Journal. “We hope the FCC will move swiftly to approve the license assignments.” As The Wall Street Journal points out, T-Mobile desperately needs the spectrum in order to compete with Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Each of those aforementioned carriers have already started to, or already have plans to, roll out faster 4G LTE networks this year. T-Mobile has not discussed any firm plans regarding how it will advance beyond its current HSPA+ network. More →
The antitrust division of the United States Justice Department will investigate Verizon Wireless’s plans to acquire spectrum from Comcast and its partners for $3.6 billion. Verizon Wireless announced in early December its intentions to purchase 122 AWS spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The carrier said it plans to use the additional spectrum to build out its 4G LTE network, pending government approval of the purchase. The Justice Department has the power to block the deal, although it is unclear when the investigation will be concluded. More →
Deutsche Telekom recently detailed the breakup terms AT&T agreed to following the deterioration of its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Deutsche Telekom will receive $3 billion in cash and T-Mobile USA will benefit from fresh AWS spectrum as well as a new 7-year 3G roaming deal with AT&T. “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),” Deutsche Telekom said in a statement. “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.” The company also said that T-Mobile USA’s 3G network will grow from blanketing 230 million potential customers to covering 280 million people. Deutsche Telekom’s full press release follows below. More →
Cox Communications on Friday announced an agreement that will see Verizon Wireless purchase its 20MHz AWS spectrum licenses for $315 million. Verizon announced a deal to acquire 122 AWS spectrum licenses from Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House earlier this month for $3.6 billion, and this new deal is similar in structure. Verizon Wireless and Cox will sell each other’s residential and commercial products as agents, and Cox may have the option to sell Verizon Wireless service as a wholesale partner in the future. “These agreements provide Cox customers with key enablers to mobility, such as access to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network and iconic wireless devices,” said Cox Communications president Pat Esserin a statement. “We look forward to the many benefits this will bring to customers.” Cox’s full press release follows below. More →
The “iPhone 5″ may or may not exist following Apple’s event on Tuesday, but if it does, it could end up being the biggest smack to the face that T-Mobile USA has ever had the pleasure of receiving from a smartphone vendor. Over the weekend, a Cincinnati Bell customer supposedly discovered a pair of placeholder entries for upcoming Apple smartphones. One listing mentioned the oft-rumored iPhone 4S and the second listed a $639.99 iPhone 5 with an 8-megapixel camera, a 4-inch display and “4G Data Speeds.” The listing certainly raises eyebrows, but sites reporting the snafu missed a potential tearjerker that could rival Titanic. Read on for more. More →
Following the lead set by its chief executive Dan Hesse, Sprint has been one of the most outspoken opponents of AT&T’s proposed $39 billion T-Mobile USA takeover. Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” and hurt U.S. wireless subscribers, and Sprint subsequently voiced its concerns formally on numerous occasions. Among AT&T’s main arguments are the deal’s potential to bring high-speed 4G LTE coverage to over 95% of the U.S. population, and the fact that it needs T-Mobile’s spectrum in order to curtail the massive strain on its network. In a new filing with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday, however, Sprint explained that AT&T’s acquisition is not necessary in order for the carrier to alleviate its network woes. Sprint contends that AT&T could increase its network capacity by more than 600% over the next three years simply by putting its current resources to better use. “AT&T could increase its capacity by developing its warehoused spectrum, accelerating its 4G network buildout, and implementing a more efficient network architecture,” Sprint said in a statement. But AT&T responded immediately by questioning Sprint’s knowledge on the subject considering the carrier outsources the management of its own network to Ericsson. “A company that has outsourced the management of its own network shouldn’t be giving advice to others,” an AT&T spokesman said. More →
This isn’t based on anything more than a loose tip and some speculation on my part, but it would make sense, especially in the eyes of Apple and its quest to ship fewer SKUs. It has been widely rumored that the next iPhone will support CDMA and GSM frequencies, thus eliminating the need for Apple to ship different models to CDMA and GSM carriers. We exclusively reported that Apple is testing an iPhone for T-Mobile USA, but what if this was taken one step further? What if the iPhone 5 not only supported both CDMA and GSM networks, but also supported all five 3G bands in use today? This would open up T-Mobile USA’s 33 million subscribers to Apple’s iconic handset, while also some smaller carriers like WIND in Canada and others. Additionally, if AT&T’s T-Mobile USA acquisition is approved, great — T-Mobile USA’s “4G” network would be immediately available to help lighten the load on AT&T’s current network. If the merger isn’t approved, then Apple has immediate access to another large carrier with its iPhone 5 instead of having to work on another model separately. One phone to rule them all, right?
