T-Mobile, Sprint Close to Agreeing on Deal Terms for Merger

Megalith

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In a transaction that would significantly consolidate the US telecommunications market, T-Mobile is close to joining forces with Sprint: the union is attractive because of the scale and potential for cost-cutting it would bring, allowing the bigger company to increase investments in areas like 5G, thus gaining an edge on the larger wireless carriers.

A merger would create a business with more than 130 million subscribers, just behind Verizon and AT&T. Revenues would top $70 billion and analysts say there would be massive scope to cut costs. Sprint shares were up 5 percent in afternoon trading in New York on Friday to $8.44, giving the company a market capitalization of close to $34 billion. T-Mobile shares were up 0.4 percent to $63.66, giving that company a market capitalization of around $53 billion.
 

Fifliffl

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How much will this help T-Mobile? Isn't Tmobile GSM and sprint CDMA?

Curious Tmobile customer here with not enough time to read the article at work =p
 

Ocellaris

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How much will this help T-Mobile? Isn't Tmobile GSM and sprint CDMA?

Curious Tmobile customer here with not enough time to read the article at work =p

LTE bands are GSM I think. Bust mostly this gives T Mobile many millions of new customers.
 

Gigus Fire

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i don't really understand this at all. They've been trying to sell t-mobile for years. Now they want to merge/buy with the worst carrier out there? Tmobile is gsm and sprint is cdma. Sprint has more crap like wimax which never took off and slowed their rollout of lte, as well as other bad ideas like buying nextel and then nuking the service. Consolidation of service providers is just bad overall for customers.
 

Brokennails

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This would be great if they set it up like project fi. Also as long as plan pricing doesn’t raise.
 

Spidey329

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fuck sprint,

this should be a goddamn buyout! TMO is FAR BETTER!!!

From my understanding, it basically is. Tmo's CEO would still be in control.

TMo wants the tower footprint (cheaper to swap equipment than bring up a new tower). Sprint also has some spectrum and newer portions of their network are LTE (GSM).

I do think many corporations are too big and thus pose a risk to society/the economy. But, I'm not too worried about this, as it's not a #2 buying a #3 to become #1 (or #1 buying #3 to be even bigger). It's #3 buying #4 to compete against the giants in #1 and #2.

Just like with banking and certain technologies, certain firms in the telecommunications business have been allowed to get too big and powerful. Mergers are the only way to compete, besides regulatory breakups.
 

Chunder

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As some have said, the 3rd biggest buying the 4th will help them compete against #1 and #2, while still keeping T-Mobile at #3. It's a shame that we need to merge companies to compete, but we don't have the political environment needed to break #1 and #2 up, again.... and we're even further away from having the political environment needed for building a top of the line, unified national grid, while charging companies for the privilege of using and using those funds to maintain and upgrade it like a lot of other modern nations have been doing successfully. (The greatest of them being South Korea)
 

entropism

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Forget CDMA/GSM, because in the near future it won't matter. Everyone is preparing to transition to full on LTE, and using a 2G GSM network as a fallback will be simple.

Gigus Fire yes, originally DT was looking to sell T-Mo, but when Legere took over as CEO, he's made them not only profitable, but one of DT's star franchises. The original rumors would have been Softbank (Sprint's owners) absorbing T-mo, keeping Legere as CEO, and moving the Sprint brand name to T-Mo. Of course, Sprint continued their pathetic freefall, and T-Mobile has gotten large enough to threaten the industry, so everything has shifted.

Spidey329 this actually is pretty concerning for the industry. For the past few years, T-Mobile was setting the standard for pricing, and forcing Verizon and AT&T to make their plans more cost effective. In the past few months, they've raised their plans enough that now a 4 person plan can actually be MORE than a Verizon 4 person plan. Eliminating Sprint as the hail mary "holy shit we need subscribers!" budget option will only drive prices up, potentially going back to the days when Verizon and AT&T were racing to make everything cost MORE.

I really see nothing good coming from this merger.
 

gabhpr

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i don't really understand this at all. They've been trying to sell t-mobile for years. Now they want to merge/buy with the worst carrier out there? Tmobile is gsm and sprint is cdma. Sprint has more crap like wimax which never took off and slowed their rollout of lte, as well as other bad ideas like buying nextel and then nuking the service. Consolidation of service providers is just bad overall for customers.
Sprint went with wimax because of regulations to spectrum they had. They had to get something out in time or lose said spectrum. Shutting down nextel did wonders for having spectrum to use. If this goes through, tmobile/sprint would have a fuckton better spectrum than att and verizon combined .
 

