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Possible T-Mobile-Sprint merger could rival AT&T in subscribers

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
Deutsche Telekom, the owners of T-Mobile in the U.S., are reportedly looking into acquiring competitor Sprint. Together, the two companies would have a customer base that rivals AT&T.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Detsche Telekom is prepping a multi-billion dollar offer for Sprint Nextel, which is the third-largest wireless carrier in America. Together, the two companies would have a combined customer base near AT&T's nearly 80 million subscribers.

Currently, AT&T is the second-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., behind only Verizon Wireless, which had an estimated 87.7 million subscribers as of July. While AT&T has lagged behind Verizon, the No. 2 company has been gaining ground, thanks, in part, to its exclusive deal for Apple's iPhone.

Sprint is estimated to have a market value of $10 billion. The formal bid from Deutsche Telekom is expected to be received within weeks.

The news comes as the international corporation also hopes to merge T-Mobile U.K. with Orange. Combined, those two British carriers would have 37 percent of the market with 28.4 million subscribers. That deal is reportedly centered on the possibility of gaining access to popular handsets, like the iPhone, by having a larger customer base for negotiation leverage.

The Telegraph notes that T-Mobile U.S. has struggled recently, with revenue falling and subscribers leaving for larger carriers that offer better coverage, like AT&T and Verizon, or smaller, regional carriers that cost less. But combined with Sprint, it would have a subscriber base of 78.2 million, just behind AT&T.

Such a merger would be difficult, as the two carriers operate on different style networks. AT&T and T-Mobile share a GSM network, while Sprint, like Verizon, operates primarily as a CDMA network. Deutsche Telekom has reportedly been eyeing Sprint for over a year, though "preparations" for the deal began within the last few months.

While still a long ways off, if at all possible, a T-Mobile-Sprint merger would change the landscape of U.S. wireless providers significantly. The iPhone's exclusive contract with AT&T is set to expire next year, which has led some to speculate that Apple's device could become available on a rival network. By and large, assumptions have suggested Apple would choose Verizon, the largest wireless provider in the U.S. But a combination of T-Mobile and Sprint would be nearly as large as AT&T, and perhaps a viable option for Apple to consider.
post #2 of 101
I'll post what I posted in Macworld, which had this story earlier:

"Well, this seems to be an idea fraught with problems!

How ARE they going to deal with the network problem?

Having both would be counterproductive, but switching Sprint over to GSM would cost tens of billions. It would cost less to move T-Mobile to CDMA, but why would they want to move away from the global standard?

I could understand this if Sprint was moving to the 4G standard that both AT&T and Verizon are moving to, but they aren't.

So what benefits will they derive?"
post #3 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'll post what I posted in Macworld, which had this story earlier:

"Well, this seems to be an idea fraught with problems!

How ARE they going to deal with the network problem?

Having both would be counterproductive, but switching Sprint over to GSM would cost tens of billions. It would cost less to move T-Mobile to CDMA, but why would they want to move away from the global standard?

I could understand this if Sprint was moving to the 4G standard that both AT&T and Verizon are moving to, but they aren't.

So what benefits will they derive?"

They wouldn't have any benefits other than the amount of customers. I went from sprint to t-mobile to At&t hopefully Verizon when the Iphone goes to their network. I hated Sprint they always and i mean always screwed my bill up, thus i went to t-mobile so for me personally sprint Sucks, t-mobile will SUck if the buy Sprint. and it will not have effect on AT&t with the iphone or Verizon because of the network. it would be a stupid merger and like you said it will cost sprint millions or billions of dollars to switch to GSM and im sure t-mobile will not switch to CDMA.
post #4 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'll post what I posted in Macworld, which had this story earlier:

"Well, this seems to be an idea fraught with problems!

How ARE they going to deal with the network problem?

Having both would be counterproductive, but switching Sprint over to GSM would cost tens of billions. It would cost less to move T-Mobile to CDMA, but why would they want to move away from the global standard?

