AT&T “Knee-Deep” In Talks To Hand Over T-Mobile Customers To Leap Wireless


According to the New York Times, we may have some new insight on exactly what AT&T has up their sleeves to salvage their acquisition of T-Mobile. Apparently, some unnamed sources told The Times that AT&T is already “knee-deep in negotiations” to sell a good portion of T-Mobile’s customer accounts and some of their spectrum to the regional provider, Leap Wireless. It’s said that AT&T actually plans to keep the majority of T-Mobile’s spectrum to help expand their network and keep them competing with long time rival Verizon Wireless.

This new plan could make alleviate some of the concerns regulators have been having and AT&T’s lawyers believe this places their chances of success at about 70%. So, just how much is Leap Wireless looking to gain from all this? Well, this would actually push them into national territory, taking T-Mobile’s old #4 spot, right underneath Sprint.

If AT&T has their way, long time T-Mobile customers wont have to fear becoming apart of AT&T-Mobile. Instead, you guys could potentially become new Leap Wireless customers.

[Via NewYorkTimes]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. lol how the thumbnail for this article says “FAP”

    1. I thought my eyes were deceiving me!

    2. I clicked through this article just to see if someone mentioned it.

    3. FAP Wireless; Stick Together

  2. LOL, Cricket? That would be the only thing to make becoming an AT&T customer look appealing. 

  3. Cricket’s voice and text footprint is already impressive, but without an expanded data footprint, this is a serious step backward for any T-mobile customer.  I think data coverage is taking the forefront and providers that lack this are minor players.  I just had to leave Tmobile because I couldn’t take the EDGE speeds in the areas I have to roam.  But a Verizon MNVO gives me more coverage, more speed and less than half the price.  I hate to admit it, but without a deal, Tmobile is in a world of hurt.

    1. With no disrespect intended, Cricket’s footprint is not impressive in the Chicago area.  It is spotty, hit or miss coverage.  They list areas as covered and you get no coverage.  Signal penetration in buildings is exceedingly poor in my area and data is only available in limited areas.  If I was “divested” to leap, I would indeed LEAP to another provider immediately.  And since I was sold down the river by AFee&Fee, it would definitely NOT be to them.

    2. How is Verizon less expensive than T-Mobile? When I compare what I have now to a contract with Verizon, I pay $980 less per year with T-Mobile.

      1. He said a Verizon MVNO, not Verizon

        1. Exactly! The key to getting wireless service is: 1) what you need. 2)where you need it 3) How much you need.  Look at every MVNO before you go to the “Big 4”.  You may find that an MVNO has better service and prices than the “Box Store” that you are buying your service from right now.  I pay $30 per month for all the data and voice/text that I need in the coverage areas that I need it.  That is less than half of the $70 (after taxes) that I paid for TMob. Tmobile customers needs a much better deal than Leap (Cricket)  because it is clear from their coverage map that they (Cricket) have none of the roaming agrements that tmobile has  and the typical tmobile user will be left with less service than they have right now.  The only consolation is that the user will probably have a better rate. Except some of us don’t just want a better rate, we need coverage AND an acceptable speed.
          I loved Tmobile when I had them, but when I can cut my costs in half, there really is no decision.  But for the rest of you, answer the first three questions against what you are paying for right now. Own (NO CONTRACTS!) you phone, and the world of choice will open up boundless deals.

  4. Verizon and Sprint would be the real befactors from this deal. People would abandon Leap in droves if this actually happened. Leap can’t actually believe they will be able to retain any significant number of these customers. Hopefully they will be paying only 5-10 cents on the dollar for the contracts.

    1. att is just doing what they can to split off and kill tmobile the same as they would have done if they had acquired it directly.

    2. For Leap it really is a leap of faith, no pun intended. AT&T is willing to do it because they desperately want at least part of T-Mobile and they know that a good chunk of the T-Mobile customers that go to Leap will defect. AT&T is hoping to poach a lot of those customers too, but there’s also a chance that they’d got to Verizon or Sprint instead.

