When T-Mobile announced that ink had been put to paper on their merger with MetroPCS a lot of us were wondering how such a merger would work out. After all, it's not often you a CDMA carrier holding hands with GSM, international roaming has only been available on Verizon this past year or so. There's been some more information on the merger that tmonews has gotten their hands on.
T-Mobile's Chief Technology Officer – Neville Ray – reveals that the key here is that both networks have moved to a similar LTE technology on the AWS 1700 band, making it a lot easier for the two networks to get along with each other. This should help the T-Mobile brand carry the all-important next step required for the wireless industry – a proper 4G network. Ray had this to say when he spoke to AllThingsD:
"This isn't about integrating these two networks," he said in an interview with All Things DFriday. "It's about moving MetroPCS over to a bigger and stronger converged network."
So, whilst this might be billed as a "reverse-merger" with MetroPCS taking over T-Mobile, on the face of it it seems the other way round. If you asked me, I'd say MetroPCS got the rough deal here, having said that, there's no denying the T-Mobile brand is still a lot stronger than MetroPCS. If anything, I can see this being a big point of confusion for customers especially when Ray goes on to say that the plan is – as soon as the merger is done and dusted – to get MetroPCS customers onto T-Mobile Smartphones. Ray sees the work mainly focused on logistics and manpower than anything to do with technology. PC Mag learned of MetroPCS' efforts to get their phones "roaming" on T-Mobile's future LTE however, now it's being referred as "authenticating" the phone on T-Mobile. Making those MetroPCS phones out there see T-Mobile as the mothership. It's all very interesting to see the merger gain traction and for the sake of T-Mobile I hope that everything goes smoothly with the regulators this time.