AT&T: T-Mobile Customer Will Have to Replace Phones

Ryan Whitwam

AT&T is letting slip more details of their post-acquisition plans for T-Mobile as time goes on. Up on offer this evening is the degree to which T-Mobile's spectrum will be used for AT&T's 4G LTE network. The long and short of it is, that T-Mobile customers with 3G phones will need to replace those handsets in order to continue receiving data after the deal is done.

T-Mobile's AWS 3G cellular bands will become part of AT&T's LTE network. So all those towers running HSPA+ for Tmo, will move to 4G. AT&T was unclear on just how the transition to AT&T 3G would work for T-Mobile subscriber, or how fast the changeover would go. AT&T CE Ralph de la Vega said in an interview that the transition would be, "done over time, in a way that's good for customers and good for AT&T."

We're a little concerned about customers buying a phone from Tmo on a two year contract considering this news. It is possible that AT&T will simply offer a midrange phone to users for free when the time comes to flip the switch on T-Mobile towers. How do you think the changeover will go?

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