I could understand this if Sprint was moving to the 4G standard that both AT&T and Verizon are moving to, but they aren't.

So what benefits will they derive?"

Legacy support. The two networks remain separate for some time. As they both move to 4G the entire CDMA system needs to be replaced anyway. The economies of scale would benefit the new larger company in advertising, accounting and customer support where they could eliminate the redundancies. As new customers come online they would likely be on the GSM side of the equation.

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post #5 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Legacy support. The two networks remain separate for some time. As they both move to 4G the entire CDMA system needs to be replaced anyway. The economies of scale would benefit the new larger company in advertising, accounting and customer support where they could eliminate the redundancies. As new customers come online they would likely be on the GSM side of the equation.

The economies of scale come from price gouging.
post #6 of 101
I'm sorry, no matter what people think, I just can't see Apple and Verizon working together. Verizon's obsession with crippling devices goes totally against what makes the iPhone great...
post #7 of 101
The merger will look better for the bottom line. We're currently in a period of undervalued companies and those teetering near bankruptcy simply because of the economy.

Keep in mind also that T-mobile would instantly have a large chunk of the Clearwire deal, opening T-mobile to WiMax. This would all make T-mo and Clearwire a more attractive company for Apple to deal with.

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post #8 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by eh270 View Post

I'm sorry, no matter what people think, I just can't see Apple and Verizon working together. Verizon's obsession with crippling devices goes totally against what makes the iPhone great...

And Apple already has standing deals with T-mo in Germany.... this sounds better every time I hear about it.

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post #9 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

How ARE they going to deal with the network problem?

Whereas Sprint might downplay the importance of 4G, the new joint venture would be moving there, quickly.
post #10 of 101
This is easily one of the dumbest things I've seen recently. Doesn't T-Mobile know about the fiasco that was the Sprint and Nextel merger? What, 3 years later, and their still having problems with that. Instead of spending money buying something, T-Mobile should just throw that money into the network and expand 3G like crazy. I remember already seeing an article that they plan on dumping a ton of money into T-Mobile USA for just that anyway.

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post #11 of 101
This is a recipe for disaster. Remember what happened when Sprint bought Nextel.The incompatibility of CDMA and the IDEN networks made this deal a total disaster. Dan Hasse, Sprint CEO, said it clearly on The Charlie Rose show the other day, how they paid too much for it and the trouble of integrating both networks. Imagine another go at it this time Wimax with LTE ? Tmobile has a clear upgrade path to 4g with LTE . Sprint already on Wimax. It will cost billions and years for it to work and by that time its functioning, if TMobile ever gets it to work, it would have lost more money.
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post #12 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by eh270 View Post

I'm sorry, no matter what people think, I just can't see Apple and Verizon working together. Verizon's obsession with crippling devices goes totally against what makes the iPhone great...

Agreed!

I can understand people's frustration with AT&T, but I think we have to give them credit for making this deal with Apple. We're all a lot better off than if Verizon had their way. This is easy for me to say because I don't live in NY or SF, and I've had nothing but good experiences with my AT&T coverage. But I'm not going to be looking to change carriers if/when the iPhone becomes available elsewhere.
post #13 of 101
Sprint never really recovered from purchasing Nextel and the two systems are still operated separately. They have never been integrated.

To me, this idea sounds like a continuation of a disastrous merger of incompatible technologies. Think Sprint would have learned the first time.
post #14 of 101
Q: What do you get when you combine two medium sized wireless carriers who continue to loose customers each month due to inadequate service, coverage, and lousy support?

A: A large sized wireless carrier that will continue to loose customers each month due to inadequate service, coverage, and lousy support. Case in point: Sprint + Nextel = A bigger mess.
post #15 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghstmars View Post

This is a recipe for disaster. Remember what happened when Sprint bought Nextel.The incompatibility of CDMA and the IDEN networks made this deal a total disaster. Dan Hasse, Sprint CEO, said it clearly on The Charlie Rose show the other day, how they paid too much for it and the trouble of integrating both networks. Imagine another go at it this time Wimax with LTE ? Tmobile has a clear upgrade path to 4g with LTE . Sprint already on Wimax. It will cost billions and years for it to work and by that time its functioning, if TMobile ever gets it to work, it would have lost more money.

