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German cellular giant Deutsche Telekom has announced plans to merge T-Mobile USA, the 4th largest carrier in the United States, with MetroPCS the 5th largest in a $1.5 billion deal.  The merged company will be owned 75% by Deutsche Telekom and 25% by MetroPCS and is expected carry the T-Mobile name and a userbase of 42.5 million subscribers.  The two companies expect completion of the merger in H1 2013 following regulatory approvals.

While the merger may seem strange on the outside considering that T-Mobile uses GSM and Metro PCS uses CDMA technology, it makes sense at a technical level.  MetroPCS has LTE network holdings in the AWS and PCS bands.  T-Mobile does not currently have a LTE network, but plans to build one on its AWS band once its HSPA+ network is transferred to its PCS band.  This will lead to stronger and better coverage for both carriers as MetroPCS’s CDMA network is phased out and customers are moved onto a single network based on T-Mobile’s infrastructure.

Current T-Mobile CEO John Legere will lead the merged company.  Don’t expect merged service though.  Even after the merger, T-Mobile and MetroPCS will operate as separate units of the new company led by the current COOs of the companies.

T-Mobile Press Release

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About The Author

Avatar of Benjamin J. Roethig

Ben is an external Associate Editor at Geek Beat. He can be described connoisseur of things technological. Ben's hobbies include reading up on Military, Naval, and Aeronautical history, playing around with his Macs and iDevices, exploring the mountainous bluffs of Dubuque, IA and Galena, IL, and proving that 15+ years of practice does not make perfect on his guitars. If you want to find him Ben can be found on Twitter (@benroethig), Google (gplus.to/benroethig), and as an occasional guest on Apple related podcasts.