Nov 21 AT 7:20 PM Dustin Earley 53 Comments

AT&T and T-Mobile merger not looking good; leaves T-Mobile customers in a tight spot


A new report out of the Financial Times today sheds some light on what analysts think of the T-Mobile AT&T merger, and it isn’t good.

According to the report, a large number of analysts put the probability of the deal passing at under 50%, with some going as low as 20%. No one thought the merging of two wireless giants was going to be a simple task, but the deal has been met with more opposition than originally expected.

The merger was supposed to be completed by March of 2012, one year after it was announced. Earlier this month, AT&T came forward stating that it would take more time than that, changing their projected timeline to the middle of 2012. The latest reports say that at the very least, AT&T will have to sell off some of the spectrum they’ll acquire from the merger if they want the deal to go through.

The lawsuits, delays, T-Mobile’s third quarter customer gains and analysts predictions (which are a little more helpful here than when trying to pinpoint release dates) mean one thing for AT&T: if they want this merger to go through, they are really going to have to work for it. But what does it mean for T-Mobile customers?

When talking about the merger, and what will happen between AT&T and T-Mobile, it can be easy to forget the kind of predicament T-Mobile customers are in. Speaking from personal experience, it’s hard to decide what to do when your future is so uncertain.

Even if I can just transfer my family plan of five lines to AT&T when the time comes, should I? Will there be some hidden fees later down the road that will come back to haunt me? Will I not be allowed upgrades anymore, or will doing so move me onto an AT&T plan that’s twice as much as what I pay now? I have been heavily considering buying a Galaxy Nexus from overseas, but if I can’t even use it in six months becuase I end up switching to Sprint, what’s the point? And what’s going to happen to all the people still signing up for T-Mobile? Do they know that soon enough, the carrier they just joined up with will be gone? Perhaps the biggest question of all, what will T-Mobile do if the merger doesn’t succeed?

Clearly, there’s far more questions than answers. And it puts T-Mobile customers in a tight spot. Even those that were ready to accept their fate as a customer of AT&T are facing more and more uncertainty on the possibility everyday. Customers of T-Mobile, what are your plans? Are you going to wait it out and see what happens next year, or are you getting tired of waiting?

Via: TmoNews

Source: FierceWireless

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Brian

    I extended my contract in Apr. 11 not long after the announcement I’m no worried about what will happen while I’m under contract because I know I’m safe until it’s time to upgrade again. one of two things can happen if it happens, 1 AT&T ups my pricing and I get let out and switch to sprint or 2 they lock my pricing in until time to upgrade, at which point I switch if I’m forced to go with AT&T pricing.

  • Nathan

    well as of today i don’t know but ill cross the bridge when it comes, that the only good answer i can give right now.

  • techvudu

    As much as I hate saying it I think one way or another TMO customers will not make out well. Even if it does not go through what will TMO do now that they were ready to throw in the towel and give up all the US customers? It’s like evidence in court that is said but not admissible, the damage is already done. They tried to throw us over to ATT and did everything possible to make it happen. I would not be apposed though to getting scooped up by a non mobile company or even possibly Google as some ridiculous rumors would put it. Either way I would like to keep TMO as it is now, but I think we all know that’s not going to happen.

    • OskarMULA

      Imagine Google buying T-Mobile! Galaxy Nexus for everyone!

      • charliethesuperturtle

        Googles 4g network, now bigger than ever

      • Jack

        This is exactly what I was goin to say. Google should buy. But I still think they should have bought palm and not have to use Motorola. Makes me worried about how the U.S. would handle that merger. Google NEEDS a hardware company.

        • HardNoks

          Agreed. I would absolutely love to see Google develope hardware. I think it would solve a lot of problems

        • jdhenshall

          I wouldn’t give up completely on Motorola. But I would love to see the innovation of Google with the customized hardware to run its applications. Google as an OEM would be scary awesome.

  • Galen20K

    If the Merger with Att goes through I will sign up immediately for Verzion because even tho I love my T-Mobile I like Verizon also and really dislike Att. IF the merger doesn’t go through I’ll stick around a while off contract and see what happens, I buy all my phones unsubsidized anyways so the discounts don’t mean anything to me.


    i redid my contract last month.. figure i would lock in the pricing. nce the merger gos through thy have to honor atleast my current price through the life of the contract. 120 for 3 lines cannot be beat. also i bought the galaxy nexus because it will work on any gsm. a simple swap of the simcard and i can take advantage of att better coverage for tmo price

    • holymobilizer

      So bigmerf, where did you get your galaxy nexus from again? Can you hook a brother up with some info to get it before we see it in the US? Thanks

      • BiGMERF

        i got mines from NegriElectronic…. Any questions hit me up on gplus or twitter

  • Donnieace

    I buy my phones without contract due to the fact that I am overseas months out of the year. 2 year contracts are no good to me and I always come back to Tmobile for their 50 dollar plan. I’m just satisfied with their service. Been happy with them since high school.

    I also plan to buy a GN a couple of weeks when I fly across the pond. Haven’t thought of this merger going through until you mentioned it.