Aquisitions/mergers are the only way to grow these companies right now. They certainly aren't able to add more customers in any great numbers using traditional methods. This makes sense, especially because T-mo can buy undervalued Sprint now and spin it off later when the economy has recovered enough (if that's what makes sense at that time).

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post #16 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While still a long ways off, if at all possible, a T-Mobile-Sprint merger would change the landscape of U.S. wireless providers significantly. The iPhone's exclusive contract with AT&T is set to expire next year, which has led some to speculate that Apple's device could become available on a rival network. By and large, assumptions have suggested Apple would choose Verizon, the largest wireless provider in the U.S. But a combination of T-Mobile and Sprint would be nearly as large as AT&T, and perhaps a viable option for Apple to consider.

As a T-Mobile subscriber for 6 years, and to quote the most recent tv commercial for Pizza Hut, "JACKPOT"!

I do wonder what technological route they a merger would provide... T-Mobile's GSM, Sprint's current method or this 4G everyone is talking about?

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post #17 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by eh270 View Post

I'm sorry, no matter what people think, I just can't see Apple and Verizon working together. Verizon's obsession with crippling devices goes totally against what makes the iPhone great...

No one except a few tech pundits and some disgruntled customers think Apple will go with Verizon. They had the chance to twice already and they didn't.

It makes no sense for Apple to make a CDMA phone and the only way *any* American telcos will get a contract from Apple is to move to a more modern standard. It would make sense for Apple to do multiple carriers if multiple carriers are available on GSM or LTE. Those that don't move quick enough will fail and be bought out just as we see happening here.

The poster above that said they will merge and move both companies forward to LTE has it right on the button. If AT&T doesn't move to LTE fast enough they could end up being left behind as well. Things could and probably should move fast on all of this since almost every "western" country except for the USA is already far ahead.

CDMA is dead in the water and Sprint is just the first casualty. In Canada, there are three telcos in the oligopoly and the other two are more than halfway through a conversion to GSM that started the moment they saw the iPhone wasn't ever going to work on their networks. By late next year, my part of Canada will be almost completely GSM and moving towards LTE at lightning speed.

Most of Europe is there already.
post #18 of 101
and kills Consumer Options.

There should be a required minimum 20 Telco carriers one can choose from, in any market, at any time, with a unified back-end to traffic across.
post #19 of 101
T-Mobile has $70B in debt, Sprint has more than $20B in debt. A merger will ensure further debt. There's no way this could go through. And I haven't even mentioned the incompatible systems. Never!!
post #20 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Legacy support. The two networks remain separate for some time. As they both move to 4G the entire CDMA system needs to be replaced anyway. The economies of scale would benefit the new larger company in advertising, accounting and customer support where they could eliminate the redundancies. As new customers come online they would likely be on the GSM side of the equation.

I don't really agree. Both companies are quickly losing customers.

The normal situation where two losing companies merge is for one new losing company to be formed. Often, losses increase after such a merger.

Sprint is moving to WiMax for 4G. T-Mobile? Who knows?

WiMx isn't compatible with the other 4G services that AT&T and Verizon are moving to as I said already. So they will still be stuck with a non compatible system.

There are no economies of scale here. They use two networks, and they will be doing that for years to come.

That means that they get no synergy from the merger. Two technical departments, two equipment technology lines from their suppliers. Two support staffs, etc.

What an incredible waste of money!

It costs large amounts of money to integrate two large companies even when their technologies are the same. Just figuring out who should stay, and who should go, what management lines are going to take over from which company, how the culture clash will be managed, something that's rarely done well.

But now they will have opposing technology lines to manage. People trained in one won't understand the other. How will they integrate their networks? How will they explain to their customers which phones they can purchase, and which ones they can't?

So, if I were a Sprint CDMA customer, and now its one company, what do I subscribe to? Is is T-Mobiles odd GSM implementation, which uses the 1700 band which no other GSM company does, or am I still a Sprint CDMA customer?

DoI need to buy a GSM phone, or a CDMA phone? What happens when I move? Or if I'm traveling around?

Can I choose to go from one to the other? Is my two year plan still valid if I want to go to GSM from CDMA, or the other way around?

Am I on the very limited 3G service from T-Mobile, or the much more widespread one from Sprint?

How is this going to work? Sprint had almost as much of a problem when they bought Nextel, and now there's a lawsuit over that mess:

http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/0...rger-disaster/

This will be a far bigger mess than that ever was, and Sprint has STILL not completely integrated IDEN into their network properly.
post #21 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The merger will look better for the bottom line. We're currently in a period of undervalued companies and those teetering near bankruptcy simply because of the economy.

Keep in mind also that T-mobile would instantly have a large chunk of the Clearwire deal, opening T-mobile to WiMax. This would all make T-mo and Clearwire a more attractive company for Apple to deal with.

Yuk!!
post #22 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

Whereas Sprint might downplay the importance of 4G, the new joint venture would be moving there, quickly.

Sprint isn't downplaying 4G. They are just moving to the WiMax version.

It's highly doubtful that these combined companies would move any faster. It's likely that everything will stop cold until they figure out what they are, and where they're going.

It won't be pretty.
post #23 of 101
Man I hope this goes through... Screw Verizon. Allthat would need to happen is that both companys' customers continue to use their current network, and they make a choose of Whig network to bring the iPhone out on- which standard and then start to flesh out that one more.

Thinkabout it- network congestion would not really matter as you would have two different networks to use while the new iPhone customers are on the onebeing improved. I was on sprit until Att for the iPhone- I might go back...
post #24 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Aquisitions/mergers are the only way to grow these companies right now. They certainly aren't able to add more customers in any great numbers using traditional methods. This makes sense, especially because T-mo can buy undervalued Sprint now and spin it off later when the economy has recovered enough (if that's what makes sense at that time).

If this goes through, T-Mobile won't be spinning it off. If it came to that, it would be because the merger (or more likely, purchase, though companies don't like to use that term) was a failure.

That would cost more billions.

No. If they do this they must complete it.
post #25 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

As a T-Mobile subscriber for 6 years, and to quote the most recent tv commercial for Pizza Hut, "JACKPOT"!

I do wonder what technological route they a merger would provide... T-Mobile's GSM, Sprint's current method or this 4G everyone is talking about?

When you said "jackpot", I'm assuming by the face, that you are joking.

I think that Apple would avoid this as best as possible.

I would.
post #26 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't really agree. Both companies are quickly losing customers.

The normal situation where two losing companies merge is for one new losing company to be formed. Often, losses increase after such a merger.

Sprint is moving to WiMax for 4G. T-Mobile? Who knows? WiMx isn't compatible with the other 4G services that AT&T and Verizon are moving to as I said already. So they will still be stuck with a non compatible system.

There are no economies of scale here. They use two networks, and they will be doing that for years to come. That means that they get no synergy from the merger. Two technical departments, two equipment technology lines from their suppliers. Two support staffs, etc.

What an incredible waste of money!

It costs large amounts of money to integrate two large companies even when their technologies are the same. Just figuring out who should stay, and who should go, what management lines are going to take over from which company, how the culture clash will be managed, something that's rarely done well.

But now they will have opposing technology lines to manage. People trained in one won't understand the other. How will they integrate their networks? How will they explain to their customers which phones they can purchase, and which ones they can't?

So, if I were a Sprint CDMA customer, and now its one company, what do I subscribe to? Is is T-Mobiles odd GSM implementation, which uses the 1700 band which no other GSM company does, or am I still a Sprint CDMA customer?

