T-Mobile Makes a Big Purchase

Company to gain 4M customers in $4.4B US Cellular deal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 28, 2024 8:27 AM CDT
T-Mobile to Buy Majority of US Cellular
T-mobile logo in the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, March 2, 2023.   (AP Photo/Joan Mateu Parra, File)

T-Mobile is buying US Cellular's wireless operations and certain spectrum assets in a deal valued at $4.4 billion that further consolidates the industry. T-Mobile would get more than 4 million new customers and control of US Cellular's wireless operations and about 30% of spectrum assets across several spectrum bands, reports the AP. T-Mobile will also enter into a new master license agreement on more than 2,000 towers and extend the lease term for the approximately 600 towers where T-Mobile is already a tenant. T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said the deal will "create a better experience for all of our customers with more coverage and more capacity."

T-Mobile is among the more active companies in telecommunications with regard to mergers and acquisitions. In 2013, the FCC approved its merger with MetroPCS Communications Inc. And in 2020, T-Mobile completed the takeover of smaller rival Sprint. T-Mobile said Tuesday that US Cellular customers will gain access to its 5G network, giving them better coverage and speed. The company said the deal will particularly benefit those that live in underserved rural areas of the country. US Cellular Chair LeRoy Carlson Jr. said that "in the face of rising competition and increasing capital intensity required to keep pace with the latest technologies," the company required "a level of scale and investment that is best achieved by integrating our wireless operations with those of T-Mobile."

T-Mobile said that US Cellular customers will be able to remain on their current plans or switch to an unlimited T-Mobile plan of their choice. They will not incur switching costs if a plan change is made. The transaction includes a combination of cash and up to about $2 billion of assumed debt. Up to $100 million of the cash component is contingent on hitting certain financial and operational metrics between the deal's signing and closing. US Cellular will keep about 70% of of its spectrum portfolio across several spectrum bands. The deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of United States Cellular Corp. and Telephone and Data Systems Inc, which is a majority shareholder of US Cellular. It is expected to close in mid-2025. (More T-Mobile stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.