December 21, 2014

AT&T Statement: "T-Mobile Customers Will Have To Replace 3G Handsets After Merge"

This is getting a bit concerning, Yahoo Finance is reporting that AT&T has made a statement saying that T-Mo customers who have 3G handsets will need to have their devices replaced if the recently announced merger goes through.  The reason being that once the acquisition is finalized, AT&T plans on reconfiguring how the current T-Mo towers work, re-purposing them for 4G service in an effort to increase the speed of their network overall.

A quote from the article talking about the change of towers, and hinting at some plans:

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

That would leave current T-Mobile 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.

There is no word yet of course what de la Vega means when he makes the above statement, but I am not sure how comforting I find it. I may go down and start looking at what it would take to get me into a Thunderbolt after hearing this. What do you think?



  • http://twitter.com/chuckfalzone Chuck Falzone

    Nothing to worry about, you’ll be fine with EDGE speeds for the next year or two til yr eligible for a new phone.

    Curious about whether this will encompass Tmo’s current “4G” (i.e. HSPA+) phones as well– if the 4G AT&T is talking about building out in this spectrum is LTE, it just might.

    • http://twitter.com/newspeak newspeak

      why wouldn’t it …ATT plans to use the 1700mhz band for LTE …the “4g” phones on tmo are one the same bands because they are still 3g phones like the rest of the lineup

  • http://twitter.com/chuckfalzone Chuck Falzone

    Nothing to worry about, you’ll be fine with EDGE speeds for the next year or two til yr eligible for a new phone.

    Curious about whether this will encompass Tmo’s current “4G” (i.e. HSPA+) phones as well– if the 4G AT&T is talking about building out in this spectrum is LTE, it just might.

  • Trev186

    I will be changing providers. Sprint is getting the Atrix as well as a few other nice phones.

    I was hoping for the S2 on Tmobile but maybe they will port it to Sprint eventually as well.

    I hate ATT with a passion. I will not pay them any money

  • Anonymous

    There’s nothing for AT&T to worry about … it will be done over time, in a way that’s good for AT&T regardless of the effect on customers.

    There, fixed that for him.

    • guest4

      AT&T pissing off their customers is hardly good for them…

      • Anonymous

        If (when) this goes through there will be NO choice at all if you want a GSM phone in the US. One that actually works when you go overseas – with a little prodding and duct taping and sim-slinging, yes, but it can work, like my T-mobile phone worked on my Oz trip.

        And frankly, I don’t think they care. They value the spectrum far more than the customers and figure they’ll get them back later or at least get them for ETF.

    • guest4

      AT&T pissing off their customers is hardly good for them…

  • ARM1107

    Ughh… I HATE AT&T. Reports say that they are cheaper, which is total bullsh!t!! I will also be switching providers if this does happen!

    • Gixer_1

      I’m going to switch as well. I’m glad my contract is up this September.

      • Anonymous

        that is the worst idea. keep on tmo as long as they are still tmo, upgrade your contract, keep the written comments from tmo/att from yesterday where they said your contract won’t change once the merger is complete, if the merger does go through and att says you have to upgrade your phone, tell them to pay for it, reference why. at worst, you could be out the cost of an upgrade phone and switching to sprint/verizon. hell, they’ll probably run deals for us tmo people to switch over.

        • Anonymous

          AT&T is being more clever than you think. This 4G switch doesn’t force anyone to upgrade. You can still use your phone on the 2G bands. But AT&T knows no one with a smartphone is going to want to be stuck on 2G until the end of their contract term and will voluntarily upgrade prematurely, resulting in a new AT&T contract without grandfathered-in T-Mobile rates. This is a dick move and bad business practices. It’s not illegal, and not going against what T-Mobile and AT&T have said about allowing people to ride out their contract. What it is is horseshit. Pure, same-as-it-ever-was, AT&T horseshit.

          • 4G_or_not_4G

            bet they will figure out how to charge a 4G premium while only providing 2G service

          • jettrue

            Hmm, but can we be more clever and just buy unlocked ATT phones, and stick to our grandfathered plans? OR do you think 4G won’t be available on grandfathered plans, even if the phone supports it?