DoI need to buy a GSM phone, or a CDMA phone? What happens when I move? Or if I'm traveling around? Can I choose to go from one to the other? Is my two year plan still valid if I want to go to GSM from CDMA, or the other way around? Am I on the very limited 3G service from T-Mobile, or the much more widespread one from Sprint?

How is this going to work? Sprint had almost as much of a problem when they bought Nextel, and now there's a lawsuit over that mess. This will be a far bigger mess than that ever was, and Sprint has STILL not completely integrated IDEN into their network properly.

I think you're taking the "merger" word a little too seriously here. Often when companies "merge like this, what they really mean is "one swallows the other whole."

If you consider that CDMA is a dead-end technology (and I would argue it is), then most of your issues go away. They keep a skeleton staff in order to keep the CDMA stuff working while they transition, but otherwise anyone involved in the CDMA side of things is basically fired.

There's no "moving back to CDMA" or anything like that, the CDMA networks get a few basic handset choices and sort of "wait to die." A similar thing happens on the GSM side (for both companies), while the entire business is moved to LTE. This puts them at number two in the USA with (at the end of the process) a better network than AT&T has now. Seems like an excellent move to me.
post #27 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

No one except a few tech pundits and some disgruntled customers think Apple will go with Verizon. They had the chance to twice already and they didn't.

It makes no sense for Apple to make a CDMA phone and the only way *any* American telcos will get a contract from Apple is to move to a more modern standard. It would make sense for Apple to do multiple carriers if multiple carriers are available on GSM or LTE. Those that don't move quick enough will fail and be bought out just as we see happening here.

The poster above that said they will merge and move both companies forward to LTE has it right on the button. If AT&T doesn't move to LTE fast enough they could end up being left behind as well. Things could and probably should move fast on all of this since almost every "western" country except for the USA is already far ahead.

CDMA is dead in the water and Sprint is just the first casualty. In Canada, there are three telcos in the oligopoly and the other two are more than halfway through a conversion to GSM that started the moment they saw the iPhone wasn't ever going to work on their networks. By late next year, my part of Canada will be almost completely GSM and moving towards LTE at lightning speed.

Most of Europe is there already.

You really think that Sprint will abandon the almost $10 billion it's spending on WiMax, and go with LTE? They had the chance, and they didn't.

T-Mobile can barely manage to get 3G working in a few cities, it will be late with 4G services, you can be sure.

The only other company Apple could deal with in the US is Verizon. Verizon is rushing LTE. They'll have it in a few cities by the end of the year. AT&T will take longer, but by 2011, both will have fairly extensive LTE networks.

Once that happens, and the iPhone is worked to run with it, then Verizon becomes a viable option.

As Apple is now moving to multiple carriers in the same country in many places, it could happen here.

We can look to China. A three year non exclusive deal with China Unicom, and China Mobile just stated that they are working with Apple to bring the iPhone to them.

Believe me, if Apple can work with Chinese companies, with the government imposed limitations, and the companies tough demands, they can work with Verizon.
post #28 of 101
A little bit off-topic but does anyone else raise their eyebrows when they hear GSM is some kind of "global standard"?

Among the largest four USA mobile providers, most people think T-Mobile and AT&T are the poorest from a technical standpoint. Both are GSM based. Heck, I have two family members on T-Mobile right now and it's deplorable both in coverage and quality. So I get a little peeved when people talk about Europe's mobile telephone system being years ahead of the USA's. If so, then why is Deutche Telecom's mobile service (T-Mobile) the worst in the USA?

I have no idea why Deutch Telecom would want to do this merger. About all I can come up with is that it's the only way they can stay in business on this side of the Atlantic. How they will do that, post merger, is anyone's guess.
post #29 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

Whereas Sprint might downplay the importance of 4G, the new joint venture would be moving there, quickly.

