AT&T: T-Mobile customers will need new handsets

March 21, 2011
15

In a quote from an AT&T statement, it is being reported that T-Mobile users will have to get new phones in order to take part in AT&Ts 4G plans. This could largely be due to AT&T planning to transition all T-Mobile towers to a 4G network. This could be good, it could be bad. Good for middle customers who would like to get a new 4G phone but are stuck with another year or two on their contracts, bad in that it means people will have to lay out more money to pick up an AT&T handset and get locked into yet another two years with Ma Bell.

The spectrum they use for third-generation services, or 3G, will be re-purposed for 4G, which is faster.

That would leave current T-Mobile phones without 3G. They would need to be replaced with phones that use AT&T's 3G frequencies. Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's head of wireless and consumer services, said this will happen as part of the normal phone upgrade process.

"There's nothing for them to worry about ... it will be done over time, in a way that's good for customers and good for AT&T," de la Vega said in an interview.

So, while AT&T reps assure us that 4G plan will be phased in and customers won't have to buy a new phone right away, the rather dead end point is, that sooner or later, they will. Course, with FCC approval of the deal expected to take about a year to complete, and the complete 4G transition several years on top of that. So, users in current contracts may be able to run out the clock and transition to a new carrier or phone anyway. But where does this leave current AT&T customers? Will the 4G phase in also mean that AT&T users will have to transition to a mandatory 4G handset as well?

AT&T rocked the wireless world with their surprise announcement yesterday that it would be buying T-Mobile USA from German carrier Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in cash and stock. It also plans on spending over $8 billion to bring the entire T-Mobile network into the 4G realm. AT&T is working overtime making assurances to customers, and especially to the FCC who has to approve the merger, that the marriage of these two carriers will benefit users as they move to the 4G LTE spectrum. And could the FCC may be looking forward to 3G being vacated sooner, rather than later so another spectrum auction can occur?

"There's nothing for them to worry about ... it will be done over time, in a way that's good for customers and good for AT&T," de la Vega said. So, AT&T's opinion seems to be it's a win-win proposition.

[via Yahoo Finance]


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  • http://twitter.com/DrHotmann Jordan Hotmann

    Send comments to the FCC chairman http://www.fcc.gov/commissioners/genachowski/mail.html

    ATT buying Tmobile is bad

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IDQB3E455VB6GLOBXM6LQMGKUA Vic

    What make you think having to buy new contracts and phones will effect TMO customers. This buyout will take longer than any cell contract!

    • Dtvbadass

      Jordan,
      Thanks for the FCC link. I sent the following lengthy statement.
      “This AT&T/T-Mobile merger will result in yet again another successful monopoly piece for big business & will leave main street with less viable options. Sprint will get bought out by Verizon & just like that we’ll go from a nation that has 4 major cell phone companies to 2. Doesn’t sound like the American way to me. Further more this move will disenfranchise millions of T-Mobile customers forcing them to have to purchase new phones @ a time when our economy is already hurting. AT&T requiring this of its new customer base is equivalent to a shot gun wedding because it forces customers to either buy the phone out right or get locked into a 2 year contract for a cheaper pricec phone. The EFT (early terminarion fee) will average $250 & for loyal T-Mobile customers this isn’t fair.
      Please resend this proposed merger from going through. T-Mobile is the very reason why AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint had to change its pricing structure and revamp their customer service. More cell phone companies means more competition & innovation. Thank you for your time in reading this.”

  • Subarurcr

    AT&T is just monopolizing the market again. FCC Please stop this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=563705036 Ward Anderson

    FAN FREAKING TASTIC!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1060836854 Randall Ainsworth

    Time to stock up on the Vaseline…

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/[email protected] skaboy

    The dell streak 7 sold by t-mobile comes with at&t 3g support built in. For those of you who got it, your good to go. Also the dell mini 10 (both 3g and 4g) and newer webconnect data cards support at&t’s 3g and even HSPA+ network.

  • Anonymous

    I am less concerned about having to buy a new phone than I am at the loss of T-Mobile’s excellent plans and spectacular customer service. I have T-Mobile because I WANT T-Mobile. I am quite unhappy with this announcement.

  • http://twitter.com/xguntherc Cory (xguntherc)

    I actually read the opposite and that they would be making dual band towers and Tmo 3G customers will be fine.

    but we will hear over time.