That’s right, you’re looking at photos of an iPhone prototype with T-Mobile USA 3G bands. The actual internal model is N94, and if you remember, the Verizon model is N92 while the standard GSM variant is N90. We have verified that the phone itself is running a test version of Apple’s iOS, much like the one we saw in those videos from Vietnam, and it includes internal Apple test apps like Radar and Apple’s employee directory app. Additionally, the front of the white iPhone pictured looks a little different from the photos of the retail white iPhone 4 that surfaced recently — specifically, the proximity sensor has changed on the retail version. Combined with the fact that it wouldn’t make sense to release an iPhone 4 on T-Mobile at this point in time, we’d wager that Apple is just testing the new T-Mobile-friendly radio with its current iPhone 4 hardware, possibly in preparation for integration in a future device. It’s also entirely possible the internals on this iPhone prototype are being disguised in an iPhone 4 shell, though we doubt it. Let’s see what happens with the iPhone 5 and if that makes it way to T-Mobile. If that AT&T acquisition gets approved though, the iPhone will eventually make its way to T-Mobile customers regardless.
HTC has just officially taken the wraps off the Sensation 4G moments ago, the company’s latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) smartphone. The Sensation 4G has all of the trimmings of a high-end device, including a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.2GHz, a 4.3-inch “super” LCD display with a 960 x 540 resolution, an 8-megapixel camera with auto-focus and 1080p HD video recording, a forward-facing camera for video chats, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and an 8GB microSD card. It also packs some of HTC’s latest software developments, including a new version of HTC Sense with an active lock screen that allows you to launch your favorite applications while the phone is locked, and HTC Watch for streaming movies almost instantly. As its name implies, it supports HSPA+ in the 1700MHz AWS frequency band, and wouldn’t you guess it? It’s hitting T-Mobile in the United States this summer. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
T-Mobile customers looking to get in on some trippy googly-eyed 3D action may not have long to wait. The FCC has just passed through a device called the LG P920, also known as the LG Optimus 3D. This new version features support for the AWS/PCS/WCDMA/HSPA bands, suggesting it could launch on T-Mobile in the United States. As a refresher: the Optimus 3D runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) and features a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of on-board storage and two 5-megapixel cameras on the back for recording 3D and HD video. The Optimus 3D offers support for HSPA+ networks, so if it launches on T-Mobile we’ll likely see it tagged and glittered up with 4G branding. After all, AT&T just announced that it’s going to offer the LG Optimus 3D as the LG Thrill 4G “in the coming months.” More →
While AT&T customers can clearly see the benefits of a merger with T-Mobile, customers of the company being acquired are having a difficult time seeing what’s in it for them. What will happen to T-Mobile’s current data plan offerings? Will handset releases slow down? How will this effect my monthly bill? The questions are plentiful and, unfortunately, many of them are unanswered at this point. Yet while the questions outnumber the answers, there is one thing I’m pretty certain of: whether this deal goes through or not, T-Mobile customers are going to benefit. More →
As customer questions surrounding the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger mount, the latter has published a customer-facing frequently asked questions page in an effort to educate customers about what they can expect, and not expect, in the coming months. One of the specific queries T-Mobile addressed is the availability of Apple’s iPhone. In order to dispel any notions of a T-Mobile iPhone, the company issued the following statement:
T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G.
It seems as though enough antsy T-Mobile customers have posed the question — in the last 18 hours alone — that it needed to be officially addressed. The company has also started a thread in its official online forums for concerned parties to air out their frustrations, concerns, and questions. More →