T-Mobile is the 4th largest mobile operator in the U.S., far behind AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in terms of subscribers.
I’ve been a T-Mobile subscriber for the past 8 years, and in my opinion they have excellent service (voice and data) and being a GSM operator you can travel internationally without having to switch phones – a nice perk.
Rumor is that T-Mobile is looking for a buyer, or to go IPO for a number of reasons, including the build out of their 4G network.
Why do I think Google could be a buyer?
Because the major cable companies have already invested with Sprint-Clearwire venture. They offer the cable customers 4G. If one of them bought T-Mobile, it would be hard to integrate with the current 4G technology (WiMax). This would likely rule out the cable companies.
Sprint and Verizon are out because they run on CDMA technology, not GSM and UMTS as T-Mobile does. MetroPCS and Leap Wireless also run on CDMA. So, the next best company who might be remotely interested would be AT&T. That’s a possibility, however I think Google has more of an incentive to buy. With Google Voice and now the Nexus One, like it or not Google is becoming a telecom operator. Perhaps their relationships with carriers will go the way of their relationship with Apple…friends first, now direct competitors
I believe Google views the largest U.S. operators as competitors and are obstacles to owning the mobile channel, and if they purchased T-Mobile they would pick-up 33 Million new Google Voice users
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