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T-Mobile agrees to pay $4.4 billion for U.S. Cellular

A T-Mobile retail store in downtown Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Matthew Keys for The Desk)
A T-Mobile retail store in downtown Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Matthew Keys for The Desk)

T-Mobile has agreed to pay $4.4 billion for “substantially all of” U.S. Cellular’s wireless business, the companies announced on Tuesday.

The sale will see T-Mobile acquire U.S. Cellular’s wireless customers, stores and some spectrum-related assets, according to a press release issued Tuesday morning. U.S. Cellular has more than 4.6 million customers and is the fourth-largest wireless company in the United States, offering service in nearly two dozen states. It is popular in rural areas that have been typically underserved by major wireless providers.

“With this deal, T-Mobile can extend the superior Un-Carrier value and experiences that we’re famous for to millions of U.S. Cellular customers and deliver them lower-priced, value-packed plans and better connectivity on our best-in-class nationwide 5G network,” Mike Sievert, the CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. “As customers from both companies will get more coverage and more capacity from our combined footprint, our competitors will be forced to keep up – and even more consumers will benefit. The Un-Carrier is all about shaking up wireless for the good of consumers, and this deal is another way for us to continue doing even more of that.”

If the deal closes, U.S. Cellular will have access to T-Mobile’s network and various perks, including its T-Life loyalty platform (formerly T-Mobile Tuesdays). T-Mobile customers will be able to roam on U.S. Cellular’s network in the 21 states where it is available.

“T-Mobile’s purchase and integration of UScellular’s wireless operations will provide best-in-class connectivity to rural Americans through enhanced nationwide coverage and service offerings at more compelling price points,” said Laurent Therivel, the CEO of U.S. Cellular. “The transaction provides our customers access to better coverage and speeds, as well as unlimited texting in more than 215 countries, content offers, device upgrades and other T-Mobile benefits.”

The deal is expected to close in mid-2025 if regulators approve the transaction.

The announcement comes several weeks after T-Mobile completed its acquisition prepaid wireless provider Mint Mobile, which offers low-cost access to phone and data service through wholesale pricing.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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