  • http://twitter.com/xguntherc Cory (xguntherc)

    I actually read the opposite and that they would be making dual band towers and Tmo 3G customers will be fine.

    but we will hear over time.

  • Dtvbadass

    For anyone qho is a tmo customsr like me copy & paste the fcc link from Jordan’s post & then copy & pasye my below statwment or send your own. Thank you,
    Leo

    This AT&T/T-Mobile merger will result in yet again another successful monopoly piece for big business & will leave main street with less viable options. Sprint will get bought out by Verizon & just like that we’ll go from a nation that has 4 major cell phone companies to 2. Doesn’t sound like the American way to me. Further more this move will disenfranchise millions of T-Mobile customers forcing them to have to purchase new phones @ a time when our economy is already hurting. AT&T requiring this of its new customer base is equivalent to a shot gun wedding because it forces customers to either buy the phone out right or get locked into a 2 year contract for a cheaper pricec phone. The EFT (early terminarion fee) will average $250 & for loyal T-Mobile customers this isn’t fair.
    Please resend this proposed merger from going through. T-Mobile is the very reason why AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint had to change its pricing structure and revamp their customer service. More cell phone companies means more competition & innovation. Thank you for your time in reading this

  • Dtvbadass

    For anyone qho is a tmo customsr like me copy & paste the fcc link from Jordan’s post & then copy & pasye my below statwment or send your own. Thank you,
    Leo

    This AT&T/T-Mobile merger will result in yet again another successful monopoly piece for big business & will leave main street with less viable options. Sprint will get bought out by Verizon & just like that we’ll go from a nation that has 4 major cell phone companies to 2. Doesn’t sound like the American way to me. Further more this move will disenfranchise millions of T-Mobile customers forcing them to have to purchase new phones @ a time when our economy is already hurting. AT&T requiring this of its new customer base is equivalent to a shot gun wedding because it forces customers to either buy the phone out right or get locked into a 2 year contract for a cheaper pricec phone. The EFT (early terminarion fee) will average $250 & for loyal T-Mobile customers this isn’t fair.
    Please resend this proposed merger from going through. T-Mobile is the very reason why AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint had to change its pricing structure and revamp their customer service. More cell phone companies means more competition & innovation. Thank you for your time in reading this

  • Dtvbadass

    For anyone qho is a tmo customsr like me copy & paste the fcc link from Jordan’s post & then copy & pasye my below statwment or send your own. Thank you,
    Leo

    This AT&T/T-Mobile merger will result in yet again another successful monopoly piece for big business & will leave main street with less viable options. Sprint will get bought out by Verizon & just like that we’ll go from a nation that has 4 major cell phone companies to 2. Doesn’t sound like the American way to me. Further more this move will disenfranchise millions of T-Mobile customers forcing them to have to purchase new phones @ a time when our economy is already hurting. AT&T requiring this of its new customer base is equivalent to a shot gun wedding because it forces customers to either buy the phone out right or get locked into a 2 year contract for a cheaper pricec phone. The EFT (early terminarion fee) will average $250 & for loyal T-Mobile customers this isn’t fair.
    Please resend this proposed merger from going through. T-Mobile is the very reason why AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint had to change its pricing structure and revamp their customer service. More cell phone companies means more competition & innovation. Thank you for your time in reading this

  • mahalo.

    um, what the heck is going on?! i’ve had at&t and wasnt happy at all. i’d rather have a mytouch 4G than an iphone because i have had both and would choose t mobile over at&t ANYDAY! im soo unhappy, but my basic question is, where the hell does this leave me?! i love the tmobile plan, is that all down the drain now? am i gna have to go back to paying rediculous prices for sucky service? geez.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Becket/100002621364744 Joseph Becket

     I have an iPhone and the most frustrating part is all the dropped
    calls, or calls that I don’t even get. People come up to me saying,
    “I called you ten times’ and I all I can say back is “my
    phone sucks.” AT&T is a great company, but like many
    nationwide businesses it can have some weak spots. I was surfing the
    internet and I found this site where people can vent about poor
    customer service or products they received… it can get really
    funny. I would recommend you to check it out here:
    http://ventme.com/companies/view/95