It’s been a bit of a long-winded process, but T-Mobile and MetroPCS have successfully finalized their merger plans, which were setup all the way back in 2012. After a revised offer to MetroPCS shareholders, T-Mobile finally managed to win everyone around, and the two have now ironed out the final details, one of which is that the company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under a new ticker symbol, TMUS.
Finally, we can confirm that T-mobile will be adding the 9 million MetroPCS customers to its existing 34 million, although this will still leave the company in fourth place behind rivals Sprint. Anyone holding MetroPCS shares may also be interested to note that they’ll be receiving half a share of the new company for each MetroPCS share currently owned, resulting in a 26 percent ownership of the newly formed T-Mobile US.
So the finer details have all been worked out for the two companies and their stockholders, but where does that leave current MetroPCS and T-Mobile consumers? For starters, customers with existing MetroPCS plans will have to gradually move over to T-Mobile’s network by 2015. T-Mobile will be shutting down MetroPCS’s CDMA network, considering it’s not compatible with their handsets. That’s not exactly an ideal situation for MetroPCS customers, as they’ll need to upgrade their handset within the next two years or lose their coverage completely. Fortunately, it’s not going to be an overnight switch.
There’s a plus side to current and future T-Mobile LTE customers though, as MetroPCS’s CDMA network will be recycled to make way for additional LTE networking space for T-Mobile, which should help it take on networking giants AT&T and Verizon. In the future, T-Mobile customers should experience better network coverage in some areas and potentially faster download speeds too, which is always a bonus.
On balance, the merger is quite a good thing both for consumers and the market as a whole. Many would argue that someone needs to challenge the dominance of Verizon and AT&T, and this merger puts T-Mobile in a much better position to do so. Consumers will also be better off with a faster, less fragmented mobile network in the coming years.