T-Mobile to Acquire U.S. Cellular in $4.4 Billion Deal Including Debt

T-Mobile Acquire us Cellular
T-Mobile plans to purchase U.S. Cellular’s wireless operations and specific spectrum assets in a $4.4 billion deal, contributing to the ongoing consolidation of the telecommunications sector.

The acquisition will add over 4 million new customers to T-Mobile’s base and give it control of U.S. Cellular’s wireless operations and approximately 30% of its spectrum assets across various bands. Additionally, T-Mobile will enter a new master license agreement for more than 2,000 towers and extend the lease term for about 600 towers where T-Mobile is already a tenant.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert stated that the deal will “create a better experience for all of our customers with more coverage and more capacity.”

T-Mobile has been active in mergers and acquisitions, notably completing the takeover of Sprint in 2020 and merging with MetroPCS Communications Inc. in 2013, following approval by the Federal Communications Commission.

On Tuesday, T-Mobile announced that U.S. Cellular customers will gain access to its 5G network, enhancing their coverage and speed, particularly benefiting those in underserved rural areas.

“In the face of rising competition and the increasing capital required to keep pace with the latest technologies, our strategic review has shown that integrating our wireless operations with those of T-Mobile will best achieve the scale and investment needed to continue delivering on our mission,” said U.S. Cellular Chair LeRoy Carlson Jr.

U.S. Cellular customers can remain on their current plans or switch to an unlimited T-Mobile plan without incurring switching costs.

The transaction will involve a combination of cash and up to $2 billion in assumed debt. Up to $100 million of the cash component is contingent upon meeting certain financial and operational metrics between the deal’s signing and closing.

U.S. Cellular will retain about 70% of its spectrum portfolio across various bands.

The boards of United States Cellular Corp. and Telephone and Data Systems Inc., the majority shareholder of U.S. Cellular, have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close in mid-2025.

Following the announcement, U.S. Cellular’s stock jumped more than 12% before the opening bell on Tuesday, while shares of Telephone and Data Systems surged over 17%.

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