Poseur

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Please to be excusing my mediocre Photoshop skills.


SprinT.jpg
 

~CS~

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Forget CDMA/GSM, because in the near future it won't matter. Everyone is preparing to transition to full on LTE, and using a 2G GSM network as a fallback will be simple.

Gigus Fire yes, originally DT was looking to sell T-Mo, but when Legere took over as CEO, he's made them not only profitable, but one of DT's star franchises. The original rumors would have been Softbank (Sprint's owners) absorbing T-mo, keeping Legere as CEO, and moving the Sprint brand name to T-Mo. Of course, Sprint continued their pathetic freefall, and T-Mobile has gotten large enough to threaten the industry, so everything has shifted.

Spidey329 this actually is pretty concerning for the industry. For the past few years, T-Mobile was setting the standard for pricing, and forcing Verizon and AT&T to make their plans more cost effective. In the past few months, they've raised their plans enough that now a 4 person plan can actually be MORE than a Verizon 4 person plan. Eliminating Sprint as the hail mary "holy shit we need subscribers!" budget option will only drive prices up, potentially going back to the days when Verizon and AT&T were racing to make everything cost MORE.

I really see nothing good coming from this merger.

Completely agree, Tmobiles old (no longer offered) plans had better features and offered more value, then the new plans that replaced them. I can only see this merger as a long term negative, the only reason it should be allowed to go trough, is if Sprint will fail without it, otherwise they should compete, and be the new value for money option, that t mobile used to be.
 

Gigus Fire

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Sprint went with wimax because of regulations to spectrum they had. They had to get something out in time or lose said spectrum. Shutting down nextel did wonders for having spectrum to use. If this goes through, tmobile/sprint would have a fuckton better spectrum than att and verizon combined .
Are you sure about this? The synopsis i got was that they didn't want to pay the licensing fees related to LTE and developed their own tech for 4g like bandwidth, but it was never fully rolled out/implemented properly and no one else adopted wimax.

I don't understand why you buy out a competitor who does direct to direct communication just to shut them down. Unless you're flush with cash (which i don't think sprint ever has been) it's just a lossy venture.
 

d8lock

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Sprint went with wimax because of regulations to spectrum they had. They had to get something out in time or lose said spectrum. Shutting down nextel did wonders for having spectrum to use. If this goes through, tmobile/sprint would have a fuckton better spectrum than att and verizon combined .
They gained nextel's network to then kill it off right away and offer a shittier "sprint direct connect". I miss the "chirp".
 
D

Deleted member 82943

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if anything this would put pressure on ATT and Verizon to compete on prices more. The two major players nickel and dime us all

I'm on one line, no phone hardware bill (own it out right), 11% corporate discount, 10GB on ATT and I pay 115 a month. WTF!
 

Brian_B

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if anything this would put pressure on ATT and Verizon to compete on prices more. The two major players nickel and dime us all

I'm on one line, no phone hardware bill (own it out right), 11% corporate discount, 10GB on ATT and I pay 115 a month. WTF!

It’s that data plan. I agree - ridiculous.

As far as Gigas Fire’s comment about “why buyout just to close” - tons of reasons. The most common is that it’s the easiest way to eliminate a competitor and gain all their customers in one stroke. For a cellular company, there could be a lot more: tower installs, FCC licenses, technology, etc.

With regard to the OP: I am pessimistic about the merger as well. I don’t see this leading to a race to the bottom, I think this is more about TMO gaining sufficient marketshare such that they can afford to raise their margins a bit — part of that comes from economy of scale of having a larger company, part of that comes from being able to charge customers more (knowing ATT and Verizon aren’t going to push prices down on their own).
 

SnowBeast

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if anything this would put pressure on ATT and Verizon to compete on prices more. The two major players nickel and dime us all

I'm on one line, no phone hardware bill (own it out right), 11% corporate discount, 10GB on ATT and I pay 115 a month. WTF!

