Recently, AT&T announced a deal that it was buying T-Mobile, a rival cell phone carrier. The deal is in the early stages of the approval process, but it is reported to be worth $39 billion. Currently, T-Mobile has about 34 million customers. AT&T, with around 95 million customers, has about three times as many. Together, that will put close to 130 million customers under the new company. AT&T would be the largest cellular phone company in the United States. However, existing T-Mobile customers have a couple of things on their minds. First, what will happen to their current rates? Second, when will they have access to the iPhone, the most popular smartphone on the market?
AT & T Doesn't Want to Repeat Past iPhone Woes
AT&T suffered a lot of backlash when it first introduced the iPhone. They failed to account for the traffic it would create on its network. As such, the network crashes fueled a number of customer complaints. Verizon, who recently added the iPhone to its inventory, planned for this by making sure the device would not run on the 4G network. AT&T has said that the purchase of T-Mobile should help the company improve its network as well as the reputation hit it took when the crashes happened. Under the new deal, AT&T would get all of the cell phone towers currently held by T-Mobile. That will provide a substantial boost in their network. Given the timing of the iPhone going to Verizon, this will be a major boost for AT&T.
When Will T-Mobile Users Have iPhones
So, will T-Mobile users get the iPhone any time soon? The short answer is no. The deal is far from complete. The approval process should take a long time. This deal isn't likely going to be completed for at least a year. Additionally, it is not clear if AT&T will run T-Mobile as an independent company. More than likely, the companies will completely integrate in time. However, the main focus will be on expanding the 4G network. That, coupled with the long approval process, means that full T-Mobile integration is far from reality. In addition, the approval process could be harder than many think. United States regulators will view this deal as a block toward healthy competition in the wireless world. Therefore, AT&T and T-Mobile are likely in for a fight. That could delay the completion beyond a year.
Will T-Mobile be Cheaper than AT & T?
As for prices, those details have yet to be decided. T-Mobile has a pricing model that customers like, but it remains to be seen if those prices change. The wireless industry has seen a number of mergers over the past ten years. The most notable ones include Cingular and AT&T, which happened twice, and Sprint and Nextel. AT&T has started a website to explain merger details. The site, www.mobilizeeverything.com, says that consumers have been given favorable prices as these mergers have happened. Still, the long term prognosis for current T-Mobile prices is probably not going to make customers happy.
Patience is a Virtue
T-Mobile users will likely get a shot at the iPhone in time. Once the deal is complete, the companies will combine their networks and start the rebranding process. This means that the T-Mobile brand will likely fade away. If AT&T decides to keep T-Mobile as a different company, that might be a different story. Users would probably be able to switch to AT&T and get the iPhone, but they will have to pay the price. One thing you probably won't see is the iPhone under the T-Mobile name. For now, T-Mobile has clearly stated that it has no plans in place for customers to have access to the iPhone. Instead, the company will introduce a number of new Android phones.
Jessica Bosari is an Internet copywriter and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!