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T-Mobile wants to acquire most of USCellular’s wireless operations to boost rural coverage in proposed $4.4B deal

2024 May 29
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It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago that United States-based cellular carrier T-Mobile acquired both MetroPCS and Sprint to increase its 5G expansion and improve coverage for its user base.

Just this week, however, the Magenta carrier announced plans to acquire and merge with yet another carrier. This time, the crosshairs take aim at USCellular’s wireless operations, which T-Mobile wants to buy for $4.4 billion.

We know what many of you are thinking… “isn’t the rapid acquisition of American cellular providers by T-Mobile reducing user choice?” And while the answer is yes, it’s worth noting that this still needs to be approved by federal regulators before it’s allowed to move forward.

Should it be allowed, T-Mobile ironically says that the deal would increase user choice, which seems to be the exact opposite of what buying up all the competition actually does.

Why is T-Mobile interested in USCellular in the first place? Well, it seems that T-Mobile wants the additional wireless spectrum, as well as the opportunity to expand coverage in underserved parts of rural America.

It’s worth noting that USCellular would retain control over some of its assets, such as some of its spectrum and its towers, but T-Mobile would have the ability to lease space on up to 2,100 more towers across the United States to expand coverage.

The deal stands to benefit USCellular customers as well as T-Mobile customers, since they would receive access to T-Mobile’s own 5G network when roaming outside of USCellular’s traditional bounds.

Another ironic claim from the press release is that the merger will enable T-Mobile to provide service at more compelling price points. Recently, T-Mobile announced increasing people’s monthly costs by anywhere from $2-5 per line, depending on the plan they’re using.

There’s certainly a lot of doublespeak in the announcement, as we’ve pointed out, but there are pros and cons to these types of mergers that federal regulators will need to scrutinize and balance before everything can proceed.

What are your thoughts about T-Mobile attempting to gobble up yet another cellular service provider in the United States? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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