For T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom, the merger is seen as a last resort solution to keep T-Mobile USA going, fill its spectrum and be able to move to LTE under a viable business model. However, the two companies use different wireless standard - MetroPCS uses CDMA and T-Mobile uses GSM - which does not make them a natural fit.
Now there are reports that Sprint may jump into the game and make an offer for Metro PCS and its 9.3 million customers. Both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News referred to sources that said Sprint is running the numbers to figure out whether a bid makes sense or not.
T-Mobile currently has 33.2 million customers and needs MetroPCS to get closer to Sprint, which has 56.4 million customers. With MetroPCS, Sprint would be about twice the size of T-Mobile USA, which is battling high customer churn and remains the only major U.S carrier not to offer Apple's iPhone in its portfolio. Analysts also seem to favor a Sprint-MetroPCS deal over a merger with T-Mobile: "We would note that Sprint might be in a position to offer (Metro)PCS shareholders a more favorable deal given the complicated structure proposed by Deutsche Telekom," Well Fargo's Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in an analyst note sent out to clients.
Deutsche Telekom does not believe that the merger could be completed before mid-2013, so Sprint has still some time to consider an offer.