T-Mobile and MetroPCS detail merger benefits and plans to switch MetroPCS CDMA network to HSPA+, LTEAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Shortly after the deal that'll see T-Mobile and MetroPCS merged into one company was made official, the two carriers came together to talk about what the future holds for the combined T-Metro. One of the biggest tidbits of news from the conference call and the associated presentation slides was that T-Mobile and MetroPCS plan to switch off Metro's CDMA network before 2015 wraps up. An example of migrating the CDMA network in Dallas was given, showing that one portion of the network would be switched over to LTE service in the second half of 2014, while the remaining CDMA network would be turned into HSPA+ service in the second half of 2015. This will aid in T-Mobile's Network Modernization process, in which the Magenta carrier plans to offer LTE on its AWS spectrum while transitioning its HSPA+ service on the 1900MHz PCS band.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS also laid out some information on what the merger means for existing Metro subscribers. Since MetroPCS's CDMA network will eventually be going away, customers will need to pick up a new GSM handset before it does. T-Mobile and MetroPCS point out that with a 60-65 percent handset turnover rate on Metro, that that shouldn't be an issue. The carriers also note that the move to GSM will allow for a wider handset selection for Metro customers as well as devices that are "equivalent or more capable at each price point."
Finally, T-Mobile customers can also expect to see some benefits from this deal. The two companies say that the merger will deliver better coverage and faster speeds thanks to having a broader service area and more capacity in major metropolitan areas. T-Mobile LTE will also get a boost in major metro areas, such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Wider handset availability is another benefit named by T-Mobile and MetroPCS.
As I noted earlier this morning, this deal between T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS is still subject to regulatory approval. The companies currently expect everything to be completed in the first half of 2013. Still, it's clear that they've got a post-completion plan laid out and ready to go, and I'm sure that many of the benefits named by T-Mobile and MetroPCS sound pretty appealing to their existing customers. If you'd like to flip through the slides from today's presentation on the deal, you can find it at the MetroPCS link below.