T-Mobile Buying Most Of U.S. Cellular In $4.4 Billion Deal—Its Latest Expansion

Topline

T-Mobile will buy most of U.S. Cellular’s operations in a deal valued at $4.4 billion, both companies announced Tuesday, the latest billion-dollar transaction by the wireless carrier as it expands coverage to millions of more customers.

t-mobile buying most of u.s. cellular in $4.4 billion deal—its latest expansion

The wireless carrier will assume billions of dollars in debt as part of the transaction. Getty Images

Key Facts

The deal will include a combination of cash and about $2 billion in assumed debt, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular said in a joint statement.

T-Mobile will acquire about 30% of U.S. Cellular’s wireless spectrum as part of the deal, improving and expanding coverage for customers in rural areas, while U.S. Cellular will keep the remaining 70% to “opportunistically monetize these retained assets,” according to the statement.

U.S. Cellular customers can keep their current wireless plans or switch to a plan offered by T-Mobile, the companies said, adding U.S. Cellular will lease about 2,100 cellphone towers to T-Mobile.

Integrating U.S. Cellular’s operations into T-Mobile’s business will cost between $2.2 billion and $2.6 billion, T-Mobile said in a separate statement.

The transaction is expected to close in mid-2025 pending regulatory approval, both companies said, and has already been approved by U.S. Cellular’s board of directors.

If the deal isn’t completed, T-Mobile said it will pay U.S. Cellular $60 million.

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Big Number

4.5 million. That’s how many new customers T-Mobile will be acquiring from U.S. Cellular as part of the deal, according to the release.

Key Background

The acquisition is the latest for T-Mobile in recent years, as it seeks to compete with archrivals Verizon and AT&T. Last year, T-Mobile announced it would acquire Ka’ena Corporation—the parent company of Mint Mobile and other wireless brands—in a $1.35 billion deal. That deal was approved by the Federal Communications Commission in April. In 2020, T-Mobile merged with Sprint in a deal valued at $26 billion, after attorneys general from 13 states tried to block the transaction, arguing Sprint would be unable to operate as a wireless carrier if acquired by T-Mobile. A deal for U.S. Cellular’s wireless spectrum has reportedly been in the works for weeks, amid separate discussions with Verizon and T-Mobile.

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