        • Anonymous

          AT&T is being more clever than you think. This 4G switch doesn’t force anyone to upgrade. You can still use your phone on the 2G bands. But AT&T knows no one with a smartphone is going to want to be stuck on 2G until the end of their contract term and will voluntarily upgrade prematurely, resulting in a new AT&T contract without grandfathered-in T-Mobile rates. This is a dick move and bad business practices. It’s not illegal, and not going against what T-Mobile and AT&T have said about allowing people to ride out their contract. What it is is horseshit. Pure, same-as-it-ever-was, AT&T horseshit.

        • Vrocks

          Re-read the article. They are NOT going to just turn off the network on day one. They will leave it running for 2 years. Once 50% of Los Angeles has had their contract expire in 1 year, AT&T will then offer them their new contract with a phone upgrade. Then switch 50% of LA’s towers to AT&T and leave the remaining ones for the remaining T-Mobile contracts…

          They are a billion dollar company and you guys are paycheck to paycheck it seems. If they did what you are suggesting (again, re-read the article, will you?) then we could all sue them in a class action for way more than they’d want to spend. Not to mention corporate customers of T-Mobile.

          So sit back… Enjoy your network until your contract runs out and then see what kind of incentive they dream up to keep you. Your paycheck to paycheck butt will be so grateful to have your new dual processor, OMLED screen, phone that runs a laptop that you will forget all about this.

          • 4G_or_not_4G

            These are the same clowns (Cingular) who bought out AT&T years ago. I had AT&T service when Cingular bought them out. My voice service with AT&T was great, until Cingular took charge. Then all of a sudden many dropped calls. Cingular said it was because I was on the old AT&T radios and not on their new modern radios. So I bought new phones for the family, and would you believe I had the same crappy service prior to buying the new phones. This is how I became a T-Mobile customer

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eddie-Landrum-III/1281589164 Eddie Landrum III

            You cannot be serious. I dont care how advanced the phone is. If my rate plan damn near doubles and my data plan cuts me down to 2gig the phone is like a pretty car without gas. It just sits in the drive way.

          • moose

            I use to work for an AT&T call center before it got bought out by Cingular. I had non-stop calls about drop calls and all that good stuff. I was a T-Mo customer even while working there at AT&T. And everytime I get a call from an irate customer about their AT&T service, I think to myself, “Thank goodness I have T-Mobile” I myself never had to call T-Mo customer service for anything but to pay my bill or talk about phone upgrades.

            If this merge goes through, I’m switching

          • Anonymous

            If they gave me the best phone for free and 10 years…they could not keep me. I absolutely HATE them, and I hate companies that do things that illegal. Monopolozing is illegal, period!

          • Poptart

            It’s not monopolizing as long as there are other companies. I.e. Sprint, Verizon, and any of the prepaid junk companies. And as for their customer loyalty, AT&T will most likely do for their new tmo customers as they did for me, which is keep all your data and text rates the way they were. Even though they dropped the unlimited data plans, I was able to keep mine because of my plan setup prior to the change. I used to have Verizon and they are Garbage because of hidden fees and other b.s. they tell you. My friend worked for them and his intel… Not good news!

          • Anonymous

            You know as well as I do that “if” AT&T gets T-Mobile, Sprint will go out of business because they will not be able to compete with Verizon and AT&T, which also leaves only 2 companies. There SHOULD be more for people to choose from. AT&T has ALWAYS added more charges to bills, and then “conveniently cannot explain them away. They did it with their land-lines, so why should their cellular lines be any different? Tax this, tax that, charge for this, charge for that. Of course, they will “honor” T-Mobiles contracts for a certain amount of time, and that is why T-Mobile is now able to offer unlimited service for $49.99, but mark my word, once that time is up…prices WILL skyrocket! AT&T is making claims about being a 4G company after 2 years of the “take over”, when truth has it, there is no true 4G NOW! There is nothing about AT&T that is “good news’. I hope the FCC sees that the people need choices, and blocks this “merger/purchase”.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FCPYFNSTFYTD3ILTDKXEAATAAY Captian America

      What report says they’re cheaper? At&t is the most expensive service there is

      • O2bsavage

        Do your research. Verizon is even more expensive. Hopefully we’ll get grandfathered in with our old plans. Mines pretty sweet & I’d be pissed to loose it.

