The deal is done. After months of preparations and approvals, T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS have officially merged into one company. Now known as T-Mobile US, the deal will combine the nine million prepaid customers of MetroPCS with the existing 34 million customers of T-Mobile USA. The new company will trade as TMUS on the New York Stock Exchange from now on, and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom will have a 74 percent stake in the entity.
The roughly 43 million subscribers of the new company will still leave T-Mobile as the fourth most popular carrier in the U.S., but the deal stands to bolster the magenta carrier’s renewed efforts to gain ground in its battle against Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.
Customers of both carriers won’t see many changes immediately, but the plan is to get all MetroPCS customers onto T-Mobile’s network by 2015. MetroPCS’ CDMA network will be shut down over that time, which will stop MetroPCS phones from working on it, and T-Mobile will use the newly-gained spectrum to eventually help strengthen its growing 4G LTE network. MetroPCS has posted a nifty FAQ on its website, which further explains that the MetroPCS brand will stay alive and operate separately from its new big brother as the two sides migrate to a common network.
The announcement comes just a week after MetroPCS shareholders formally approved the merger, which was the deal’s last remaining hurdle. The boards of both Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS first approved the deal last October, and the FCC gave its thumbs up in March.