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According to AT&T, the integration will happen in three stages, starting with the combining of both companies' 2G and 3G networks. The cell splits, noted AT&T executives, are expected to double AT&T's 3G capacity in many areas, and T-Mobile subscribers will get better coverage and also access to AT&T's device portfolio, including Apple's wildly successful iPhone.
The merger will also benefit AT&T's enterprise business customers, noted John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions, via increases in network efficiency and the expansion of LTE to aid transitions to cloud computing.
AT&T in January said it would begin its LTE network buildout in the middle of 2011, and Stankey noted that projection is on track.
Ralph De La Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, added that the merger would improve the customer experience, reduce customer churn, expand company margins and grow average revenue per user (ARPU).
"We're the one company deploying both HSPA+ and LTE," he said, which gives customers a "more consistent experience on 4G" in the next several years.
More than 65 percent of postpaid sales are smartphones, De La Vega said, and both AT&T's and T-Mobile's numbers are "below the current intake rate."
Richard Lindner, AT&T's CFO, reaffirmed that the transacation is expected to close in about 12 months. The $39 billion number is 64 percent cash, 36 percent in AT&T shares -- about 7 times 2010 Ebitda -- and after completion, Deutche Telekom will claim an 8 percent stake in AT&T, and a seat on AT&T's board. AT&T will assume no debt from T-Mobile or Deutsche Telekom, Langer added, and expects about $7 billion in integration expenses and $2 billion in capital expenditures.
Asked during a question-and-answer session whether the deal would lead to further partnership between AT&T and Deutsche Telekom internationally, AT&T's Stephenson left the door open, describing a "great opportunity" to do some partnering for enterprise business customers and an "effective way" to approach marketplaces.