        • Anonymous

          The initial plan might be cheaper; however, do you have to pay for the apps that you download with Verizon as you do with AT&T? NO!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FCPYFNSTFYTD3ILTDKXEAATAAY Captian America

      What report says they’re cheaper? At&t is the most expensive service there is

    • O2bsavage

      Verizon is even more expensive than AT&T. Already checked into it. AT&T better step up their game! I like my T mobile, hate to see ‘em go!

    • Becki2008_317

      ive been with att for 4 years they really good i love em  they are really cheap and have great phones and a yearly upgrade witch gives you a few new smartphone =D i would suggest att to ne one 

  • http://twitter.com/sv0o 3@ns@y 1nc3ntv@y

    this is the same game Sprint PCS played when they shuffled all us Sprint Spectrum customers off GSM onto CDMA. they only let customers trade in phones AFTER a class action lawsuit and you had options of free refurb garbage phones or expensive new phones to choose from. I was so sick of Sprint PCS after a couple of years that I switched to VoiceStream.

  • http://twitter.com/fsp Frank S. Pilone

    Oh well, I guess I may have to rethink my potential purchase of a replacement phone that is 3 years old. On a non-contract, I really don’t want a $500 wifi phone in 18 months.

  • Bradjwill

    You know when they tel you not to worry is the exact time you begin to worry. That goes for Government to big corporations alike.

  • Nexus 1 user

    ” in a way that’s good for customers and good for AT&T”

    BS…This will only be good to AT&T with all the new (and sadly locked) handsets and new 2 year contracts they will be forcing on their T-Mo customers. The only “Good” for the customer will be a possible upgrade, of course they they lock you to their new AT&T contract /w up-charges for wifi hotspot, data caps and what I’ll only assume is a total lack of Nexus class devices so say goodbye to stock w/o root and custom roms.

    AT&T is going to rook so many people into giving up their nice low cost T-Mo plans with no data caps by selling them low cost(read as: Subsidized) replacement phones /w 2 year contracts. This blows I hope this sale falls through, I’ve been T-Mo ever since it was available and I’ve never looked back to AT&T or Verizon(both of which screwed me over without so much as a wrap around).

  • http://twitter.com/Epicanis Epicanis

    “Good for AT&T”. Ugh.

    If this weren’t AT&T we’re talking about, I might be inclined to give them some leeway (it makes SOME sense that the smaller network gets adjusted to match the bigger network’s frequencies), but I can’t shake the feeling that this is just for AT&T’s convenience and to hell (or Sprint) with T-Mobile customers if this deal goes through.

    Perhaps time to look into some of the “pay as you go” cellphone providers.

  • Alex

    Verizon here I come.

    • Mikewong27

      Verizon is too expensive… Glad that I stayed with AT&T. Now with merger of Tmobile and AT&T, coverage for both 3G and 4G will be even better.

      • Rikk1105

        Verizon and Att has the same prices. Only difference is that Verizon has unlimited data and way better serivice!!

        • Rikk1105

          Sorry service..

        • greg

          but t mobile has better plans than verizon and att and sprint

          • greg

            at.t is the worst plan of all i hope this isnt happening.

          • Loyal T-mobile Customer

            I totally agree with you I hope this is not happenenig. I had Verizon and hated them and ever since I have been with T-mobile it has been wonderful. I NEVER have to call them for anything excpet to pay my bill or talk about an upgrade or if there is something wrong with my phone. Their customer servicre is phenonmenal and they have awesome plans. I have a Blackberry and I have unlimited data At&t does not and I refuse to have to pay for it. I hope T-mobile decides this will not be a good  idea because I will be switching if this does happen. It is ridiculous. At&t plans are horrible and so is their customer service. I love T-mobile. I hope they stick around. In my opinion, T-mobile should buy out T-mobile. Verizon’s customer service was was horrible and they have outrageous plans. My bill was doubled with Verizon and I had a terrible plan. At&t is going to be the same way.

