MetroPCS shareholders approve merger with T-Mobile

T-Mobile + MetroPCS coverage (plus roaming)

We’ve all heard the rumors, but it looks like it’s finally official: T-Mobile will merge with MetroPCS.

Shareholders from MetroPCS have approved the merger with T-Mobile’s network after its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, decided to “sweeten the deal” with a lower interest rate for a proposed loan, according to Reuters. It was only a matter of time after the government gave the merger a thumbs up. We were only waiting for the shareholders to get on board with it and now that they have, the completion date is thought to be May 1.

“We voted for it because we were happy to see that Deutsche Telekom realized the value contribution MetroPCS made to the combined companies,” Roy Behren, a co-manager of the $4.7 billion Merger Fund told Bloomberg. “We look forward to having another strong competitor in the wireless industry.”

The deal would see MetroPCS subscribers, numbering more than 9 million, transferring to T-Mobile’s ever-growing network. But it isn’t just the added subscriptions that work in T-Mobile’s favor, MetroPCS’ wireless technology will also allow T-Mobile to further improve and expand its LTE network.

With the added speed and coverage, the network will be able to compete with the bigger carriers like Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile needs all the help it can get to achieve the rather lofty goals of LTE coverage for 100 million people by mid-year and 200 million by the end of 2013. T-Mobile was losing customers pretty steadily before now, with 13 percent moving to other networks between 2009 and 2012 because the carrier had slower data speeds and no iPhone in sight.

But now it seems like everything’s coming up T-Mobile with this news following the carrier’s much-applauded announcement of no-contract cellular plans – basically allowing customers to pay off the cost of a new phone over time rather than enforcing a set contract. And, of course, the added availability of the iPhone has helped T-Mobile compete in the market.