Here's what a combined T-Mobile-Sprint network spectrum coverage would look like
After a few unsuccessful merger tangos with Comcast and other eligible bachelors, Sprint and T-Mobile are back at it, it seems. The two smaller US carriers are again exploring a partnership or buyout of some sorts, tip analysts, and have apparently agreed to the broad strokes, with the details still being ironed out, and an announcement likely to come as soon as next month.
The thing is, both Sprint and T-Mobile carry enough weight to result in a formidable alliance in terms of subscriber numbers, rivaling the two big boys Verizon and AT&T. When it comes to coverage, though, the US juggernauts have a genuine advantage in rural areas, whereas Sprint and T-Mobile are only on par in cities and major roads, so their networks would overlap there, but the merger is unlikely to create the best US carrier in terms of overall coverage.
A network is as good as its potential, i.e., spectrum licenses, though, and T-Mobile is well positioned in the long-distance low-band spectrum with its $8 billion acquisition at the 600MHz level, while Sprint holds copious amounts in the short distance high-bands. Some of these will probably have to be divested for anti-monopoly purposes if a merger is to take place, but still, a combined network will hold a huge promise - if not an immediate one, then for future rollouts.
This is why research firm Mosaik which specializes in carrier coverage maps, databases and analysis on the corporate level, has tried to plot what a combined T-Mobile-Sprint network coverage would look like, considering the band licenses each carrier holds, and the picture is pretty rosy, sorry, violet. Granted, all of these spectrum nuggets each one holds will take months and years to flesh out and show synergies for subscribers to hop from one T-Sprint tower to the next without a hitch throughout the US, but the potential for network development is certainly better than if these two are on their own. We only hope that the cheaper plans, better discounts and subsidies will stay after a merger, as the history has shown that the bigger they are, the harder they bargain.