In hopes that by growing it can compete better, T-Mobile is going to merge with the regional carrier MetroPCS.
The new company will still be called "T-Mobile", and its CEO will be John Legere, who is currently head of T-Mobile. With 42.5 million customers, it will control about 13% of the U.S. wireless service market. That will still put it behind Sprint, and way behind AT&T and Verizon in number of subscribers -- the two largest U.S. carriers have over 100 million each.
According to Legere, there will be benefits for customers of both carriers:
"We will combine T-Mobile and MetroPCS' complementary spectrum to provide greater network coverage, a deeper LTE network deployment and a path to at least 20x20 MHz of 4G LTE in many metro areas. Our single, national network will deliver Amazing 4G Services to a broader subscriber base, including better LTE network density in key metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas."
T-Mobile is just starting the process of adding 4G LTE to its network, while MetroPCS already has it in some metropolitan areas.
Legere released an extensive statement on this merger via his company's YouTube channel:
T-Mobile is currently owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom. After this deal, the U.S. carrier will be a publicly-traded company, with Deutsche Telekom shareholders owning 74% and the rest owned by current MetroPCS shareholders. This will allow the German company to divest itself of its American holding, something it has been trying to do for years.
The deal has been approved by both company's boards of directors, but still needs to be signed off on by regulatory agencies.