Sprint and T-Mobile could reach merger deal by next week, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2018
After multiple unsuccessful attempts, U.S. cellular carriers Sprint and T-Mobile are reportedly on the verge of a merger deal that would redraw the wireless landscape and pose a serious threat to Verizon and AT&T's long-standing duopoly.

T-Mobile Legere


Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reports negotiations between Sprint and T-Mobile have progressed to an advanced stage, and the companies are expecting talks to culminate in a deal as early as next week.

According to the report, the parent companies of each wireless operator are currently considering how best to divvy up voting control over the combined entity, as well as finalizing debt financing packages to fund the deal. Japanese tech giant SoftBank owns a majority share of Sprint, while T-Mobile is controlled by German telecommunications titan Deutsche Telekom.

Depending on the agreement, Deutsche Telekom could consolidate the company on its books without owning a majority stake, sources said.

T-Mobile and Sprint, the nation's third- and fourth-largest wireless providers, respectively, own a combined 127 million customers. Merging the pair would create an entity challenging No. 2 carrier AT&T, which reported net gains to end the most recent quarter with about 144 million subscribers. AT&T sits just behind Verizon's more than 150 million wireless customers.

This is not unfamiliar territory for SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom. Executives have been working toward a tie-up for years, starting with SoftBank's initial attempt to purchase T-Mobile in 2014. That bid was quashed by pressure from government regulators. Subsequent efforts also failed.

Prior to the current round of talks, Sprint and T-Mobile met at the table last year, but negotiations ended abruptly in November when SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son backed out just short of the finish line.

In addition to reaching a workable deal, a Sprint-T-Mobile merger faces scrutiny from U.S. antitrust watchdogs. The Justice Department has not taken kindly to industry shakeups, as evidenced by its attempts to block AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 226member
    I hope this doesn’t happen. There is nothing behind this merger that has the customer’s interest at heart. I like T-Mobile and I don’t like Sprint, and my service with T-Mobile is fine everywhere I go.
    jason leavittDavidAlGregoryktappecornchip
  • Reply 2 of 23
    I really do not want this to happen. T-Mobile is an amazing company by itself. They do a ton of pro customer moves and shouldn’t merge 
    jason leavittktappecornchip
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I agree that T-Mobile is great and Sprint sucks. I just wish T-Mobile’s network worked in areas that I know Verizon works better like the supermarket. 
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Add me to the list of "TMobile = great and Sprint = sucks donkey balls." Just left VZW this year to go with TMobile and I haven't regretted it one second.
    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 23
    sector7gsector7g Posts: 155member
    This is just what a country of nearly 400 million people need, only 3 major carriers!! This is going to be great for consumers who like less choice, innovation and higher prices.
    muthuk_vanalingamDavidAlGregoryktappebaconstangcornchip
  • Reply 6 of 23
    GG1GG1 Posts: 236member
    georgie01 said:
    I hope this doesn’t happen. There is nothing behind this merger that has the customer’s interest at heart. I like T-Mobile and I don’t like Sprint, and my service with T-Mobile is fine everywhere I go.
    My feelings exactly. T-Mobile is trending up, and Sprint is treading water.

    However, if John Legere were to command the merged company, that would be best case. Worst case is Softbank inserting someone else. (Or real worst case, we now see that dolt "Paul" from Sprint in T-Mobile commercials.)

    Hopefully, there is some spectrum that Sprint has (and has not exploited) that T-Mobile can use to increase coverage.


    cornchip
  • Reply 7 of 23
    FolioFolio Posts: 506member
    Very likely this happens if they wish to compete nationwide in 5G. Population density in US still relatively sparse. Big boys att and Verizon will be investing about $20 B a year. You need cash flow to lay out technically challenging network. And these e.g. mm waves don't travel very far.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    If memory serves they use incompatible wireless technologies and rationalizing that network and the devices could be very expensive unless they drag it out to the 5G conversion.
    I am still on AT&T because T-Mobile still has less than stellar coverage out in the hinterlands.
    cornchip
  • Reply 9 of 23
    clymansclymans Posts: 18member
    My vote is that TMo buys Sprint.** Then it stays TMo and they just add TMo radios onto all Sprint towers and slowly phase out all legacy Sprint, well, pretty much everything.  I'd be pretty happy with any additional coverage that could bring as long as they don't change anything else about the company.  I'm a fan of TMo since I switch over a year ago.

    **Not that anyone at either company care about my vote.
    titantigerktappecornchip
  • Reply 10 of 23
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 281member
    I hope they merge under (mostly) T-Mobile leadership. I want better coverage from my T-Mobile service, but everything else T-Mobile does is great.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    SO are they going to dump GSM or CDMA? As far as LTE there is also compatibility problem. Hell T-Mobile Germany is not quite compatible wit the rest of T-Mobile. I think only Verizon ironed out all those issues so you could use pretty much all standards around the world with best LTE channel coverage.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    I love T-moble, really unsure why they would take on so much debt to merge with Sprint. The only reason I can see for them wanting to merge is for the spectrum. I know Sprint has some of the largest ownership of undeveloped spectrum of any carrier. Just feel like this might not be the best deal. A company has to pay for debt someway and usually that's charge the consumers more.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,863member
    georgie01 said:
    I hope this doesn’t happen. There is nothing behind this merger that has the customer’s interest at heart. I like T-Mobile and I don’t like Sprint, and my service with T-Mobile is fine everywhere I go.
    You’d rather have both of them go out of business and be left with only AT&T and Verizon to choose from?
    cornchip
  • Reply 14 of 23
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    georgie01 said:
    I hope this doesn’t happen. There is nothing behind this merger that has the customer’s interest at heart. I like T-Mobile and I don’t like Sprint, and my service with T-Mobile is fine everywhere I go.
    You’d rather have both of them go out of business and be left with only AT&T and Verizon to choose from?
    I don't see any chance T-Mobile goes out of business. Where are you getting that from?
  • Reply 15 of 23
    JhoseaJhosea Posts: 4unconfirmed, member
    georgie01 said:
    I hope this doesn’t happen. There is nothing behind this merger that has the customer’s interest at heart. I like T-Mobile and I don’t like Sprint, and my service with T-Mobile is fine everywhere I go.
    You’d rather have both of them go out of business and be left with only AT&T and Verizon to choose from?
    Well stated. If I traveled in a 20 mile radius then maybe T-Mobile could be an option. 
  • Reply 16 of 23
    Sprint is the worst company I’ve ever dealt with...  the world would be a better place if it didn’t exist.

    This deal is like going to your doctor and saying “I’d like some cancer, please”.

    If anything carries over from Sprints Network or business practices, T-Mobile customers (me) are @#$&*.

    Verizon’s CEO is laughing so hard, he’s going to get a huge pay day as T-Mobile customers jump ship.



    cornchip
  • Reply 17 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,863member
    ktappe said:
    georgie01 said:
    I hope this doesn’t happen. There is nothing behind this merger that has the customer’s interest at heart. I like T-Mobile and I don’t like Sprint, and my service with T-Mobile is fine everywhere I go.
    You’d rather have both of them go out of business and be left with only AT&T and Verizon to choose from?
    I don't see any chance T-Mobile goes out of business. Where are you getting that from?
    T-Mobile needs to grow to remain competitive. The fastest way toward growth and expanding coverage is by "buying customers" with a corporate acquisition. Sprint would be a bargain for them right now.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 18 of 23
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,161member
    Sprint, as is, is not an option for me. The people I know who have it have a lot of coverage problems.

    I have a T-Mo SIM for my iPad and at home I get 5 bars. With ATT I get 1.5. I wish I knew more people with T-Mo so I could verify signal strength at my most frequented locations. The increased signal strength at home, is tempting enough on its own.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,863member
    Aaaaand its already happened. Good for T-mo, I guess. The entire cellular service and ground-based Internet provider industry will soon be facing competition from above with Elon Musk's high-speed satellite service, so competition will be getting fierce.

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/11/spacex-plans-worldwide-satellite-internet-with-low-latency-gigabit-speed/

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/04/spacex-internet-satellites-elon-musk.html

    I see no theoretical reason why cellular service couldn't also be challenged by Musk.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 20 of 23
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    with-low-latency
    Doesn’t it inherently have an 800ms delay?
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