          • Bella

            I agree! That’s why we’ve been with T-Mobile since they were Voicestream, back in 1999, because their rate plans are way cheaper than all the other companies. Ugh, I hope At&t dont raise the prices, and if they do, I hope they let us out of our contract. But then again, people who have At&t U-verse will qualify for discounts on their cell phones if they bundle their services, which might help a tad.

        • CJ Chitwood

          Not here.  Here, I have T-Mo and my coworker has Verizon.  We both have similar plans, similar cost, but his is capped — Verizon won’t let him use his data plan to download any apps from Android Market.  Says he has to use WiFi for that.  So I activate my T-Mobile WiFi tether and he gets apps that way.  Plus the coverage areas are very similar here in Jacksonville, at least where he and I go every day.  I do think I’ll strongly consider a CDMA phone service provider when we start seeing AT&T strongarm us into different phones (I need a new one anyway but that’s not the point).  I’m even looking at the no-contract services like Boost and MetroPCS.  Give the little guys some business, that’s how T-Mo got so big in the first place from what I understand.

          My wife’s SIM card says “VoiceStream” on it.  Anyone remember those days?

    • Vfw10

      I’m with you,  been with tmo since it became tmo an have NEVER had a problem.  In fact they GAVE me 200 minutes for a month while tied up in a hurricane and I was about to exceed my monthly minutes because I was a loyal customer. (100 minutes to my family plan 2 phones) rather thn paying $0.40 per minute.  My &49.00 family plan with 500 minutes for 2 phones will go up and Verizon here I come
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    • Old Goat

      ditto

  • Alex

    Verizon here I come.

  • Alex

    Verizon here I come.

  • Lvgsxr2

    I think it’s ridiculous that under contract the original MyTouch 3g phone is slow as molasses with T-mobile operating systems updates that went out in (Dec-Feb). Eventually they are going to make it all 4g and force you to upgrade. The customer should really be compensated for this. Or allow the customer to cancel the contract with no fees!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MYG72YLJNL7N3UC37XZHJJXCSI David R

    I left AT&T because their service got so bad. I went to T-mobile because of their exceptional customer service. I currently have 4 phones on 3G and one on 4G. I just got them all and it cost me quite a bit, I have 2 years before I am supposed to update. So is my service going to lag – where I live T-mobile just put in the 3G service, AT&T service was lousy in this area. To me, this merger sucks – T-mobile is the better company. I am going to write my congressperson and see how this can be blocked.

  • Paul H

    It’ll probably go down the same way it did when Cingular bought AT&T Wireless a while back. I was an AT&T Wireless customer. Although they didn’t use different frequencies, Cingular gave me my phone upgrade a year early in order to get me switched onto a Cingular phone on a Cingular plan. My guess is that AT&T will allow T-Mobile customers to take their upgrade early, before (or after if you feel like going only EDGE for a while) the frequencies are switched.

  • Oz

    This whole merger news is getting worse and worse as the days go by. I’ve been accused of changing out my phones as much as I do my underwear, but right now I’m in love with my G2! And furthermore I just paid a grip for mine and my wife’s !

    I just hope that this is all just a nightmare that I will soon wake up from =(

    • Vrocks

      Think about this, how long did you have your last phone for? Was it kick butt like your G2 when you got it? Do you really think you’d stay happy with a G2 once everyone else is running dual core processors and their phones run laptops?

      I had a G1 for about one and a half years. It was stolen and I bought a Cliq as a replacement. I was blown away at how much faster my “crappy” Cliq was then my old dinosaur. I thanked the guy that stole my G1!

      Then I bought a G2. Again… Amazing!

      But I know that in two years time I WILL want another phone. AT&T is going to want to keep us and they are going to offer incentives to do so. Wait. See what deal they have and if it doesn’t float your boat, move on to someone else.

      I am just hoping that Metro PCS becomes the new T-Mobile by then so if I do want to switch, I’ll have a better option then Verizon and Sprint – two more carriers I don’t care to join at this time.

      I was around when T-Mobile started. It was a bumpy ride for the first 2 years! I look at Metro PCS and they Sooooo remind me of T-Mobile in the beginning.

