Well, that one came of left field. It was just a few weeks
ago that we were talking about the possibility
of Sprint snatching up T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom. However, the tables
turned today when AT&T announced that it would be purchasing
T-Mobile for $39 billion USD – the actual breakdown will
include $25 billion in cash and the rest in stock.
"This transaction represents a major commitment to
strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future,"
said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. "It will improve
network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294
"This transaction delivers significant customer, shareowner
and public benefits that are available at this level only from the combination
of these two companies with complementary network technologies, spectrum
positions and operations. We are confident in our ability to execute a seamless
integration, and with additional spectrum and network capabilities, we can
better meet our customers’ current demands, build for the future and help
achieve the President’s goals for a high-speed, wirelessly connected America.”
The deal would of course have to be approved by U.S.
regulating bodies, but if all goes well, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom hope to
have the transition finalized within the next year.
AT&T currently has 95.5
million customers putting in second place behind Verizon’s 102.2 million
customers. Adding T-Mobile’s 33.7
million customers will make AT&T the largest wireless carrier in the
U.S. by far.
AT&T is also looking to boost its nascent LTE efforts with
this transaction, and will bring the technology to 95 percent of the U.S.
population. AT&T will also spend an additional $8 billion over the next
five years to boost its infrastructure investment within the U.S.
We can only hope that the T-Mobile acquisition, broadened
LTE deployments, and increased spending on infrastructure will improve
AT&Ts famously "fragile" wireless network.
AT&T made headlines last week – and drew the wrath of
many – when it announced that it would
start cracking down on users that were using “illegal” jailbreak apps to
tether data with their smartphones.
quote: To mollify regulators, AT&T said in a statement Sunday that it would spend an additional $8 billion to expand ultrafast wireless broadband into rural areas. Instead of covering about 80 percent of the U.S. population with its so-called Long Term Evolution, or LTE network, AT&T's new goal would be 95 percent, it said. That means blanketing an additional area 4.5 times the size of Texas. The network is scheduled to go live in a few areas this summer, but the full build-out will take years. The offer would help the FCC and the Obama administration meet their stated goals of bringing high-speed Internet access to all Americans. They see wireless networks as critical to meeting that goal – particularly in rural areas where it does not make economic sense to build landline networks.