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.

source: Mosaik via BGR

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26 Comments

1. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Poop plus garbage.

16. Brewski

Posts: 693; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

True on their own, but put them together and that's a big steamy pile that VZW and AT&T might not be able to ignore.

2. joinboone

Posts: 50; Member since: Jul 24, 2017

That was interesting

6. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It is, but I don't like the idea of just three networks.

9. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

There will be 4, you forgot to include U.S. Cellular. Plus there a bunch of smaller companies that don't have anything to do with the big 5.

10. g2a5b0e unregistered

No, I think he was accurate. U.S. Cellular has 5 million customers in 23 states. You can't lump them together with the 4 big national carriers. Even Sprint, the smallest of the 4 has 60 million customers & serves all 50 states. Considering that all these smaller carriers you speak of aren't an option for most people, they're barely worth mentioning.

22. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

There not Nationwide carriers. I know the name sounds like it but us cellular is super small and pocketed

26. royman

Posts: 17; Member since: Jul 04, 2017

lol U.S. Cellular... Shouldn't they be concerned with like Boost mobile or Metro PCS?

13. Greenmule

Posts: 129; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

What do we do about this: "It is worth pointing out that by eliminating the 50% offer, Sprint could be shifting its focus. Instead of looking to aggressively add to its customer base, this could be more of a shift toward profitability. **Sprint has not had a profitable year since 2006.**" Link to that article:http://247wallst.com/telecom-wireless/2017/04/05/is-sprint-signaling-a-shift-in-focus-toward-profitability/ It's difficult to compete while on life support. Softbank and Masayoshi Son are done with it.

19. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

yup since they screwed up nextel should have been next-sprint

25. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Three strong networks makes for better customer choice IMO than two strong and two weak. Especially if they keep up T-Mo's aggressive marketing.

3. NewroticSlob

Posts: 182; Member since: May 09, 2013

Would Sprint drop CDMA? How would that work?

4. combatmedic870

Posts: 984; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Cdma is just old school 3g.

7. tuminatr

Posts: 1124; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Exactly both carriers have a LTE network and that what people are using

11. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

Plus T-Mo has experiencing in sunsetting a CDMA network already after they acquired MetroPCS and converted them from CDMA to GSM/LTE.

12. Greenmule

Posts: 129; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

Currently, Sprint has not perfected VoLTE. They are "working" on it. Other people on other websites indicate that they are satisfied with Sprint. IMO, if Deutsche Telekom buys Sprint, then combines them with T-Mobile, everyone using that Carrier will be on VoLTE. IMO, AT&T and VZW have split-up the IOT market. I do not know how many IOT customers that T-Mo and Sprint have between them; however, as a percent of the total IOT universe, I think the number is small. Next, as far as the bands in the "smartphones" go, an OTA update will unlock the LTE bands that Sprint has software inhibited. Time to move on to VoLTE. You want a basic phone?...go talk to VZW (they have 9 of them) or talk to USCC.

18. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Easy. You just change the frequency. AM and FM are basically the same, just a diffeent bandwidth. Since AM isn't stereo normally (some AM station do broadcast in stereo), its band is a lower frequency due to the need for less bandwidth. CDMA has huge advantages over GSM. Like less interference, stronger reach from less towers. LTE is faster due to less interference and more. CDMA carries voice better than GSM. CDMA has less users vs GSM, which means the network overall is usually consistently faster. Downside is the signal is poor inside structures with huge metal skeletons and heavy concrete. GSM has downsides too. The signal doesn't travel far, which means you need more towers. GSM doesn't work in hospitals because the signal is blocked do to its interference with medical related products. GSM has plus like it works in subway tunnels.

20. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

any network cdma and gsm work in subways with a repeater line, line my building i am in sprint worked fine under 5 feet of concrete others no then after 911 gov kicked sprint off that sweet 800 band and put them on 1900 and 1800 and it all went to hell, but the county came in and put repeater lines in all halls underground to help signals for 911 radios that are on the 800 frq

24. tuminatr

Posts: 1124; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

your half right, in building has more to do with frequency and network build out. As for the T-Mobile & Sprint the debate on 2g tech is pointless the networks will turn off in the next few years anyway. I think ATT has already turned off their GSM network and is strictly LTE. The other three Sprint, Verizon and T-mobile can do the same and then other than the frequency they will all have essentially the same LTE networks.

5. palmguy

Posts: 982; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Nextel all over again.

8. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

Well I don't agree that its Nextel all over again because sprint has a lot to offer in terms of being acquired. In 2005 when Sprint acquired Nextel; there was not one benefit at all. I think the industry has learned a lot. I think it will foster innovation because now the Two big carriers will have a new competitor

14. drazwy

Posts: 355; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

This is a good thing. Now, Tmo and Sprint customers will finally have much improved nationwide coverage. And AT&T and Verizon will have true nationwide competition. Verizon won't be able to monopolize the nationwide coverage market. In the past, if you need that kind of coverage Verizon really was your only option. Now, you will have another option. If the sprint/tmo company stays aggressive it's gonna force Verizon and AT&T to compete. You've already seen it with just Tmo. It's going to be better. Whats the difference between 4 big companies and 3 big companies? What's the problem here? I don't get it. How about we just make 50 companies. One for each state. It will be awesome!!!!!!! When you roam you'll get restricted data limits and speed. It will be glorious!

15. travisj.williams

Posts: 5; Member since: May 15, 2017

Why Don't they just talk about the coverage of GoogleFi? Are they not T-Mo with Sprint Already??

17. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

I seriously don't see the FCC allowing the merger for lots of reasons. 1 - such a merger would produce anti-competitive behavior which the feds are suppose to be against. 2 - T-Mo's prices would also go up to match VZW and ATT who are both way expensive, forcing many to drop to names like MetroPCS which is basically Tmo...Virgin, who is actually VZW in disguise. 3 - with 2 large GSM networks, VZW would increase prices as being exclusive with CDMA with no competition and they will be more hate. The only good could be. With 2 large GSM networks, VZW could be forced to go GSM, which means the FCC would now deal with GSM bands only and we would be like Europe and all cellphones would be unlocked and open for usage of our choice. That would be awesome. But because corps own the US Gov't, its just a pipe dream.

21. audibot

Posts: 634; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

not anymore i think if they are willing to pay and bring in massive jobs trumps fcc will allow this time. think about it if comcast does make the deal to become a real cell provider, and att buys or merges with time warner. sprint tmobile may need to happen

23. Jason78

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 10, 2013

Mergers almost always result in the combined company employing less people not more.

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