"T-Mobile is moving toward network capabilities that will be superior to others in the industry," Legere said. "This is a place where T-Mobile has never been. And MetroPCS customers will get to take advantage of this too."The way the migration will work for MetroPCS customers is that the old CDMA network will disappear as customers migrate to devices that support LTE for use on the AWS spectrum, as well as support T-Mobile's HSPA+ and GSM technology, which will use the PCS spectrum. Keeping HSPA+ and GSM will give MetroPCS devices the ability to roam onto networks in other countries, where CDMA has not been used and where LTE is not yet deployed.
A culture of innovationWhat will also likely help smooth the transition as these companies merge is the fact that MetroPCS is a very innovative company, which is used to pushing technology to its limits, The company was the first to launch an LTE service, in 2010, But because of its spectrum constraints MetroPCS was only able to build a network in 3MHz channels, This greatly affected performance, but the fact that the company was willing to take this aggressive step shows it's willing to take risks and make changes to challenge competitors, MetroPCS also recently introduced voice over LTE, which allows customers to make voice calls over the LTE data network, This is a major difference from other LTE providers, such as Verizon Wireless, different types of iphone screen protectors which still use older 2G/3G networks to carry voice calls..
The fact that MetroPCS has already worked on voice over LTE technology means that when it completes its transition with T-Mobile to LTE, it will be ready to also deliver voice calls, without having to keep its legacy CDMA network fully intact as a voice network. Though the deal will enhance T-Mobile's and MetroPCS's spectrum positions, it will not expand either network into new markets. And it's clear T-Mobile will likely be looking for spectrum elsewhere to either grow its footprint or increase capacity in markets not covered by MetroPCS.
Leap Wireless, owner of the Cricket brand, is another prepaid service provider that runs a business similar to MetroPCS, Leap operates in different markets than MetroPCS and could be considered as a takeover candidate by other carriers, But it's unlikely that T-Mobile or any other carrier would look to Leap right now as a potential acquisition target, Unlike MetroPCS, which has a fairly consistent swath of spectrum and was already migrating toward LTE, Leap owns a hodgepodge of spectrum, It has done a series of spectrum swaps with Verizon and AT&T in an attempt different types of iphone screen protectors to harmonize its spectrum position, but experts say the company is still at least six months away from having a consistent spectrum plan..
The Federal Communications Commission is also putting more lower frequency spectrum on the market. The newly formed T-Mobile will likely be bidding in this auction, which is tentatively scheduled for 2014, to get its hands on lower frequency spectrum. Lower frequency spectrum from TV broadcasters could help T-Mobile expand its footprint into new markets, especially in suburban and rural markets. The deal between Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS must still get regulatory approval. But it's likely to be approved by the FCC. The agency noted in its criticism of the T-Mobile deal with AT&T that it wished for the company to remain a competitor in the wireless market. And without more spectrum, T-Mobile's survival is questionable at best. This deal and the deals that are likely to follow in the future will help T-Mobile truly compete against bigger players, such as AT&T and Verizon.