The Federal Communications Commission has approved the merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS. The $1.5 billion deal will see T-Mobile take over MetroPCS, potentially gaining 9 million new subscribers in the process. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in statement:
With today’s approval, America’s mobile market continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors. We are seeing billions more in network investment, while the courts have upheld key FCC decisions to accelerate broadband build-out, promote competition, and benefit consumers, including our broadband data roaming and pole attachment rules. Today’s action will benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years.
Rumors about the merger started in October and were quickly confirmed by T-Mobile. What effect this deal ultimately has on T-Mobile’s fortunes is not known. However, this deal, which will jump-start T-Mobile’s LTE efforts, along with finally getting the iPhone later this year, could give them a boost that they sorely need.
T-Mobile has already carried the iPhone in an unofficial capacity for years, supporting 1.9 million of them as of January. So far, however, they have been unable to offer the phone directly to customers. T-Mobile continues to expand their iPhone-friendly 3G coverage, and is expected to begin their LTE rollout soon.