With details emerging on what exactly T-Mobile USA gets as a result of the dissolution of the merger between it and AT&T, it appears in at least the short term the struggling carrier will receive a much needed boost. AT&T is entering in to a seven year roaming agreement with T-Mobile that dramatically increases the carrier’s coverage area.
“Coverage will be extended to many regions of the U.S. in which T-Mobile USA previously had neither its own high-speed mobile communications network nor the associated roaming agreements”, Deutsche Telekom says. AT&T will award T-Mobile USA a significant amount of AWS spectrum, which will help T-Mobile USA dramatically accelerate its 4G deployment.
That spectrum is in 128 different markets, and in 12 of the top 20 markets in the country. This includes Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle, according to the company.
With additional spectrum and a generous roaming agreement, the real winner is the T-Mobile customer. Long-time customers know of the carrier’s struggles, whether it be poor rural service or lack of spectrum (especially in major metropolitan areas). Access to AT&T’s robust network could also make T-Mobile more competitive in the end, as consumers will need to worry less about coverage concerns than they had to before the roaming agreements.
All of this is in addition to a $3 billion breakup fee that AT&T is now forced to pay Deutsche Telekom, one of the highest payments for a termination of a merger in history.
That said, the German telecommunications company seems grateful for the work AT&T did in trying to salvage the difficult deal, even though it ended up being for naught.
“Deutsche Telekom would like to express its gratitude to AT&T and to Randall Stephenson and his team for the positive cooperation over the past few months”, DT says. “Our working relationship was characterized by fairness and respect at all times”.