Sprint already has 4G right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghstmars View Post

This is a recipe for disaster. Remember what happened when Sprint bought Nextel.The incompatibility of CDMA and the IDEN networks made this deal a total disaster. Dan Hasse, Sprint CEO, said it clearly on The Charlie Rose show the other day, how they paid too much for it and the trouble of integrating both networks. Imagine another go at it this time Wimax with LTE ? Tmobile has a clear upgrade path to 4g with LTE . Sprint already on Wimax. It will cost billions and years for it to work and by that time its functioning, if TMobile ever gets it to work, it would have lost more money.

I don't know how the two networks could be integrated, at all. I don't know about other areas, but I know for sure that the Nextel system is still up and running here, my parents are still using their old phones. They really need to send all their Nextel subscribers a new phone and drop Nextel's old network. It doesn't need to be done all at once, city by city, state by state, whatever. But it looks to me that it must be done.

I just don't see Sprint-Nextel merging with yet another network, one that's also a bit of a hodgepodge. You don't get an eagle by strapping together three turkeys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

In Canada, there are three telcos in the oligopoly and the other two are more than halfway through a conversion to GSM that started the moment they saw the iPhone wasn't ever going to work on their networks.

I am highly skeptical that a transition to GSM is happening because of the iPhone. It has to be wayyy too expensive to do for that reason alone.
post #30 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I think you're taking the "merger" word a little too seriously here. Often when companies "merge like this, what they really mean is "one swallows the other whole."

If you consider that CDMA is a dead-end technology (and I would argue it is), then most of your issues go away. They keep a skeleton staff in order to keep the CDMA stuff working while they transition, but otherwise anyone involved in the CDMA side of things is basically fired.

There's no "moving back to CDMA" or anything like that, the CDMA networks get a few basic handset choices and sort of "wait to die." A similar thing happens on the GSM side (for both companies), while the entire business is moved to LTE. This puts them at number two in the USA with (at the end of the process) a better network than AT&T has now. Seems like an excellent move to me.

You can play with words if you like. I don't care. I already said that companies use the word merger when it often means "purchased". Sometimes, merger is a political term. It's intended to not embarrass the company being bought, particularly when it's the larger one.

This happened with Chrysler and Mercedes. Mercedes bought Chrysler, but it was called a merger.

I've seen it happen more than a few times. It doesn't really matter what you want to call it. The point is that it will be intended to make one large company out of two smaller ones. That's all that matters.

They can't do what you say they could do. That's absurd.

CDMA customers will be two thirds of their customer base, as will the employees.

What, you think they can snap their fingers and the whole annoying CDMA thing will just disappear?

CDMA will be the main system for years to come there, like it or not.

It would be a lot easier and cheaper to do away with the non standard version of GSM that T-Mobile inexplicably uses.

You better get out into the real world. Things don't work the way you think they do. Read the link I provided.
post #31 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Q: What do you get when you combine two medium sized wireless carriers who continue to loose customers each month due to inadequate service, coverage, and lousy support?

A: A large sized wireless carrier that will continue to loose customers each month due to inadequate service, coverage, and lousy support. Case in point: Sprint + Nextel = A bigger mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't really agree. Both companies are quickly losing customers.

The normal situation where two losing companies merge is for one new losing company to be formed. Often, losses increase after such a merger.

I would love to see where you two get your numbers.

T-Mobile USA Q2 results

T-Mobile was even nice enough to put an executive summary in bullet point format so you guys do not have to strain yourselves.
post #32 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You don't get an eagle by strapping together three turkeys.

I like that.

Quote:
I am highly skeptical that a transition to GSM is happening because of the iPhone.

So am I.
post #33 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

A little bit off-topic but does anyone else raise their eyebrows when they hear GSM is some kind of "global standard"?

