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AT&T Buying T-Mobile in $39 Billion Deal

Acquisition would create nation's largest wireless carrier, eclipsing Verizon

AT&T announced Sunday that it has reached a deal with Deutsche Telekom to acquire T-Mobile USA for roughly $39 billion.

Officials said the boards of both companies have approved the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval.

While Deutsche Telekom will receive an 8 percent stake in AT&T in the cash-and-stock transaction, Dallas-based AT&T will get access to T-Mobile’s 35 million customers. If the two companies fully merge their operations in about a year, AT&T will have a customer base of about 130 million subscribers.

Verizon is currently the nation’s largest wireless operator with 100 million customers, AT&T is second with 95 million and Sprint is third with 50 million. T-Mobile is the fourth largest carrier.

In a statement, AT&T said it would expand the rollout of its high-speed wireless technology — called Long-Term Evolution, or LTE — and that it would offer the service to an additional 46.5 million people as part of the T-Mobile agreement.

Although AT&T is ahead of T-Mobile in the LTE race, analysts say T-Mobile is well ahead of AT&T with Evolved High-Speed Pocket Access, or HSPA+, a intermediate 4G technology that bridges existing 3G networks and LTE.

“This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and CEO. “It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people.

“Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America’s high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth.”

Click here for the AT&T news release about the acquisition and additional details.

Click here for a T-Mobile statement about the acquisition, including a Q&A for T-Mobile customers.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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