AT&T has announced plans to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion, which would make the joint company the largest wireless carrier in the US. It would also likely mean better service for all current and future AT&T and T-Mobile customers, since the companies will combine their infrastructure. Unfortunately there’s a good chance it will also mean higher prices, the end of unlimited data plans, and possibly less emphasis on Android and Windows Phone devices, since the iPhone is kind of AT&T’s big thing.

Peter Rojas at gdgt has a pretty good break-down of the implications, but the deal will likely take a year or more to go through so it will be a while before we really know what any of this means for consumers. Still, it’s strange to think that the first network to offer the iPhone in the US and the first network to provide Google Android devices could soon be one and the same.

What do you think? Is this good news or bad?

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

7 replies on “AT&T to acquire T-Mobile: How do you feel about that?”

  1. My initial thought is that it is bad for Tmobile customers and good for AT&T customers. I am on TMO, and cannot say that I am thrilled by the idea. My Nexus One has offers great tethering at a great price on TMO, won’t have that on AT&T which already means at least $20 a month. However, we are likely so far out from anything happening in the merger that I will sit and see what develops. I will have to look closely though to see which carrier I will land on when this is all said and done.

    1. I’m pretty much in the same boat as you, as a T-mobile customer with a Google Nexus One which I tether from time to time. AT&T’s basic data plan costs more and tethering costs more. I guess we can hope that antitrust regulators insist on action that could result in price breaks or something… but we’ll probably have at least a year or so of status quo.

      1. Any idea on what will happen with the TMO frequency for 3g? Any hope we will see AT&T towers usable by TMO devices for 3g? I assume not, though I imagine that we will see the reverse.

        1. Yeah, word on the street is that T-Mobile 3G customers may have to switch phones in a year or two, but I’m taking a wait-and-see approach for now. Don’t feel like swapping my 1.2 year old phone just yet.

  2. My concern is the impact this could have on Android devices for developers. T-Mobile has been a great partner for Google’s Android OS since day one. They released the first Android phone, the G1, they had the Nexus One, the Nexus S etc… But that’s not all! If I remember correctly, they’re the only carrier who sells Android phones with vanilla android (read: no custom UI) with the exception of the original Droid on Verizon. Even the upcoming LG G2X is expected to run vanilla android.

    As is, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get a vanilla Android phone. Carriers love the customization, but power users don’t. What about the impact on HTC? Sure, HTC has recently been busy releasing Windows Phone 7 devices, but usually they release several Android devices with T-Mobile. Verizon mostly depends on Motorola for their Android fix, and AT&T wants to cripple every single Android phone by disabling side-loading of apps and what not. Sprint? The poor carrier needs to figure out how they’ll survive in a future where they’re in 3rd place behind two Goliaths instead of only one!

    Even if this will take a while to be finalized, you’ll see Google, Sprint, and the manufacturers get into all sorts of new partnerships.

  3. If this is approved by the Feds, it might make at&t the biggest wireless carrier, but it will certainly NOT make them the best. All at&t is trying to do is ONE-UP Verizon.

    I think the next merger or One-Up will be a Verizon/Sprint merger.

    AT&T will still S_ck and there is no amount of money that can change that.

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