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4G and AT&T/T-Mobile Deal Dominates US Wireless Carriers

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The expected completion of T Mobile USA being acquired by AT&T will only be the first of several carrier consolidations to shape the US 4G landscape. As rivals look to catch up with the early LTE lead of Verizon Wireless, Sprint will dictate the viability of wholesale ventures at LightSquared and Clearwire.

A Strategy Analytics report forecasts that LTE will account for half of all wireless connections by 2016.

Strategy Analytics foresees success for AT&T in its acquisition of T-Mobile, though concessions will need to be made. AT&T will need to work hard to turn around T-Mobile's stagnating operations and marry the two distinct brands. The additional market concentration will raise the stakes in an increasingly cost-conscious carrier landscape, but also offers opportunities for AT&T's rivals.

"This is not going to be a simple rebranding exercise for AT&T, it will require considerable skill to retain T-Mobile customers over the next two years," comments Phil Kendall, Director of Wireless Operator Strategies. "A strong 4G smartphone focus will help to keep Verizon and Sprint at bay. More significantly, smaller carriers and MVNOs, such as MetroPCS, Leap Wireless and Tracfone, will widen their assault on the more price sensitive customers of T-Mobile."

Sue Rudd, Director of Service Provider Analysis, adds, "The strong 4G dynamic in the US - driven by PC, modem and consumer electronics subscription growth - will rapidly broaden opportunities in this market. To meet demand, carriers must address not only network coverage and quality but also deficiencies in data pricing in order to support the needs of users with multiple devices."

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Tags: t-mobile usa  at&t  lte  USA