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T-Mobile replacing SunCom in Carolinas

A visible new player has joined the region's roster of cell phone companies: T-Mobile is now replacing the SunCom brand across the Carolinas and in Tennessee, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier completed its $2.4 billion purchase of SunCom in February but has only recently begun advertising as T-Mobile locally and adding its bright pink logo and signs to former SunCom stores. The Bellevue, Wash.-based company previously had no Charlotte presence.

SunCom subscribers will be able to keep their same contracts and phones, save for HipTop customers, who will be offered transfers to T-Mobile's Sidekick service and handset. T-Mobile said it will offer plans similar to those available on SunCom.

The transition will make SunCom customers part of a nationwide network. T-Mobile says it has invested $100 million in strengthening its network in the Carolinas and Puerto Rico to give customers a better signal across a wider area. The purchase also increases T-Mobile's national coverage, so that it now serves 99 of the country's top 100 markets, according to the company. Additional information about the changeover is available at