By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — Once the $39 billion AT&T purchase of T-Mobile is approved T-Mobile customers will reportedly have to replace their 3G phones with new ones that run on AT&T’s network.
AT&T said T-Mobile 3G phones will not be compatible with their network once T-Mobile’s towers are modified to support AT&T’s 4G LTE network, the Associated Press reported Monday.
The conversion is still pretty far off, though, as the deal still needs to be approved by federal regulators and wouldn’t close untill about a year from now.
"There's nothing for them to worry about ... it will be done over time, in a way that's good for customers and good for AT&T," the company’s head of wireless and consumer services, Ralph de la Vega, told the AP.
Some consumers were unsure the merger would improve their service.
"The 3G bands between T-Mobile and AT&T are incompatible. Also they already share many towers so I doubt any service improvements." Tweeted @hrana.
Another user said they were hoping the deal would lead to faster service.
"at&t buying t-mobile? hoping this means more immediate 3g and impending 4g coverage...not worse service!" Tweeted @SweetT412.
Others questioned AT&T’s ability to purchase T-Mobile but not improve their coverage.
"I find it surprising and sad that AT&T can buy T-Mobile for $38 Billion but I can't have 3G service in my area." Tweeted @Knightd427.