Among the largest four USA mobile providers, most people think T-Mobile and AT&T are the poorest from a technical standpoint. Both are GSM based. Heck, I have two family members on T-Mobile right now and it's deplorable both in coverage and quality. So I get a little peeved when people talk about Europe's mobile telephone system being years ahead of the USA's. If so, then why is Deutche Telecom's mobile service (T-Mobile) the worst in the USA?

I have no idea why Deutch Telecom would want to do this merger. About all I can come up with is that it's the only way they can stay in business on this side of the Atlantic. How they will do that, post merger, is anyone's guess.

I can't address the US issues, but GSM really is a global standard, like it or not. I personally don't like it because GSM phones seem a lot more prone to interfering with audio equipment, consumer or pro, but I don't think anyone can really argue that the GSM group of standards isn't going to be the long term winner, they already more than outnumber all the other standards combined in user base.
post #34 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by beingnickb View Post

I would love to see where you two get your numbers.

T-Mobile USA Q2 results

T-Mobile was even nice enough to put an executive summary in bullet point format so you guys do not have to strain yourselves.

Well, I didn't explain myself too well. As you can see from T-Mobile's own information, that you so kindly provided, their new customer additions are sliding severely. From 668,000, to 415,000, to 325,000 customer additions. That's what I meant, but didn't explain it properly.

Sprint is actually losing customers. Their Ads where they say that there are 49 million customers on their network will shortly have to be revised to 48 million.
post #35 of 101
If done right (aka moving to GSM.), this could be a very good thing for the future. However, it would be expensive as hell to do.
post #36 of 101
I also don't understand why everyone is freaking out about merging networks. You have two companies right now, that for better or for worse, each have their customer bases. Their profitability on each might be changing, but they are companies- functional, working companies.

Buy Sprint- move over brand identity. Keep servicing their customers. Consolidate costs with combined advertising, marketing and branding. Make a decision as to which network continues and work with Apple while you do that. Then bring out the iphone on that network, and the equivalent of all of T-Mobile's and Sprint's customers can buy it. Sure, either T-Mobile or Sprints' prior customers are now using a different network, but nobody cares. The network that does not get the iphone is the network whose towers are converted over gradually to the new network. And all future phones are brought out on the new network.

Old network- likely CDMA dies.

And seriously- who really gives a shit about LTE or WI-Max or whatever nuclear powered next gen network is coming out? I can bring up a web page relatively quickly on the 3g network on ATT. Most of the time I am in a wifi zone. With 3g I can receive a call without breaking my data connection. It seems like these faster and faster networks are going to run in to the problem of dvd v blurry- Blu-ray's increased picture quality is not appreciated by a lot of customers. More network speed isn't necessarily welcomed by customers if the basics are taken care of- like calling and email. I suppose video chatting would be a killer feature- but that will work on 3g now...

Fact is, the iPhone 2g proved Jobs' analysis- it was fast enough and people cared more about the user experience. That's why the iphone sold the way it did- it was just the first device to really give people what they wanted in a handheld device.
post #37 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Well, I didn't explain myself too well. As you can see from T-Mobile's own information, that you so kindly provided, their new customer additions are sliding severely. From 668,000, to 415,000, to 325,000 customer additions. That's what I meant, but didn't explain it properly.

Sprint is actually losing customers. Their Ads where they say that there are 49 million customers on their network will shortly have to be revised to 48 million.

Right. A decrease in growth does not equal loss.

I do agree that the merger is pointless.
post #38 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

A little bit off-topic but does anyone else raise their eyebrows when they hear GSM is some kind of "global standard"?

Among the largest four USA mobile providers, most people think T-Mobile and AT&T are the poorest from a technical standpoint. Both are GSM based. Heck, I have two family members on T-Mobile right now and it's deplorable both in coverage and quality. So I get a little peeved when people talk about Europe's mobile telephone system being years ahead of the USA's. If so, then why is Deutche Telecom's mobile service (T-Mobile) the worst in the USA?

I have no idea why Deutch Telecom would want to do this merger. About all I can come up with is that it's the only way they can stay in business on this side of the Atlantic. How they will do that, post merger, is anyone's guess.