      For now I am going to go get more work done. Writing content here doesn’t pay my bills. You’re welcome, Android Guys!

      • Dathom74

        Sprint may be looking to purchase Metro PCS soon.

  • Dreamcasting

    This is a great way for at&t to eliminate those pesky 3G/4G Anrdoid phones that allow sideloading of apps, while charging more money to those who want to keep the same/equivalent Android device.

    Evil. at&t is evil.

    • http://twitter.com/JKabat JKabat

      My two most used apps won’t be able to be installed (spotify and swype) without some work on the phone. Not to mention my 3g being shut off. They better come out with some sweet phones, let me upgrade with the full discount, and keep my plan or I’m off to Big Red.

      • annon

        Fuck that dude. Take it from someone that has worked for Verizon, they treat their customers just as shitty as att. I would go with the lesser of the evils and switch to sprint.

  • Airprt

    I switched from ATT to Tmo because ATT has some horrible customer service reps. I not saying all of them are bad, just the few that made my life a living hell while I was trying to get more information on plans and such.

    I’m currently on the Even More Plus plan which is the cheapest in the industry. I’m expecting ATT to jack up these rates once the merger goes through.

    Sigh.

  • Airprt

    I switched from ATT to Tmo because ATT has some horrible customer service reps. I not saying all of them are bad, just the few that made my life a living hell while I was trying to get more information on plans and such.

    I’m currently on the Even More Plus plan which is the cheapest in the industry. I’m expecting ATT to jack up these rates once the merger goes through.

    Sigh.

  • Airprt

    I switched from ATT to Tmo because ATT has some horrible customer service reps. I not saying all of them are bad, just the few that made my life a living hell while I was trying to get more information on plans and such.

    I’m currently on the Even More Plus plan which is the cheapest in the industry. I’m expecting ATT to jack up these rates once the merger goes through.

    Sigh.

  • Airprt

    I switched from ATT to Tmo because ATT has some horrible customer service reps. I not saying all of them are bad, just the few that made my life a living hell while I was trying to get more information on plans and such.

    I’m currently on the Even More Plus plan which is the cheapest in the industry. I’m expecting ATT to jack up these rates once the merger goes through.

    Sigh.

    • Mikewong27

      I never had issues with AT&T customer service. In fact, I think they are great help. I’ve been with At&T/Cingular since 1997. Not once I had problem with them. I thought about switching to Tmobile last summer, but glad that I didn’t.

  • Sinlove

    i dont like this at all F…. AT&T for Doing This To Us

  • zachk

    So pissed….I freaking love my TMo. My contract runs out in January. Do they seriously think I’m gonna renew when my phone would have less than 2 years of usable 3G life? Verizon here I come!

  • Google123

    Att sucks here I come verizon or sprint.

  • Theduke282

    If that’s the case then the FCC just got another bullet in their gun to shoot this deal down. Hardly a perk for consumers to be forced to buy a new phone because of the merger. I don’t want to give up my Nexus One for ATT. Good thing I’m on a month-to-month contract.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FCPYFNSTFYTD3ILTDKXEAATAAY Captian America

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • http://twitter.com/RoyRay42 Raymond Egan

    The press release on http://www.t-mobile.com stated that both companies will continue to run as seperate entities. If there is a need to upgrade, sounds like it will be done as your contract is up for upgrades. The deal itself won’t even be done for almost an year. I’m not too excited about this either, they won’t even share the friggen IPhones, but it does sound like all current contracts will be honored.

  • http://twitter.com/RoyRay42 Raymond Egan

    The press release on http://www.t-mobile.com stated that both companies will continue to run as seperate entities. If there is a need to upgrade, sounds like it will be done as your contract is up for upgrades. The deal itself won’t even be done for almost an year. I’m not too excited about this either, they won’t even share the friggen IPhones, but it does sound like all current contracts will be honored.

  • Jon

    Anything having to do with AT&T is bad news. This really doesn’t surprise me its just a way for them to make all tmobile customers sign two year contracts……… or more like selling your soul.

  • Jon

    Anything having to do with AT&T is bad news. This really doesn’t surprise me its just a way for them to make all tmobile customers sign two year contracts……… or more like selling your soul.

