T-Mobile is officially on the path to a merger with MetroPCS. The two last place (4th and 5th, respectively) carriers have reported losing up to 700,000 subscribers last year on the launch of the iPhone 4S.
T-Mobile has made efforts to appeal directly to users of unlocked iPhones with inexpensive plans and support, but having an unlocked iPhone is still very uncommon amidst the millions willing to sign up for 2-year contracts – not to mention the fact that iPhone users on T-Mobile would be relegated to EDGE data speeds. However, T-Mobile has recently acquired the 1900Mhz spectrum from AT&T, which is part of Quad-band HSPA+, and is compatible with the iPhone. It seems obvious that T-Mobile and MetroPCS will now also combine their mutual efforts in building a new LTE network of their own.
Whether or not you intend to use T-MetrobilePCS (not an actual name) or not, this is a great thing for the US wireless market. Back in 2008, after the iPhone 3G was released here in Canada, Bell and Telus (both were CDMA-only at the time) lusted after the incredibly fast-growing user-base of the iPhone. The formerly competing companies joined forces to build an incredible GSM network together from the ground up, and they now offer the iPhone on almost all of their various subsidiaries. This has pushed Rogers (the only iPhone carrier in Canada upon its release) to offer unique value plans that they would not have offered before, and has driven competition in the nation that used to have really bad data plans ($60 for 400mb, seriously).
T-Mobile has long been known as the major US carrier with the most affordable plans, which leads me to believe they will be coming out of the gate running with incredible values for new iPhone users once this is all said and done. This merger will bring them up to almost 50 million subscribers – still lower than Sprint by far – but I think they’re aiming for much more than that.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m very excited to see where all this is going! Let us know what you think in the comments below!