But T-Mobile USA's exit could also cause some heartburn for its suppliers.
Here's a quick look at who might be affected, keeping in mind that some of these changes might be very slow to unfold.
And Analyst Michael Genovese of MKM Partners points out that AT&T's IP and optical vendors -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) for IP, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) for optical -- could benefit from network growth as AT&T accommodates 33.7 million additional T-Mobile USA users.
For the time being, T-Mobile USA will probably continue its backhaul buildout for High Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) services, so doomsday might take a while to arrive. (See MWC 2010: T-Mobile Boosts Backhaul.)
LightSquared would have plenty of other places to turn, such as MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS), Sprint or the U.S. cable operators. Even so, T-Mobile USA's disappearance would make LightSquared's viability "a bit more uncertain," Notter writes. (See Which Carriers Is LightSquared Working With? and LightSquared Grabs More Spectrum, Customers.)
You have heard AT&T is buying T-Mobile USA, right ...?
- AT&T to Buy T-Mobile USA for $39B
- What Happens to Sprint After AT&T/T-Mobile Merger?
- Could AT&T/T-Mobile Deal Mean an HSPA+ iPhone?
- AT&T/T-Mobile: Riddled With Regulatory Risk
- DT's Shares Rocket on AT&T Deal
- Cable Could Lose Wireless Bargaining Chip
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading