back to article Sprint, T-Mobile US sitting in a tree, M-E-R-G-I-N-G

T-Mobile US will acquire rival Sprint for US$26.5 billion in stock, a transaction both mobile carriers hope will give them a lead in 5G. The cell networks announced the agreement on April 29. The two telcos hope together they can bulk up enough to do battle with Verizon and AT&T in the next generation wireless market. T- …

  1. Shadow Systems

    What a load of crap...

    America's underdog T-Mo hooking up with America's shittiest carrier Sprint? T-Mo is a pure GSM network while Sprint is CDMA, so until & unless you go to the 4G tech & beyond the two networks can't even talk to each other. You certainly can't take a Sprint phone & switch it to T-Mo's network or vice versa, not unless it's a pure 4G device.

    TFA is correct in mentioning that the regulators have stomped on this idea every time before, the loss of competition is just too big of a deal to set aside. America only has four big carriers in the field, reducing it by consolodating two of them so there would only be three? That's not competition, that's the exact opposite of it. We need MORE players on the field not fewer.

    I wish America were more like you on the other side of the Pond in this one - all one carrier tech (GSM) so the carriers had to actually compete to get our business, device makers had to make devices that worked with any carrier so the customer could use it anywhere, and switching devices/carriers was as easy as swapping a SIM card. You lucky bastards. =-Jp

    1. DerGoat

      Re: What a load of crap...

      My guess is than now Sprint will move to GMS.

      Think about it. If this is about 5G, then this is the right time to upgrade all the antennas.

      As for only three large carriers, read some economics: (from Wikipedia)

      The rule of three in business and economics is a rule of thumb suggesting that there are always three major competitors in any free market within any one industry. This was put forward by Bruce Henderson of the Boston Consulting Group in 1976,[1] and has been tested by Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia in 2002, analyzing performance data and comparing it to market share. This is an attempt to explain how, in mature markets, there are usually three 'major players' in a competitive market.[2]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a load of crap...

        No, Sprint towers will dump CDMA and go all LTE (or be phased out where there is already good T-Mobile coverage)

        Verizon is dumping CDMA/EVDO by the end of next year (you won't be able to activate a non-LTE phone on their network after this June) so most likely they will do the same for Sprint's network. There are enough GSM non-phone devices (medical monitors, alarms, data loggers and so forth) that use GSM that GSM coverage will need to be maintained for the foreseeable future, but CDMA will be a thing of the past quite soon - it was probably one of the reasons Sprint wanted to do this as upgrading their entire network to all-LTE like Verizon is doing is not cheap!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a load of crap...

          CDMA/GSM is the radio protocol. LTE is the data/voice protocol running on top of the radio protocol.

          Saying a company is ditching CDMA and moving to LTE is like saying you are ditching the Internet and moving to the World Wide Web.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: What a load of crap...

      You certainly can't take a Sprint phone & switch it to T-Mo's network or vice versa, not unless it's a pure 4G device.

      Well, there's where it's headed. Sprint committed to a common standard for 4G once it realised that Intel's WiMax was going nowhere. Having been on IDEN it couldn't afford not to join in.

      Anyway, Softbank needs the cash to pay off some debt so the deal was going to happen sometime. Expect the Sprint brand to disappear quickly.

    3. Jeffrey Nonken

      Re: What a load of crap...

      Plenty of modern phones do both. Just get the American edition and not the international edition.

      I'm hoping they'll come out with a SIM that'll let us use both networks seamlessly, thus combining their coverage. Project Fi already does this, but only for special phones. *sigh* It'll probably a firmware change too. But I can hope.

  2. Dr Scrum Master

    It's technically an acquisition, but the headline fit so perfectly we couldn't resist

    ...sitting in a tree A-C-Q-U-I-R-I-N-G?

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: It's technically an acquisition, but the headline fit so perfectly we couldn't resist

      Passable rhyme (the only one given the limited source pattern), unacceptable meter.


    2. Jeffrey Nonken

      Re: It's technically an acquisition, but the headline fit so perfectly we couldn't resist

      A poet who came from Japan

      Wrote limericks that didn't quite scan.

      When they said "But the thing

      "Doesn't go with a swing"

      He said, "Yes, but I always try to put as many syllables into the last line as I possibly can."

  3. Steve Knox

    The deal almost certainly won't sail through, given the competitive implications that flow from reducing the number of major mobile carriers in America. So brace for regulatory rumblings a-plenty before the deal goes down.

    Have you forgotten who's running the regulatory show on this side of the pond right now?

    Given that, I'd say the odds of a serious regulatory block are significantly lower than you imply here -- unless Sinclair Broadcast Group feels threatened.

  4. IglooDude

    This is a lot more palatable than AT&T swallowing T-Mobile. Given the 2G/3G technologies each carrier relied on, T-Mobile has primarily been fighting with AT&T (and has been gaining ground), whereas Sprint has been losing badly against Verizon. Sure all four carriers now get to a common technology with LTE, but there's no way Sprint can catch up, so giving T-Mobile a boost to compete against AT&T and Verizon (especially given the latters' ISP business advantages) makes more competitive sense. Though ATT/Verizon's ISP broadband businesses will probably get Pai to shoot this one down, objecting to Deutsche Telekom/Softbank somehow.

  5. noodle heimer

    Thoughts about Sprint's MPLS network?

    Readers - and maybe vultures? - any thoughts on how Sprint's wireline offerings, in particular their much-touted MPLS offerings, will fare after the merger? Is that a business tmo has any interest in at all, something they may spin out to satisfy regulators?

    I haven't seen any coverage in the tech press on this, and frankly I don't care much about cell coverage.

  6. jonnycando

    Sprint dual mode phones WILL jump to GSM if the phone plan allows it. When I go into Canada it joins Rogers which is GSM...step across the border again, and it's back on CDMA. All they will need is a PRL that tells the phone that TMO networks on GSM and whatever roaming partners there are OK to lock onto and use. Obviously you could not switch modes while in call though.

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