    ATT blows. They have a similar prepaid plan but I hate giving my money to business I dislike. This stinks, Dustin.

  • cj100570

    You’d be a fool to sign up or extend as a T-Mobile customer at this point.

    • UMA Fan

      Extending or signing up for a T-Mobile contract locks you in your cheaper rates. At&t has publicly stated multiple times T-Mobile customers can keep their plans even if they upgrade if the merger happens. It’s customers LEAVING T-Mobile which HELPS at&t’s case to the DOJ. The sad truth is if the price of wireless service skyrockets because of lack of competition the American consumer did it to themselves.

  • Kwills 88

    Got no choice but to wait since I just used my upgrade for the sgs2…but if we do get sucked in, I’ll see what happens in a month or two then if I don’t like what I see I’ll buy my contract and go elsewhere

  • Savitt

    att represent!!!!

  • nory826

    Ill be sticking with T-Mobile as long as i can. I’ve been with t-mo forever and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. I love my 10gb plan and tomorrow I’m ordering my galaxy nexus from the UK , which will also future proof me just in case , then i can use my nexus on any GSM carrier ;) it would be sad day to see T-Mobile go under . What happened to that $6 billion they are supposed to get if the merger doesn’t go through?

    • surfcity_dad

      As I understand , I the merger doesn’t go though, TMO would take the payout and send to their HQ in Germany.

      • UMA Fan

        No one knows for sure what will happen but part of that pay out includes assets and roaming agreements with at&t in the United States. It sounds like the break up fee was conceived to keep T-Mobile USA competitive.

  • shane

    what do us that just got the gs2 with att’s 3g do just stay without 3g for the life of the phone it sucks living outside of the city i have good signal but its always edge because they jumped to trying to get the new phones out with att’s 3g frequency wich is different from tmo

  • Guy Bailey

    I’m a T-Mober but my contract is up in Feb, they are ringing me once a week now to try to get me to recommit but until I know if they are getting the Galaxy Nexus or not, I might just sit tight and go with Verizon.

    Despite the volume bug, I’ll go with whoever can get me it first.

  • ihatefanboys

    I think t-mobile will be just fine without AT&T. Screw em!

  • Joe

    I’m moving 4 of our 5 lines to Simple Mobile in December now that the per line fee will be coming back in 2012. The 5th line is our home phone, which we will not need since all lines will have unlimited minutes.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I wonder what will happen to Simple Mobile if T-Mobile goes away. Think AT&T will allow them to operate for long?

      • Joe

        I don’t think AT&T will allow them to operate if the merger goes through. If it does then SImple Mobile and T-Mobile customers will have that year or so afterwards to figure out what they’re going to do while they figure out how to integrate the two networks. Until then, my bill will at least be cheaper with the same service from the network.

  • mglj

    I’m not worried. I’ve just upgraded my contract and am in it for 2 years. If I don’t like the merger, it’ll be a reason to end my contract early…and get an even better phone with a new plan :)

  • Kyle

    Right before the merger goes through (if it goes through), I’m going to make a change to my plan to extend it for two years, hoping to be grandfathered in to my rate plan, which I hear would probably happen. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll kill myself. Either way, better/cheaper than AT&T.

  • babyboy8100

    i been with Tmobile for over 4 years soon as i heard At&t was buying tmobile i left board it onto sprint’s ship where i live Tmobile is good but Sprint is better 4G i get 12mbps in LA.
    I wish Google would buy them and i would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Don Boogie

    I don’t see what the predicament is. First of all, everyone’s rates are going up in the future, no matter what happens. So you know, just count on that. Second, if you’re under contract to T-Mobile and they cease to exist, either because they go out of business or are merged with AT&T, then guess what – your contract ceases to exist as well. Sure, AT&T will want to keep you under contract, but if you complain they’ll have to let you out of it, or at least grandfather you in under your old terms. And the GSM Galaxy Nexus works with T-Mobile and AT&T HSPA+, so I have no idea why in the world you would be forced to switch to Sprint. Not sure what you’re getting all worked up about.

  • Winski

    Given T-Mumble’s COMPLETE ineptness in how they’ve handled this potential hook-up and the complete marketing debacle with Apple, I may be willing to bet money that 1) this proposed merger fails miserably, and 2) T -Mumble US gets bought by some 3rd-party player we haven’t even seen yet…

    I’ve been a customer for a LONG TIME ( I originally signed up with Voicestream ), have like 3 weeks left on my contract and will re-embrace Sprint early next year…. T-Mumble may die, dry-up and just blow away….

  • Karbide

    My wife and I have been with T-mobile since 2001 back when it was Voicestream as well and as it is we just renewed our contracts 2 weeks ago. Whatever happens, happens. We’ve got our new phones that we should be able to use for the next 2 years and if the deal between the 2 goes through we will definitely be looking for a new carrier after that contract expires.

    All else said if the deal doesn’t go through, I would hope that someone who understands the marketing system for keeping another major carrier alive, would help benefit customers from every carrier in the long run. It’s all just a wait and see situation.