See how TMO is in your area. They are just plain better for me in Detroit Metro area. I was with AT&T back when it was Cingular, then AT&T for 15 years. 19% business discount (don't remember the gigs) $120 a month because of $15 a gig over limit. I tried and tried to get a LOYAL customer discount, unlimited, anything! AT&T didn't do shit for me. I switched to TMOBILE January 2014, $100 up to 4 lines, UNLIMITED without extra charges, gave me money for my previous phones, My Bill hasn't changed at all! Always different with AT&T. Then TMOBILE expanded their service in a huge way and I was getting better speeds than with AT&T. Then they came out throwing all kinds of free shit my way with TMO Tuesdays.(free movies on Vudu, gas, food) And I got a share in their stock. At the time it was $43 a share, now almost $70. I will never ever go back to AT&T or Verizon. Oh and Mon-Friday you talk with some from Tennessee at their U.S. Based customer support! SAY WHAT??? Getting upgrades and deals on new phones is pretty easy with them, give you more.

Sprint people will be happy to get a better network once they upgrade their gear though.
 
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Funny that this is possibly being a thing again, since I proposed to my family back at the end of 2014 that we dump Sprint for T-Mobile to save a crapton of money (we're talking a $333+ monthly bill around one of their old Everything Data 1500 plans that had four or five phone lines and a tablet line), and they only decided to bite the bullet around January 2017. From one carrier to another, and it seems like the new provider is about to eat up our old one.

Of course, since all our phones predated that fateful February 2015 date, none were officially domestically unlockable and we had to get new phones, largely owing to the CDMA/GSM divide and Sprint locking out all the LTE bands they don't use anyway (which made using my Note 4 a pain until I got my new Note 8; I did a GalaxyTools/idoneapps unlock to bide my time because of the whole cockup with the Note 7).

This is what has me concerned about a Sprint/T-Mobile merger more than anything - the cost for Sprint customers with older phones that don't officially support domestic SIM unlocking (and likely with crippled LTE bands anyway) to be effectively forced to upgrade. It smacks of what Sprint did to Nextel all those years back, and I can imagine Nextel customers weren't too happy about having to retire their old phones due to losing iDEN. Of course, it was a bid to get access to Nextel's spectrum and nothing else.

On the other hand, 1G/2G GSM networks are also being retired around the world, and that makes for a lot of customers with old dumbphones that are about to lose service on their existing hardware. Such is life when there are few other options to free up available spectrum than to retire legacy technologies. Already happened with analog over-the-air TV years ago.

The good news, at least, is that if it goes through, John Legere will still be running the show, as if nothing changed other than T-Mobile devouring Sprint in practice.
 

RanceJustice

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Verizon and ATT are both price-gouging, restrictive catastrophes and have been so for ages. It has been down to T-mo and to a lesser extent Sprint to offer a reasonable alternative and force competition, price wise. Up until recently T-mobile was by far the best GSM/LTE carrier in terms of plans/price and policies (ie unlocking, generally android friendly, visual voicemail and whatnot built in without secondary app, LTE speeds etc). However, their success has caused their slimeball of a CEO to get extra-greedy and started the whole shitstain of "zero rating" certain content, normalizing violations of Net Neutrality in a way that the customer THINKS is in their best interest. That is a virulent pathogen that others have been following, sadly. T-mobile overall still isn't bad compared to their competitors in some ways, but they need to be "kept honest" and I don't think consuming Sprint is going to help in that regard.

Frankly, I think we need to do the same thing with mobile broadband as we should with fiber - assume public control of the hardware (in this case, towers), and lease access to them to anyone who wants to run a mobile ISP. It would greatly lower costs thanks to the public ownership of the hardware, accelerate technology increases because of not having to mete out various frequencies to various people while ensuring the best tech is added instead of stupid redundancies (ie the GSM vs CDMA carrier wars where there were tons of incompatible towers in the same area etc), and allow for lower barriers to entry and greater competition among ISPs. If we do all the above and put in proper regulations to protect We The People (who now own the towers), it will be a huge benefit. History has shown we simply cannot trust telecoms to do anything but line their own pockets, mobile or otherwise. This would be a way to intercede and take away their control instead of letting them consolidate again and again, while the customers lose out.
 