GSM is a global standard, being used in over 212 countries around the world... the US is the exception, rather than the rule. The reason T-Mobile's coverage sucks indoors is because they use a higher frequency in the US than the do in Europe, since AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon already got licensed most of the favorable wireless frequencies that work well indoors from the FCC. In Europe, it's the opposite... AT&T coverage is terrible there (probably here too now b/c of iPhone users) b/c they didn't get favorable frequencies, while T-Mobile did, since they were there first to acquire and license the use of those frequencies.

However, I'd guess that those three listed above aren't really doing much to improve coverage (maybe Verizon, I keep hearing from family that they don't go anywhere without having at least 4 bars.. even in swampy Louisana). T-Mobile is so far great coverage here in southern california, but they don't have a viable data phone to compete with the iPhone so they're losing customers to AT&T. And those that want Verizon-like coverage and are willing to pay, well, they go to Verizon. What's left for T-Mobile? Competing with AT&T and Sprint (with a higher wireless frequency that doesn't penetrate walls as well in the US) and having to offer more minutes/data for less. Is that really such a bad thing for consumers? Probably not, but they'd like not to be in that situation

My opinion on the merger? Clearwire is clearly losing billions each year, and the only sponsor really is Intel... Sprint doesn't have nearly enough capital to waste on a project like that. So that means if T-Mobile ever gets 4G, it'll probably be LTE. Besides, they can use their knowledge from building their 4G network in Europe to help build it in the US. Come to think of it, why AREN'T they using their experience in Europe's 3G networks to build it out in the US? But then again, to put these up all over the place requires more towers than AT&T (b/c of the frequency problem; these higher frequencies also don't travel as far.. sometimes, they're not much further than a few football field lengths of signal from the tower) and T-Mobile definitely doesn't have that kind of capital to build it out nationwide at that quantity, having only the 4th largest amount of subscribers.
post #39 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by iansilv View Post

I also don't understand why everyone is freaking out about merging networks. You have two companies right now, that for better or for worse, each have their customer bases. Their profitability on each might be changing, but they are companies- functional, working companies.

Buy Sprint- move over brand identity. Keep servicing their customers. Consolidate costs with combined advertising, marketing and branding. Make a decision as to which network continues and work with Apple while you do that. Then bring out the iphone on that network, and the equivalent of all of T-Mobile's and Sprint's customers can buy it. Sure, either T-Mobile or Sprints' prior customers are now using a different network, but nobody cares. The network that does not get the iphone is the network whose towers are converted over gradually to the new network. And all future phones are brought out on the new network.

Old network- likely CDMA dies.

And seriously- who really gives a shit about LTE or WI-Max or whatever nuclear powered next gen network is coming out? I can bring up a web page relatively quickly on the 3g network on ATT. Most of the time I am in a wifi zone. With 3g I can receive a call without breaking my data connection. It seems like these faster and faster networks are going to run in to the problem of dvd v blurry- Blu-ray's increased picture quality is not appreciated by a lot of customers. More network speed isn't necessarily welcomed by customers if the basics are taken care of- like calling and email. I suppose video chatting would be a killer feature- but that will work on 3g now...

Fact is, the iPhone 2g proved Jobs' analysis- it was fast enough and people cared more about the user experience. That's why the iphone sold the way it did- it was just the first device to really give people what they wanted in a handheld device.

You're making the iPhone out to be something it isn't. It has nothing to do with what happens at these companies.
post #40 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You really think that Sprint will abandon the almost $10 billion it's spending on WiMax, and go with LTE? They had the chance, and they didn't.

If the rumored acquisition occurs, it will be Deutsche Telekom making the decision, rather than Sprint. Who knows what the decision will be, but I think the future
worldwide for LTE looks a lot more promising than that for WiMax. Certainly we will see LTE-capable iPhones before we see WiMax iPhones, don't you think?
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