New York, March 22nd 2011, by 1800Mobiles editorial team: By now you likely heard AT&T is buying T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. With the return of fewer wireless operators, what can this deal mean for the 130 million consumers who are going to fall under this new umbrella and for all the others which may start fearing higher rates? Here's where we're at.
First of all, the deal has not been approved yet by the FCC. Today, during a speech at the CTIA conference, the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, said he would not comment on this mammoth deal. Consumer can expect a fair and tough scrutiny of this deal and his effects on overall consumer implications.
T-Mobile customers should rejoice for the larger amount of top of the line devices that were previously exclusives only of the top 2 carriers. For example, the iPhone may at some point become available also for T-Mobile customers. That way, also T-Mobile customers can enjoy the troubled antenna issues of the iPhone 4. T-Mobile clients can expect a wider signal coverage for when they travel outside of major metropolitan areas.
AT&T customers will enjoy the better signal reception of T-Mobile network in metropolitan areas as well as more device to choose from. They will also be able to enjoy T-Mobile HSPA+ high speed quasi-4G network while AT&T completes its move towards LTE, Long Term Evolution.
But what about all wireless consumers? First expect fewer service plans. Typically, when these giants merge, that's the first thing that goes. We saw it with Cingular/AT&T and with Sprint/Nextel. Fewer plans and less carriers means less choice, but very likely more expensive phones, rate plans and penalty fees. Why else would they want to merge, to pass the savings to consumers?
We just don't have a clear winner or loser; one thing is sure though. If the deal doesn't go through, T-Mobile will receive a $3billion breakup fee. Not too shabby for a first date with AT&T... stay tuned.