D

Deleted member 82943

Guest
See how TMO is in your area. They are just plain better for me in Detroit Metro area. I was with AT&T back when it was Cingular, then AT&T for 15 years. 19% business discount (don't remember the gigs) $120 a month because of $15 a gig over limit. I tried and tried to get a LOYAL customer discount, unlimited, anything! AT&T didn't do shit for me. I switched to TMOBILE January 2014, $100 up to 4 lines, UNLIMITED without extra charges, gave me money for my previous phones, My Bill hasn't changed at all! Always different with AT&T. Then TMOBILE expanded their service in a huge way and I was getting better speeds than with AT&T. Then they came out throwing all kinds of free shit my way with TMO Tuesdays.(free movies on Vudu, gas, food) And I got a share in their stock. At the time it was $43 a share, now almost $70. I will never ever go back to AT&T or Verizon. Oh and Mon-Friday you talk with some from Tennessee at their U.S. Based customer support! SAY WHAT??? Getting upgrades and deals on new phones is pretty easy with them, give you more.

Sprint people will be happy to get a better network once they upgrade their gear though.
The last time I was on T-Mobile the lte cell coverage in portland was pretty bad
 

Gigus Fire

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The last time I was on T-Mobile the lte cell coverage in portland was pretty bad
Between 2005-2010 i was on tmobile for work and their coverage was spotty as hell.
Around 2014-cuirrent i switched from sprint to tmobile and never looked back. Their coverage is as good as verizon in most places now a days. their plans are great, especially if you can wait and get one of those black friday deals.

I snagged a 4 family line deal for 120 and 4 s7 edges for 200$ each (credit to the line basically for 2 years) last november. Service is great, 25-27 gig cap on data, most video and audio streaming don't count towards cap. What else is there not to like?
 

entropism

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They gained nextel's network to then kill it off right away and offer a shittier "sprint direct connect". I miss the "chirp".

9 years. Sprint bought Nextel in 2004 and closed it down in 2013. They didn't buy it to "kill it off right away". They kept Nextel alive DESPITE itself, and it's still alive today, but just as an enterprise and government exclusive. Remember, Nextel technology could barely handle data. When Sprint phones were bumping 2-3mb/s, Nextel was at 20kb, and it's not because Sprint never bothered. it just wasn't ABLE to handle it. For a while Sprint was trying to make phones that used Nextel bands for voice and CDMA/WiMax for data, and it fucking flopped, because of size and battery issues.

I worked at Sprint from 2007-2010. Nextel needed to die, and Sprint should have killed it off sooner.
 

scojer

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T-Mobile bought MetroPCS which was CDMA and converted it all to GSM.
I'm sure they'd do just fine absorbing Sprint's CDMA/WiMax network.
I hope that T-Mobile buys Sprint, and transforms it into a prepaid service, not postpaid.
 

htpc_user

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I'm with Sprint. Just got it back in June or July. $90/month for 4 lines with an option to add a 5th line for free. I was with Boost Mobile so I was already on Sprint's network. My wife tried Metro PCS last year but the network was horrible. Hopefully if this happens I can get in on all those T Mobile specials the customers get + have a network I can actually use.
 

Private_Ops

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I'll stick to my good old Straight-talk via AT&T. They just put out a new "plan", $35 a month, unlimited text/talk with like.. 2 or 3 GBs of data (I forget exactly right now). My phone is on wifi most of the time anyway but text/talk is what I need the most because of work.

Coverage in my area has been absolutely great.
 
D

Deleted member 82943

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Between 2005-2010 i was on tmobile for work and their coverage was spotty as hell.
Around 2014-cuirrent i switched from sprint to tmobile and never looked back. Their coverage is as good as verizon in most places now a days. their plans are great, especially if you can wait and get one of those black friday deals.

I snagged a 4 family line deal for 120 and 4 s7 edges for 200$ each (credit to the line basically for 2 years) last november. Service is great, 25-27 gig cap on data, most video and audio streaming don't count towards cap. What else is there not to like?
The extended LTE maps look really good. But my iPhone 6 isn’t supported. I’m on this shit device until I can preorder the X
 

entropism

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T-Mobile bought MetroPCS which was CDMA and converted it all to GSM.

Metro was actually an amalgam of both, depending what area you were in. Some places were CDMA, some were HSPA, and none (Some?) of the phones worked on both. That's why Metro was a joke, and still is, in a lot of people's eyes. Now it's basically a cheaper T-Mo without some of the perks like T-Mo Tuesdays and free netflix.
 
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