Should you switch to the new T-Mobile?

T-Mobile-Sprint can offer attractive plans with the new phones that are about to reach the market.

Joshua Goldman / CNET

On Friday, July 26, the US Department of Justice approved the acquisition of Sprint by T-Mobile for a total of US $ 26.5 billion, so the number of wireless mobile operators with reach across the country will be reduced to three, at the moment.

The newly formed company, however, has the potential to be much more than Sprint was and the weak competitor that was T-Mobile. In both network coverage and number of subscribers, T-Mobile-Sprint can become a major rival for Verizon and AT&T.

This merger, which will keep the name of T-Mobile, will have a total of 135.8 million subscribers, not far from the largest provider, Verizon, which has 158 million and the second, AT&T, which adds 155.7 million subscribers. Perhaps the most important thing for those 135.8 million users, is that the combined operator with broad coverage will quickly start implementing the first 5G network, which will spread throughout the country.

The merger that has been in process for a whole year and that is expected to be completed for the second half of this year, coincides with the launch of new phones that will arrive before the holiday season where there will be many offers of phones, with devices Samsung, Manzana, Google and others. It is very likely that this new operator offers the new devices as incentives.

This information we know at the moment about the new wireless company will help you decide if it is convenient for you to move to T-Mobile.

How to be the combined wireless coverage?

For 4G coverage, Verizon and T-Mobile are on par with 94 percent coverage in the country, according to OpenSignal, a mobile analysis company. AT&T is next with 89 percent, while Sprint has 88 percent coverage.

The new T-Mobile said it plans to offer 99 percent coverage of Americans at some time.

4G coverage in the United States.


What about the combined 5G coverage?

The issue with the 5G network is more interesting. The main US operators offer 5G coverage in several bands of the spectrum, and the combination of bands of each operator determines its coverage.

At one end it is "sub-6", which is extremely efficient and reliable to provide long distance connections both indoors and outdoors. On the other end, there is the millimeter wave, also known as "mmWave", which offers greater capacity, but in much, much shorter distances. And the mmWave reception is more complicated indoors, since apparently everything (from walls, glass or hands) can block the signal.

T-Mobile is strong on both the long-distance sub-6 side and the short distance mmWave side. Sprint's strength is in the midrange spectrum between the two extremes. Therefore, the combined spectrum of T-Mobile and Sprint should offer a broad, fast and reliable 5G coverage, especially in rural regions, which have lagged behind cities with regard to access to a fast connection.

As part of the contract, T-Mobile agreed to aggressively deploy its 5G network to 97 percent of the US population in three years. And in six years, that number will reach 99 percent. In rural areas, T-Mobile will have 5G coverage for 85 percent of the population in three years, and then reach 90 percent in six years. As part of the agreement, T-Mobile promised to offer mobile broadband service in rural areas.

Watch this:

5G Technology: Questions and Answers


How are the main operators positioned with the launch of the 5G network?

At this time, Sprint has activated its 5G networks in five metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. T-Mobile has 5G networks in six cities: Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York.

In comparison, AT&T has 5G in 20 cities in 11 states, from California to North Carolina, but instead of coverage throughout the city, its initial implementation is through 5G access points that create wireless coverage areas. Verizon has 5G in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Providence, Rhode Island.

(If you want to know if the 5G network is available in your area, Ookla is monitoring the global deployment of 5G networks through its service. With a practical interactive map, you can know who are really offering 5G connectivity and where .

This is the 5G map of Atlanta.


What about Dish and the new wireless service provider nationwide?

As part of the approval process, T-Mobile said that sell some of Sprint's assets to Dish satellite television company, creating a new operator nationwide, which will become the fourth of the country. Dish will get spectrum, the Boost and Virgin Mobile businesses, and prepaid customers, as well as have access to the T-Mobile wireless network for several years to help launch its own wireless service.

The main operators are working to attract subscribers, offering everything from affordable data plans to a free subscription to Netflix for one year.

For its part, Sprint has an attractive program called "Cmbiate a Sprint" which offers up to US $ 650 to cover costs when changing providers and to buy a telephone contract. T-Mobile has a similar offer.

T-Mobile should have many devices, especially 5G phones but maybe not him Samsung Galaxy Fold, which you can use as a strategy to attract new customers. If you still do not, I will be surprised that T-Mobile does not launch a handful of offers soon to tempt new customers to register.

Should you change now?

With the merger, T-Mobile promises a network that will provide a national service at a predictable price: as part of the agreement, since T-Mobile agreed to keep its prices stable for three years. With its wide coverage, the promise of maintaining stable prices and strength in the 5G network, the new T-Mobile is moving forward and should no longer be just an alternative when choosing a wireless provider in the United States. If you are looking to change, now may be a good time.