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AT&T, T-Mobile Deal: What Could It Mean for You?

AT&T / T-Mobile(NEW YORK) -- The mega merger between telecom giant AT&T and its smaller rival T-Mobile may mean big bucks for corporate America, but what about cell-phone-carrying Americans -- and, more importantly, their wallets?

AT&T announced Sunday that it would buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a $39 billion deal that would make it the biggest cellphone company in the country. Assuming the deal receives regulatory approval, AT&T said it would be able to bring a high-speed 4G connection to 95 percent of the U.S. population.

But analysts say that though the merger would expand nationwide 3G and 4G network coverage for cellphone users in the U.S., the reduced competition would mean fewer phone options and pricing plans over all.

While the two companies will have to work out some technical differences in their telecom marriage, analysts said that the combination of the two networks would likely provide a strong nationwide network.

An AT&T-T-Mobile deal also likely means the end of T-Mobile's lower prices and friendly service, analysts said. The merger could also mean fewer phone options and, ultimately, less innovation. To save money, one analyst said, it's likely that AT&T and T-Mobile will consolidate their phone options for consumers.

It could take a couple of years before these changes become reality for consumers. AT&T said it will take about a year to close the deal, and then it could take another year to combine their systems.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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