AT&T: T-Mobile 3G phones will need to be replaced

Mar 21, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
This photo combination shows logos for AT&T, left, and Deutsche Telekom AG. AT&T Inc. on Sunday, March 20, 2011 said it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion, becoming the largest cellphone company in the U.S. (AP Photo)

AT&T Inc. said Monday that if its deal to buy T-Mobile USA goes through, T-Mobile subscribers with "3G" phones will need to replace those to keep their wireless broadband service working. But there will be plenty of time to do that.

Dallas-based AT&T said Sunday it had agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. If approved by regulators, the deal would close about a year from now.

AT&T said that some time after the closing, it plans to rearrange how T-Mobile's cell towers work. The airwaves they use for third-generation services, or 3G, will be repurposed for 4G, which is faster.

That would leave current phones without 3G. They would need to be replaced with phones that use AT&T's 3G frequencies. Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's head of wireless and consumer services, said this will happen as part of the normal phone upgrade process.

"There's nothing for them to worry about ... it will be done over time, in a way that's good for customers and good for AT&T," de la Vega said in an interview.

The whole process will take several years, he said.

AT&T shares rose 27 cents to $28.21 in midday trading Monday.

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

3 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AT&T on track with new high-speed network in 2011

Jan 05, 2011

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. is on track to start rolling out its next-generation wireless technology in the second half of this year, as the company joined handset makers Wednesday to show off several smart phones that will take advantage ...

India plans 4G mobile sale: report

Apr 14, 2010

India plans to hold an auction of ultra-high-speed fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone spectrum soon after completion of 3G access now underway, a report said Wednesday.

Top mobile operators unite against 4G fees

Jun 22, 2006

Six European mobile operators have joined forces to ensure that introducing fourth-generation cell phones will not cost as much as 3G's $184 billion rollout.

Cell execs say more steps needed to meet demand

Mar 23, 2010

(AP) -- Cell phone company executives support a proposal by federal regulators to find more wireless spectrum for mobile broadband services, but say the industry needs to do more to help networks keep up with the demand ...

Recommended for you

Britain's BT in talks to buy mobile operator EE

Dec 15, 2014

BT Group PLC said Monday it is in exclusive talks to buy mobile phone operator EE from Germany's Deutsche Telekom and France's Orange for 12.5 billion pounds ($20 billion) in cash and shares.

Re-imagining the network

Dec 12, 2014

Communication networks are evolving to keep pace with increasing consumer needs and business demands. We've already experienced the progressive jumps from 1G to 4G wireless networks and 5G is looming in the not-too-distant ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.