AT&T Assimilation of T-Mobile Network to Provide 30% Capacity Lift? At What Cost to TMo Customers?

Star Trek The Next Generation (STTNG) fans will remember the Borg and their motto: Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. One can almost imagine similar sentiments regarding AT&T’s $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA. The merger (purchase) would create the largest mobile network in the U.S. It would also mean that there will be a single nationwide GSM network provider in the U.S. instead of two competing ones. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is trying to spin the outcome as a positive one to blunt the criticisms that have been flying fast and furious since the announcement.

AT&T CEO Makes Case T-Mobile Deal Will Boost IPhone Service

One particular Stephenson statement caught my attention: The acquisition would improve capacity on AT&T’s wireless network by about 30 percent in some of the largest U.S. cities, Stephenson said today at an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. It would be interesting to learn how he arrived at that number. Presumably T-Mobile USA’s network is tuned for the needs of its current customers in terms of capacity and service quality. While they are certain to have factored in overhead to deal with spikes in network traffic, it is hard to imagine that they can turn over this overhead capacity to AT&T without impacting current T-Mobile customers. In other words, will T-Mobile customers start experiencing dropped calls and other problems after the merger?

Note: Borg cube image courtesy of: Star trek Continuum