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T-Mobile, MetroPCS officially merge, bringing iPhone to 9M more in US

Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile announced on Wednesday the completion of T-Mobile USA's merger with MetroPCS Communications, creating an entity with roughly 43 million subscribers across the United States and making Apple's iPhone available to an additional 9 million customers.


The last obstacles to creating the new entity — known as T-Mobile US and trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TMUS — were cleared in late April, when MetroPCS' shareholders approved the merger following an improved offer from Deutsche Telekom. The deal saw MetroPCS effecting a 1 for 2 reverse stock split and paying its shareholders $1.5 billion, or roughly $4.05 per share.

T-Mobile is the fourth-largest carrier in the United States, with the 9 million added subscribers from MetroPCS bringing its total base to about 43 million. Based on 2012 financial reporting, the company has about $24.8 billion in revenues and $2.7 billion in free cash flow.

T-Mobile's president and CEO, John Legere, will head the new company, while MetroPCS' vice chairman and CFO, J. Braxton Carter, will serve as CFO.

The combined company will, for a time, operate under separate brands, with MetroPCS customers gradually being migrated into T-Mobile's network. During that transition, MetroPCS' CDMA network spectrum will be repurposed for T-Mobile's LTE network. The process is expected to be completed by 2015.

The deal marks the completion of a months-long process that saw MetroPCS' board of directors approving the merger in October. In the time since then, T-Mobile has significantly modified its pricing structure, adopting an "UNcarrier" brand with a no-contract standard and adding Apple's iPhone to its handset offerings.

Prior to officially adding Apple's iPhone, T-Mobile had been successfully attracting owners of unlocked iPhones to its network at a rate of roughly 100,000 per month. While those customers were limited to much lower data speeds, T-Mobile had brought in about two million by the time the iPhone officially debuted on its network. Prior to the merger, MetroPCS customers did not have access to the iPhone.