  5. I have always been happy with tmobile, this whole deal makes me sad. I have no doubt that this will limit the market. We currently have great selection and plan pricing in the industry, and do not see much benefit for the customers. But that is just my opinion.

  6. Sry but your stuck with me Deutsche Telekom. I AM A JELLY DONUT!

    1. lol!  (Jelly Donuts Unite!)

    2. I don’t know why I decided to look up Jelly Donut on UurnDic. It was very disturbing to read. 

      1. Wow, thanks for sharing too, lol. But I’m pretty sure what they are discussing has nothing to do with punching a girl in the face after a sex act. Much more likely they are commenting on the Kennedy quote “Ich bin ein Berliner”

  7. What a joke.  I hope I don’t have to pay termination fees if this goes down to leave my beloved t-mobile.  Now if Leap has access to the hspa towers in my area I wouldn’t mind the rates, but I doubt AT&T is going to let that happen.

  8. A lot people dump on T-Mobile but I have always had good service/speed with them. I have an AT&T iPhone for work and with one in each hand the T-Mobile phone is twice as fast if not more than AT&T. No matter what happens to T-Mobile if my service isn’t the exact same as it was before any of this isn’t that a way to get out of the contract with no fees?

    1. This says way more about AT&T than it does T-Mobile.

  9. hahah that’s what people get for going with T-fumble.

  10. Leap who? I’ve never heard of it

    1. Think “Cricket”.

  11. I feel bad for the T-Mobile customers that get dumped.  I can’t see a regional provider + “some” of T-Mobile’s spectrum being a step up for them.

  12. The FCC and DoJ should see through this as just another approach to killing a competitor.

    As other commenters mention, it will just force T-Mo customers to choose another top-tier carrier,with some people having to pay termination fees for the right to move.

    1. Termination fee to get worse service?

      I’m not sure how this will actually work, but no one’s getting a dime out of me if they decide to sell me to a regional carrier that may get a little more of the old spectrum from T-Mobile.

      1. I’m with you, buddy, but carrier contracts tend to be one-sided and I do like my credit rating.

  13. have been having? 

    someone has been blowing off his ESL courses…

  14. This sounds like a rape and pillage move by AT&T….  I’d love to hear how the regulators would spin this as being good for the consumer.

  15. AT&T is looking to sell to anyone that will make them look like a better option reason why they have not offered this to VZW or sprint. and really what HSPA towers from everything i have heard AT&T is striping t-mobiles towers and using the real estate AKA land and tower to place there 4G lte with t-mobiles towers they wont have to buy more land or towers all they have to do is strip t-mobiles equipment.

    1. Buy a period. Please.

  16. Dear AT&T,
    Please get stuffed. Don’t you get the hint yet that NOBODY (except for yourselves and the payout-sellouts at TMo) want this merger to go through? Yet you continue to stain your already tarnished reputation by fouling up everything you possibly can.

    Dear T-Mobile,
    Wake the hell up!! You’ve actually got LOYAL customers clamoring to find a DECENT phone (Galaxy Nexus, Note, etc…) and already willing to go to exceptional means (buying WAY overinflated prices for penta-band imports and the like) to get at one and continue to be your customer! Could you at least pretend to still care about us? Instead of just sitting around with your packed bags waiting for that merger cab to pick you up and take you away?…Because guess what, there’s a WHOLE LOT of people stepping up to stop that damned merger cab!

    We, in the US, must be the laughing stock for the rest of the world. Overpaying for under-value service. TMo seemed like one of the few that actually offered decent service at decent prices, but their soul for offering great phones to go with it is gone. Leaving us tech junkies to have to get bent-over on a monthly basis for the other guys.

    …We need an Occupy The Spectrum

  17. F that sprint if this goes thru keep a light on for me I’m coming over

  18. Wtf y would I wanna go to leap

  19. I wonder if they would break me off just a tiny corner of that 4 billion dollar cookie… Just a crumb that’s all I need. :)

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