Sprint confirms interest in buying T-Mobile

Sprint confirms interest in buying T-Mobile
There have been rumors circulating for months now that Sprint could be interested in buying T-Mobile, but nothing much has come of it. Now, Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son has admitted that the company is interested in purchasing the UNcarrier. The statement came in a TV interview between Son and Charlie Rose, where Son had a few interesting thoughts on the mobile ecosystem.

Specifically, Son said, "We would like to make the deal happen, but there are steps and details that we have to work out." He went on to explain how the deal would allow the number three and number four major wireless carriers in the U.S. to come together and finally be a true competitor to Verizon and AT&T. However, the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have made it clear that such a deal would face quite a bit of regulatory scrutiny. 

Son believes it will allow Sprint to be competitive with Verizon and AT&T, but regulatory bodies would worry that having only 3 carriers of roughly the same size would decrease competition and hurt consumers. This is a reasonable worry, especially after seeing the commotion T-Mobile has been making with its UNcarrier plans, and how those changes have led to price wars throughout the industry. But, Son says that the deal would allow Sprint to push a faster network more aggressively and offer better prices to compete with the big two. 

We'll have to keep an eye on this. There is no deal right now, but if a deal is agreed upon by both Sprint and T-Mobile, there will be quite a bit of conversation over if it would be a good thing or not. 

source: WSJ

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55 Comments

1. Qbancelli

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 11, 2010

Oh Please God Nooooooo!

21. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Oh Please God Yeeeeeees! I need a good laugh and this will make me sh¡† in my drawers.

51. tuminatr

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I vote yes to its the only way to actually give the US consumer a better deal Verizon and ATT won’t cut their rates unless they are forced. T-mobile is basically broke and Softbank wants to be the market leader by undercutting the competition sounds like a winner for consumers to me

2. TechDork

Posts: 404; Member since: May 10, 2010

How the hell would that even be possible? O_o That'll bring T-Mobile down BIG time. Smh..

23. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

That fall into the abyss won't be too far.

55. tuminatr

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

lol sprint is owned by softbank go read about who they are

3. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I wouldn't mind seeing this happen. IF Sprint honored T-Mobile's customers rate plans pricing and such. Also, Sprint and T-Mobile really need more coverage. Where there is LTE in Sprint, T-Mobile is on 2G EDGE, where there is terrible 3G coverage with Sprint, there is blazing fast LTE with T-Mobile. Just in my area alone. My friend works with me and has T-Mobile, he gets great LTE speeds at my work, I'm stuck on a god awful, nearly unusable 3G with Sprint. However, where I live, I get really excellent Sprint LTE coverage and he gets 2G Edge where I live. Or maybe I'm just being selfish and wishing T-Mobile had the coverage where I live so I could switch to them with no regrets. lol

50. tuminatr

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I think sprints rates are better $45 unlimited talk text and web no contract $35 unlimited talk, text and 3gb of internet and $25 per month unlimited talk, text and 1gb with their framley plan

4. Sparhawk

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 10, 2012

SprinT-Mobile? NexT-Mobile? What will they call themselves? When will Sprint learn that buying competitors with completely incompatible networks is not a good idea? They nearly choked to death on NexTel.

7. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Well, at least LTE is cross-compatible. Sprint's bands at 800 and 1900MHz are FD, like T-mobile's 700 and 1700MHz.

13. WillieFDiaz

Posts: 127; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

That means nothing really. Only a few devices are capable of using 800 ESMR LTE at all, let alone the 1900 PCS G-Block (Band 25) which is not "the same" as 1900 PCS that is in most phones now. Nexus 5 and Sprint devices include it, but AT&T and T-Mobile do not include specifically G-Band PCS meaning the network and device are incompatible and not cross carrier. As for the 700 spectrum its worthless right now, interference is a key issue, being fixed as we speak, then T-Mobile has to deploy it. It also already serves areas that have LTE in the AWS.

29. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Dude stop making a big deal about this. The Nexus 5 proves that you can make a single device that supports AT&T, TMO and Sprint Spark, including tri-band LTE. This is not as big of a deal as it used to be. The bigger deal is the overhead of running 2 separate networks for voice and data. Sprint's new Network Vision infrastructure is much more advanced and flexible than anything TMO has but they are running on CDMA instead of GSM. Either way voice is going to VoLTE within the next several years so they just need to figure out which network they are going to keep and integrate it all into Sprint's NV multi-mode base stations.

37. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

All LTE smartphones sold by T-mobile support at least the 1900MHz band. As for the 700MHz band... both AT&T and Verizon seem quite happy to serve their customers with it, with Verizon even topping everybody else in performance using that band.

39. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

VZW and AT&T use different bands from the one that T-Mobile bought in the 700MHz spectrum. The one T-Mobile bought supposedly has interference with over the air TV channel that is still near it. Though, T-Mobile says it has found a way to fix that and AT&T agreed to include T-Mobile's 700 MHz band class into future phones. I think they're supposed to include band class 12 and 17 into a new band that encompasses both...but for now, no luck. The 600 MHz auction is also supposed to clear the tv channel out of where it is so that there wont be interference anymore, I think.

43. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

The crowded 700MHz band suffers from interference from several sources, not only TV. Both AT&T and Verizon have had local problems with interference with their LTE signals. As this never stopped them, it should not stop T-mobile either.

44. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

I don't know anything about the interference that vzw and at&t suffer with their 700 MHz, only the channel 51 interference that T-Mobile and US cellular will have to find a way to work around until the 600 MHz auction. Are you talking about the reports of certain light bulbs interfering with VZW and AT&T spectrum? Because that's not really the same thing.....

45. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Indeed, where there are TV stations on channel 51 it might present a problem. However, the FCC does not allow LTE using block A of band #12 where there is a TV stations broadcasting on channel 51. The license that T-mobile bought from Verizon is for areas where such frequencies can be used for LTE. IOW, though it may be a problem, the license is for areas where it is not a problem. And things get worse in the crowded 600MHz band...

47. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Yeah, I'm assuming that's what they meant by it won't be a problem. They desperately need to deploy it to help with in-building coverage. And yeah, the 600 MHz is looking like it will be a complete mess, but that doesn't change the fact that it is supposed to clear out channel 51 so that lower band can be used all over the country. The voluntary reverse auction seems like a stupid set-up to me. I really want Sprint and T-Mobile and Dish to pick up a healthy swath of it so that there can be a more fair ground between the carriers. AT&T and Verizon own way too much of the sub-GHz spectrum.

5. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I only want spectrum and greater coverage. Leave everything else alone.

10. Jommick

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

This *can* be good, seeing as the merger isn't Sprint buying T-Mobile, it's Japanese corporation Softbank looking to purchase them - they use frequencies (WCDMA, UMTS) that are more compatible with T-Mobile than Sprint, which can result in decent interoperability and possibly abolition of most of Sprint's old CDMA and EV-DO networks, replacing it with a more sim card friendly network. That could result in better competition, due to unlocked phones etc.; especially if they kept the more eclectic T-Mobile branding.

53. tuminatr

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I think they would need to rebrand you may like T-Mobile but many people don't this is not a bash on them. The most important thing about a cell is that it works where you go and with T-Mobile it simply does not work in a whole lot of the USA. I can only speak of where I live and where I go but in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan (the Upper Peninsula) and Wisconsin other than the metro areas my sprint works way better than the t-mobile I tried from a few months

54. tuminatr

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

and rebrand the other way because just as many hate sprint

6. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... Well, you guys have a point with the extra spectrum and all. I just don't want Sprint mucking up a great thing.

8. AtomicMe

Posts: 24; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

Sprint uses CDMA and TMobile uses GSM. How would that even work?

12. WillieFDiaz

Posts: 127; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

The same way it worked for Telus and Bell in Canada, Telstra and Optus in Australia and so on so forth with all CDMA carriers - they all abandoned and refarmed the CDMA spectrum to GSM/HSPA - just like T-Mobile is doing with MetroPCS. Except in the case of Sprint, they LOOOOOVE CDMA. In fact, the first Sprint network, in Washington DC, called Sprint Spectrum back then was GSM. They loved CDMA more so they abandoned it, sold it off to PowerTel or OmniPoint, which later became T-Mobile anyway, and completely went CDMA. Sprint is 100% dedicated to CDMA though at least 2017. At a minimum. Then they plan to have an LTE network to match, and will begin once again, a new phase of Network Vision, transitioning everyone from CDMA to LTE only. In ALL scenarios, Sprint will keep CDMA and not implement or deploy or overlay any of the network with HSPA if they bought T-Mobile, they would immediately dismantle redundant areas of overlap (98% of it).

36. phonetekmek

Posts: 70; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

T-Mobile just bought CDMA metro PCS and that has had few hickups. A merger of dfferent tech isn't as cumbersome as it was in the 90's. Plus the Nextel merger was pre Dan Hesse and with Softbank running the show I have even more faith in the success and consumer benefit to this merger. This needs to happen. Plus bottom line is T-Mobile WILL be sold I would rather it be Sprint who is known for lower price points and unlimited data vs some unkwown entity that may reverse course.

52. tuminatr

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Ok here is a bit of trivia, who launched the first GSM network in the USA?? aww you know that one sprint in the Washington DC area. Here is my novice understanding when Sprint upgraded to LTE and started offering sim card based phones there are not huge differences in the networks anymore and there is a protocol to make them compatible

9. WillieFDiaz

Posts: 127; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"Son says that the deal would allow Sprint to push a faster network more aggressively and offer better prices to compete with the big two. " - Umm, no it won't. The fact is that Sprint has major spectrum balances and has the ability to push a faster network more aggressively, they just do not want to. They would rather be like AT&T and buy out the competition for the customers, extra spectrum they really do not need at all, and then they will raise prices just the same as the other two have done. There is killing one competitor that is large enough to make the other three crap their pants, even without the large network. As for Sprint competing with price, Sprint CAN do this, they chose not to. The Framily plan is not much of a deal until you hit 7 members, and going over actually makes no added benefit. The Unlimited My Way plan is more THEIR way than it is yours, and still has a high price tag, roughly $30 more than T-Mobile. I would hate to see this forced onto T-Mobile customers as "..a great value..".

11. jskates420

Posts: 40; Member since: Jun 29, 2013

Bringing tmobile down? You guys are idiots sprints coverage is better than tmobile,sprint spark leaves tmobile in dust if anything itll help sprint get coverage in areas where they dont have non shoot even now they worked on they're 3g and its very usable dont speak if you dont own a spark enabled phone.

14. DigitalJedi_X2

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

Then maybe you shouldn't speak if you don't own a T-Mobile LTE enabled device? T-Mobile LTE has routinely been proven faster than even At&t and Verizon in some instances. Sprint may have a longer reach, but their data speeds are crap. Especially compared to T-Mobile.

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