As we watch newer, faster smartphones come to market, many of us may gloss over one of the original uses of the devices – phone calls. Manufacturers and carriers have not forgotten though and as they have been working to rollout 4G LTE services, they have realized they could shift voice traffic over to the LTE network, but not without some challenges. To address the situation, some carriers have been looking at moving voice traffic onto the LTE network using technology referred to as VoLTE, Voice over LTE. The problem is that LTE was designed to move data not voice. In addition, LTE currently does not carry SMS traffic which accounts for a large portion of the revenue stream. To make voice calls over LTE means the use of some type of VOIP technology to convert the voice call into data, which means more computing overhead and thus, more demands on a smartphone’s battery. This concept was found to be true in testing in late 2012. MetroPCS and LG have been working to improve this situation as revealed in the results of recent tests. Read more
With MetroPCS scheduled to vote on a merger with T-Mobile only a couple weeks away, the deal appears to have moved closer to obtaining FCC approval. An attorney for the Communication Workers of America Union claims the deal will be approved “at the bureau level instead of the commission level.” The union is watching the proceedings closely as they have concerns about the merger and this apparent move by the FCC to usher approval on through does not sit well with the union. Debbie Goldman, a director with the CWA refers to the possible FCC decision as “outrageous” and “unprecedented.” Despite the CWA’s concerns, others see this latest development as positive news. David Kuat, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., believes the lack of commission level action reveals the deal to be “basically non-controversial” and that “no one thinks this is going to be blocked.”
Okay, so maybe they don’t openly sanction the merger, but it sure appears that way when you analyze it. The DOJ has let an important antitrust law waiting period expire, which opens the floor back up to the merger. The waiting period, which was required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, was enacted to control monopolies across various industries.
Of course, this is not the only Antitrust law in place to control monopolies, so the two powerhouses will still have a few hurdles to overcome before they can make the merger final. The next hurdle will be getting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the transfer of spectrum licenses. Read more
Save the date folks. Wireless carrier MetroPCS has set March 28th as the date to vote on its merger with T-Mobile. The two phone carriers have been in talks to merge that was reported as early as October 2012. According to reports, this merger will be classified as a “reverse merger” meaning that T-Mobile will merge into MetroPCS’ structure rather than the opposite. Deutsche Telekom will benefit from this merger by getting 74% of the company’s shares. The remaining 26% will go to MetroPCS shareholders which equals a total amount of $1.5 billion.
While the date has been set, there looks to be some potential roadblocks in the form of some opposition to the merger. Among the different opponents out there is P. Schoenfeld, a firm who holds a total of 8.3 million shares, or about 2.3% of shares in MetroPCS. The firm has expressed the intention to vote against the merger using its shares. Along with them is another firm expressing opposition to the merger, Paulson & Co. Paulson & Co. has a total of 8.7% of shares in MetroPCS and may join in the efforts to oppose the merger of the two wireless carriers.
It will be interesting to see how this developing T-Mobile/MetroPCS saga will play out.
ZTE has always been able to make quality devices on a budget, and their latest offering on MetroPCS is no exception. $149 gets you a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, a 4 inch screen, a 5 megapixel rear camera, and most importantly, 4G LTE. It also runs Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. Anyone thinking about picking up one of these for a holiday deal? Hit the break below for the press release. Read more
Today MetroPCS has refreshed their Samsung Galaxy Admire, adding 4G LTE, a better screen, more processor power, and a bigger battery. It features a 3.65-inch TFT display, 1GHz CPU, and a 3MP camera. For $169 without a contract, though, that’s not too shabby. It does come preloaded with Android 2.3, which is likely to be a deal breaker for some. MetroPCS offers a service called joyn that supposedly integrates all of your mobile communications in one place, which is a neat idea. If you’re interested, hit the break for the press release. Read more
While it’s certainly not official yet, that isn’t stopping T-Mobile from touching base with their customers and sending out an FYI of sorts. Upon checking the mail today, there it was – a letter with “important information” contained therein. Turns out T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere, has a message for us on Magenta’s network. Juicy details are scarce, but it does mention the pending merger with MetroPCS promising a “bigger, better, bolder” US wireless provider. It goes on to claim T-Mobile will be the “premier challenger in the US market” by emphasizing value.
The letter also promises greater speed, bigger capacity, and better reliability as well as deeper network coverage, all as a result of this pending merger. These are sticking points that T-Mobile customers have been clamoring for over the years. I can almost count on two hands where our network coverage struggles to keep up on outings that we make on a monthly basis. Also, the recent vacation we took was a little challenging due to T-Mobile’s slower speed and lacking data/voice coverage. It’s a little frustrating but being with Magenta for over 10 years has its perks. Just dialing “611” from my mobile phone and asking for the Loyalty Department coupled with our 10-plus years of service prompts immediate credibility, and there have been quite a few times we’ve gotten new devices at a full discount prices well before our contract was up. So, it’s definitely a “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” type of relationship. Read more
T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, was poised to merge with MetroPCS for a purchase price of $1.5 billion, until the shareholders stepped in. MetroPCS, who has been successful with their low-cost LTE service, is currently sitting at around $11.33 per share. Deutsch Telekom’s original offer of $1.5 billion would hand over 74% of the stock, which works out to around $12.48 per share, as well as include a 1-for-2 reverse stock split. The remaining 26% would stay in the shareholders hands.
The current shareholders are feeling a bit undervalued, which you can’t completely blame them since the company was once valued at $10 billion. They feel that the small asking price is a far cry from the $39 billion AT&T dropped for T-mobile itself, and T-Mo doesn’t even offer LTE service. This barricade by stockholders could potentially affect not only the mobile service business, but also increase the value of the MetroPCS stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
Yesterday, things looked all but certain for a merger to occur between T-Mobile and MetroPCS according to an announcement from Deutshe Telekom AG. One day later though the situation may have changed. Reports indicate Sprint may be in the process of preparing a rival proposal to acquire MetroPCS. Analysts believe Sprint and MetroPCS would be a good fit because their networks are compatible. Supposedly Sprint is crunching numbers and have their advisors reviewing a potential merger. Read more
It was confirmed yesterday that MetroPCS and T-Mobile were in talks of a merger, now the deal has been approved. MetroPCS and their 9.3 million subscribers will be under the T-Mobile umbrella, headed by T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere. T-Mobile and MetroPCS have fewer subscribers than Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, but this deal will bring them to over 35 million customers. This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has tried a merger, but this deal seems more likely to go through, giving T-Mobile more subscribers and network coverage. Deutsche Telekom will have a large stake in the new company which may or may not diminish over time. Expect for this deal to be finalized early next year.
Source: The Verge