T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS have confirmed plans to merge operations to create a 42.5-million-subscriber wireless provider in the U.S.
The deal gives both companies, which will operate as separate units, a big push into 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the future. Combining T-Mobile and MetroPCS's advanced wireless spectrum (AWS) will provide greater network coverage and a path to at least 20x20 MHz channels of 4G LTE in many cities. Existing MetroPCS customers will be migrated to a common LTE-based network as they upgrade their handsets.
MetroPCS currently has around 19 markets on LTE on much smaller and slower channels. T-Mobile was planning to introduce the faster data service in 2013.