NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T says 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.

AT&T Inc. on Sunday said 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 Monday that it in the year 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 repurposed 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. AT&T said it had factored the cost of replacement phones into the total cost of the acquisition.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (13)
  1. what the f says:

    What the heck?? I just purchased a new 3G phone for my family members and now I may have to replace the phones! Will ATT pay for them? Will they give me a credit for those that have been purchased? What a great plan? Yeah TMOBILE you suck.

    1. Mini Mousekat says:

      It’s not TMobile that sucks. This is completely ATT’s doing, and another way for them to make more money. I, for one, will RUN QUICKLY if my TMobile service is affected in any way, shape or form because of this merger. I had ATT before, and THEY suck. Never again will I use anything that is operated by them. I am completely satisfied with TMobile, and will consider them dead and buried if ATT gets to go forward with this monopoly. Customer service with ATT is pathetic at best. I can only see it getting worse with more customers.

  2. Jackie Winters says:

    I hope T-Mobil is willing to give them away for free, a lot of people just purchased their phones and now this, what a rip-off.

  3. Nelson Muntz says:

    Ha Ha i use Boostmobile

  4. ATT SUCKS says:

    ATT is awful. I was first w/ Cingular, and then ATT bought them out. Customer for a total of 18 years. Never got ATT cell service in my house. Each time they said to upgrade to a better phone for better reception. Lies. Finally had it when one rep threatened to charge me an extra month because I wanted to shut off 1 of my cell lines, and was looking at option with other cell providers. My contracts were up. I moved my remaining lines to Sprint. and a month later got a bill for the phone I requested to have turned off. The rep never shut it off. ATT SUCKS! Get rid of them now. They won’t credit you for your phone from tmobile. They will force you to buy a new one. Probably because they are losing business from people who are going to better cell providers.

  5. ILLEGALS says:

    So ATT factored in the costs of 3G replacement phones in the acquisition? That means current T-Mobile phone members should qualify for a FREE ATT 3G/4G phone upgrade.

    I’m pretty sure the phones will be Ugly & basic in features as they’re ‘FREE’.

    1. mark says:

      yeah they better give free iphone 5’s. i have a feeling they will pull some bs

  6. mark says:

    I have tmobile. AT&T will definately need to replace my phone with a brand new iphone at the minimum. i just bought the nicest android phone tmobile has. If I have any problem at all and my phone doesnt get replaced after all the money ive spent on my phone and monthly cell phone, i garuntee there will be a lot of broken stuff at the AT&T store.

  7. Melinda Handel says:

    I have a 3g netbook and one mor year of contractr. I also have the smiley phone and lg delight without any internet service only on the netook. I also get a government 15% discount. I left ATT because i didnt like their free upgrades. Although thru radio they did offer me a free$375 touch slide phone but i couldnt get usedto it and was all ocver the place, so i saw what tmobile hasd to offer and their regular flip typw of phones werent as pricy. Now im afraid that they will make all phones where you will hafve to pay extra $30 for a data plan that i doontwant. ATT did have a better service at the time but tmoile gott much etter. Idf worse comes to worse i will have to go to straight talk prepaid phones but I dont think thwy hacve what i want. I wonder what will haqppen aftwr our contract expir3es cause thwey cnat change rates while in xcontraxt, but when you renwe i bet it will be higher esp for unlimited if thewy evcen offer it. Its a shame cause i workes for ATT for 20 years in an office when thwey werer deregulated and now they want to take over the cell phone business. I dont have a house phone . anymore. Optim voice here I come.

  8. kali says:

    I think im going rto have a panic attack and nervous breakdown over this. I just have a regular flip phhone with no data plan I have tmoviles 3G netbook wich costs about 40 a jonth for service. You dont need wfi or a hot spot. Its great and works just like a cell phone it has webcam and 3d visdeo capability if you rent movies i think. If i have to upgradse to 4G tmobil said it will cost me $100. As far as the 3G phones, mine has the capability i think but i dont subscribe to it. In othwr words i dont want a phone that requires a data plan at $30 a month if i dont use it and i dont want to vbe forced to buy one just to have a cell phone, Everyone needs a cell phone these days. I dont even use a lan line house phone anymore. I have a nice simple phone with unlimited min and am very happy with it, I hope i wont have to replace that too. I JUST GOT IT.

  9. flipcellphones says:

    like it,but If you can add more video and pictures can be much better i have never read such a lovely article and i am coming back tomorrow to continue reading.

  10. Tabrez Shahzada says:

    In 2006 alone, it has achieved the following accomplishments for mobile phones production and innovation: o Developed the world’s first ever OneDRAMTM.I am Older But More Mobile Now

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