Wednesday, May 1, 2013

T-Mobile USA + MetroPCS: 43 Million Subscribers and Rising

Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA completed the acquisition of MetroPCS Communications.  The combined company, T-Mobile US, Inc., began trading on the New York Stock Exchange today under the ticker "TMUS."

Some key statistics on the No. 4 carrier in the U.S. market:

  • TMUS is based in Bellevue, Washington and maintains a significant presence in Richardson, Texas.
  • The company is headed by John Legere, President & CEO.  Former MetroPCS Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, J. Braxton Carter, serves as the new CFO.
  • 2012 combined entity results would have reflected $24.8 billion of revenue, $6.4 billion of adjusted EBITDA1, $3.7 billion of capital expenditures (excluding spectrum purchases)2, and $2.7 billion of free cash flow.
  • Approximately 43 million subscribers as of March 31, 2013, two strong brands, and 70,000 customer touch points.
  • The combined company will operate T-Mobile and MetroPCS as separate brands, led by Jim Alling and Thomas Keys, respectively, migrating to a common network infrastructure and with common support functions.
  • The company will focus on simple, affordable rate plans for unlimited talk, text and Web - with no annual service contracts.
  • The combined company's total PoP coverage is 301 million, of which 283 million are covered by owned network.  228 million are currently served with 4G and 200 million are expected to be covered with 4G LTE by the end of 2013.
  • An enhanced spectrum position -- combining the two companies' spectrum provides a path to at least 20+20 MHz of 4G LTE in approximately 90% of the top 25 metro areas in 2014.
  • Target five-year (2012 - 2017) compounded annual growth rates in the range of 3% - 5% for revenues, 7% - 10% for EBITDA and 15% - 20% for free cash flow.
  • Projected cost synergies of $6 - $7 billion (net present value), with additional potential upside from the focused geographic expansion of the MetroPCS brand.

On October 3, 2012, MetroPCS agreed to merge with T-Mobile USA to create a much strengthened No.4 mobile operator in the U.S. market with deeper network coverage and the need for an accelerated path to one common LTE network. 

Despite operating incompatible legacy networks (CDMA and GSM), the companies said rapid handset turnover (60% - 65% per year) will make for a relatively quick migration of MetroPCS customers to LTE.   MetroPCS customers will also benefit from T-Mobile's much more extensive network.

At the time, the companies said the basis for the merger will be to re-farm MetroPCS spectrum to create capacity services.  Specifically, the spectrum migration plan for the merged company will be:

  • GSM will become the merged company's “universal” technology for roaming, M2M and legacy device
  • MetroPCS PCS spectrum will be migrated to HSPA+
  • T-Mobile AWS will be repurposed from HSPA+ to LTE over time
  • Available MetroPCS AWS spectrum will be migrated to LTE
  • AWS will become NewCo's primary LTE band across America.


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