According to BusinessWire, AT&T has just purchased T-Mobile for about $39 billion. For that money, AT&T gets T-Mo’s 34 million subscribers, and T-Mobile gets 8% ownership in AT&T. Oh, and Apple gets 34 million potential iPhone customers. As part of the deal, AT&T is said to be accellerating it’s LTE/4G rollout, spending over $8 billion in the process. Coupling AT&T and T-Mobile coverage will allow 94% of Americans (294 million people) to be covered in the wireless high speed goodness that LTE promises to be.
The good news for consumers is that once the deal’s done, AT&T and T-Mobile towers will be indistinguishable to your phone, so theoretically service-strapped areas like New York and San Fransisco will see better service, since the availability of GSM signal will increase. As a lot of iPhone jailbreakers have noticed in the past, the iPhone only gets EDGE data speeds on T-Mobile, but getting millions of voice calls off of AT&T’s towers and spreading the load can’t hurt.
I’ve said for months that the iPhone would come to T-Mobile. It only makes sense. The voice networks are identical, and the data networks can be tweaked to work. I suspect this has been in the works for a while. Remember all those T-Mobile commercials of late with T-Mobile Girl (Carly Foulkes) looking all sweet and attractive talking to frumpy AT&T guy while young, hip iPhone Guy stands in the middle? Remeber the White iPhone that never materialized? I said then that it was because iPhone was coming to T-Mobile, I had no idea that T-Mobile was coming to AT&T instead…
On a personal note, I’m beginning to not hate AT&T as much. I’ve had signifigantly fewer dropped calls (almost none, actually) since the Verizon phone came out. My only guess is that the customer load has been eased on the towers around New York. This merger can only help. I only have one request: Keep Carley. She looks good in blue.