By Brendan Sasso - 10/02/12 06:01 PM EDT
The merger would still leave T-Mobile behind third-place Sprint, which has about 56 million customers, and well behind industry leaders Verizon and AT&T.
The deal would give T-Mobile access to MetroPCS's airwave licenses as well as its next-generation LTE cell towers. T-Mobile is scrambling to catch up with the other national carriers since federal regulators killed its attempt to sell itself to AT&T last year.
The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department would have to sign off on a merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS, but the deal would be unlikely to raise the same competition concerns as the AT&T deal, which would have created the nation's largest carrier.