  • http://twitter.com/JKabat JKabat

    Well, that makes me real happy I just upgraded my wife to a Nexus S with a new 2 year agreement last week. AHHHHHHHHH! Sprint doesn’t have coverage where I live! This is a fucking nightmare.

  • http://twitter.com/JKabat JKabat

    ATT is just as expensive as Verizon

    • Anonymous

      Actually more – my five line unlimited is $375 with Tmo (including tax); $425 with Verizon (before tax) and $500 with AT&T (before tax). What a rip off – they will want around $150 more per month with taxes – or I can stick with my current G2s that will no longer be 4G because AT&T will reallocate the spectrum. Way to look out for your (former) customers Tmobile!

  • Badreligion05

    SCREW AT&T THEY WILL LOSE TONS ON THE FORMER T-MOBILE CUSTOMERS

  • Badreligion05

    SCREW AT&T THEY WILL LOSE TONS ON THE FORMER T-MOBILE CUSTOMERS

  • OldPro

    Corrent me if I’m wrong, but when they list one of the benefits of the merger as higher ARPU doesn’t that give a clue as to what they intend to do with prices?

  • Jroze143

    I will be switching back to crappy customer service Verizon if this switch is finalized, I loved T-Mobile and I am not looking forward to AT&T grrrr! They make you pay for a dataplan if you have any kind of smart phone…BLAH!

  • Filthycoop80

    Verizon out sprint here I come if this happens.

  • Castle65

    Already a done deal for me. AT$T takes down T-Mo, I take my business to Sprint. Simple!

    • Anonymous

      Until – “AT&T has a greed a merger with Sprint..”

  • Guest

    Ma butt hurts….

    • Anonymous

      that cause we just been butt fuck by att without any lube.

  • http://twitter.com/androidfcs Android Focus

    Seriously, the statement that AT&T should make is that the change will be made in a way to benefit customers, regardless of what it might cost AT&T.. Of course AT&T isn’t known for their customer service

  • SpecialK47150

    AT&T is terrible already. If the merger goes through, I’m dropping them, not paying any damn fees, and headed to Verizon or Sprint.

  • http://twitter.com/tehk tehk

    This basically fucks all the Nexus One owners on T-Mobile. Their phones will become useless once the 3G TMo towers go away…. and I was planning on sticking with my unlimited everything plan for life. Fucking bastards!

    Google save us and start selling Nexus 3’s when AT&T takes over, PLEASE!

  • 4G_or_not_4G

    For you folks who thought this is a bad thing, hold onto your seats, because it is even worst. After this deal, AT&T and Verizon will have 4 out of every 5 handsets in America. This puts these two giant companies in charge. This will allow them to better dictate and control what type of apps you are allowed to get on your phone, so they can take a cut on everything you do. As much as I hate Apple, with the advent of the app store and now the Google Market it gives customers such freedom and flexibility to use their phone as they see fit. However AT&T has been notorious for controlling what their customers can do. The only reason they have loosened their grip is because the other carriers did, now with AT&T in control, they can tighten their grip knowing the only other place for you to go will be Verizon, who will probably start doing the same thing…THIS IS A VERY BAD THING…need Google to buy out Sprint!

  • Anonymous

    I think I know what he means when he says that… ‘Bwah, we gonna cornhole you sooooo hard. But we can say it’s good for customers because we’ve bought off the relevant members of the Justice Dept and the FCC and they’ll back us on that’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=22615090 D Dantiano Ferrell

    TMo customer for 7 yrs and no problem. Def not going to ATT

  • http://www.sourcebits.com/mobile-development Mobile Development

    I think the deal is very good for T-mobile users. AT&T is the largest carrier and have a new good mobile network across United States. The deal will definitely help improve a lot of things at T-Mobile.

  • Kahn

    the service contract one makes is with T- mobile so when T-moblie no longer exist the service contract is nullified, AT&T will have to draw up for all T-mobile customers a service contract under AT&T rules and regulations, in other words all T-mobile customers will become free agents when this deal goes through.

  • Yymuwwakkil
  • Louie Adame

    Screw at&t verizon baby,can u hear me now