  • Courtney

    As much as it would kill me I would be forced to go with AT&T because I spend a lot of my time in Verizon and Spring dead zones. Between moving to a new city and AT&T buying my previous carrier around 2007, I was able to switch to T-Mobile and had never planned on switching back. It would absolutely kill me to pay twice what I pay now to AT&T, but it would eventually be inevitable.

  • Droid Dewd

    A part of me is hoping the merger fails but if Tmob does end up just wilting it isn’t going to change much anyway. I really wouldn’t want to stay with ATT yet I don’t like the fact of having higher costs with Verizon or having a crappier network with Sprint. I would hope the break up fee money would help Tmob stay afloat for longer because they have been the best to me.

  • McLovin

    I knew we (consumers) had a good thing going that couldn’t last with T-Mobile. I was very disappointed to hear about FU&U’s (er I mean AT&T’s) plans for acquiring T-Mobile last Spring. I was excited to hear that the Feds were against it and that it will likely not happen.

    As soon as the Republican’s are back in the White House I’m sure, just like the anti-trust lawsuit between the Feds and Microsoft (1998) back that last time the Dems left the White House (2001), all the Fed’s resistance to the merger will evaporate.

  • ranwanimator

    Republic Wireless FTW! I’m currently month to month on TMo and I’d switch but coverage sucks in our area for all of the carriers save Verizon and I’m not about to go back to them. Greedy red bastards. For the exact same service I have now it would cost me $30 more dollars per month (pre-tax) with Verizon.
    I am seriously considering switching to Republic Wireless even though only have one phone from which to choose.

  • kevinleroy

    My wife and I are switching to Verizon come March. One contract ends then so we’ll just buy out the other one. TMo has been good for price but deplorable for a solid selection of phones.

  • Virgo girl

    The merger will be blocked, thankfully it’s a matter of time before the FCC comes forward to send the case to an Administrative Law Judge. T-Mobile is still a vibrant competitor, 33M customers CHOOSE to have T-Mobile as their provider. There are lots of opportunities for T-Mobile after the failure of the takeover. Parent company Deutsch Telecom will receive a 3M cash break up fee and another 3M in spectrum and stock. Sounds terrific to me! There are allot of other opportunities for T-Mobile USA. They are a Jewel and will remain a innovative and vibrant competitor in the Market when the merger fails. . AT&T sucks and they are a big bully of a corporation who needs to be put back in their place. AT&T should listen to all of us consumers who really do want to have CHOICES and know that all of the Lobbying they do in Washington is BS! Full of Lies… Thank you DOJ and FCC! :}

  • Azeem

    I understand that Deutsche Telecom wants to get rid of Tmo. However, I’m hopeful that if the merger fails (and I hope it does), that insteand of running to the bank with the $6b, that they’ll use it to try and build up their network and get their 4G* in more markets. It’s my understanding that’s the reason that they’re bleeding customers. They have great phones and the best plans of the big 4 national markets. They just need a stronger network, and what better way to do that than with free AT&T money?

  • Bruce

    Better than dead like you.

  • thaghost

    Here’s my plan: ima stay on tmobile, upgrading as i wish. If i wanna leave or am forced to leave, i will gladly find a nice phone from a 3rd party vendor (amazon, wirefly) for free or 99 cents and pay the $200 exit fee. I’ll probably go to verizon.

    • Winski

      Ya know, this isn’t a bad equipment plan. I had a Nokia ‘smart’ phone literally blow-up about two weeks ago… I went into my local T-Mo store and they laughed and pointed… BUT, one of the store employees actually told me, “if you need a phone right away, go down the street to CVS Pharmacy and buy a T-Mo “monthly’ phone for $21 – slide you SIM into the monthly phone and POOF ! All cured !!” FROM A T-MO EMPLOYEE!!”

      So, if you’re satisfied with the service; don’t care about the latest and greatest ‘smart’ phone; go to CVS or buy it at Amazon.. Switch the SIM’ and you’re off !!

  • pekosROB

    I would assume the absorption of the customers would be similar to that of Alltel when Verizon bought them out awhile back.

  • clocinnorcal

    I will stick it out with Tmo till the end. Not because of extreme customer loyalty, but because its just affordable. When and if the time comes, I honestly dont know who to switch to, but its not going to be ATT.

  • waltcolemansux

    I’m sticking with T-Mobile…their prices are by far the best for me and I’ve been happy with their service.

    If the merger happens and ATT decides to jack up my rates, that would be a violation of my contract and would allow me out, at which point I will go to Verizon.

  • sylar

    Not honestly sure if this is a good thing or not I guess I will just have to wait and see how it all turns out. I just hope that it drives prices down instead of up like i imagine it will do.

  • Tankfantry

    Some people have brought it up already but I would be seriously surprised if phone manufactures didn’t start purchasing their networks or creating them from scratch. It might rid me of AT&T crappy bloatware.

  • charliethesuperturtle

    I feel like a retard asking this but
    How do I put a photo on androidandme?

  • phaet2112

    You are overestimating the demise of Tmo, considering that they are still net profitable every quarter. They will go on for at least several more years, however a buyout by the Canadian WIND would be interesting to merge the same frequencies…

  • joe blow

    I think att and tmobile should merge so dat t mobile customers can buy a iphone