Earlier today we reported that Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS approved a deal that will allow for the merge of U.S. carriers MetroPCS and T-Mobile. Now it looks like the two wireless service providers are already hard at work deciding how to utilize the advantages both sides bring to the table.
The biggest factor is LTE. Right now, MetroPCS has it and T-Mobile doesn’t. In fact, MetroPCS was the first carrier in the states to adopt it in October 2010. T-Mobile was planning to rollout its LTE coverage in 2013, but when the merger is complete it should get a boost in LTE coverage thanks to what MetroPCS has already rolled out. For now, T-Mobile’s “4G” network is stuck with HSPA+. The aim of the merger is to improve their LTE services without jacking up the cost.
Throw in one technology and kiss another one goodbye: the latter is what’s happening with CDMA. The merger will completely shut down MetroPCS’s old CDMA network in favor of the more widely recognized GSM technology, which T-Mobile already uses. Because of this migration to GSM, existing MetroPCS customers will have to get new phones by the end of 2015. Both companies anticipate that this won’t be a problem for customers since three years is a long ways off.
Most of the coverage between T-Mobile and MetroPCS overlaps, so you won’t see much expansion there as a result of the merger. What is to be expected once it is complete is enhanced LTE services and better international support thanks to GSM. The union is shaping up to be a decent win-win.