Rumors of an iPhone on T-Mobile are nothing new. The recent agreement between AT&T and parent company Deutsche Telekom may have excited some T-Mobile customers looking to score an iPhone 4. After all, the $39 billion acquisition would form the largest wireless carrier in the US.
Not so fast. Assuming the deal is approved by regulators, the merger would take 12 months. Until the merger is complete T-Mobile will operate as an independent company and has expressly stated it has no plans to offer the iPhone. So what will happen after the merger is complete?
Both carriers expect that current customers will experience improved voice quality and service thanks to better cell tower density, additional radio spectrum, and broader network infrastructure. AT&T stated that the acquisition of T-Mobile's network would have taken five years to build from scratch. Both carriers have been working to bring high-speed HSPA+ and 4G LTE to their customers. Joining forces makes it possible for the unified company to bring these services to 95 percent of the US population.
T-Mobile currently has 33.7 million customers, which added to AT&T's customer base results in a whopping 130 million subscribers. In comparison, Verizon Wireless would become the second largest US carrier with over 93 million subscribers. Should the merger be completed, the new AT&T would likely offer a future generation iPhone to all subscribers, including former T-Mobile customers. Current iPhone owners on AT&T will find cell tower density increasing by 30 percent in highly populated areas, improving connectivity.Sprint Nextel, the third largest carrier in the US with roughly 50 million customers, has voiced concerns to the US Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission. They see consumers losing in a future where 80 percent of the market is controlled by only two companies, AT&T and Verizon. Verizon has remained silent about the deal.