UBS: Sprint and T-Mobile merger is likely

UBS: Sprint and T-Mobile merger is likely
According to UBS Analyst John Hodulik, the FCC auction of 600MHz spectrum that has been ongoing for what feels like eons, is preventing wireless executives from sitting down to discuss possible merger transactions. Once the auction is concluded in the upcoming weeks, Hodulik believes that T-Mobile and Sprint will sit down to hammer out a merger agreement. A Sprint-T-Mobile merger has been rumored before, but with regulators like the FCC and the FTC not ready at the time to sign off on such a deal, there have been some changes that improve the odds of getting such a transaction approved.

With T-Mobile now growing rapidly thanks to the use of heavy marketing and promotional deals, this might be the best time to combine it with Sprint in an effort to take on Verizon and AT&T. A deal would also give T-Mobile access to Sprint's large inventory of high frequency spectrum. This could dovetail nicely with T-Mobile's use of low frequency 700MHz airwaves. In addition, the current administration is into deregulation which means that the FCC and FTC might look at a merger quite differently.

T-Mobile's popularity and improving financial position means that the carrier isn't as desperate to make a deal like it once was. And if it does get involved in a merger, it could find itself being bought by some of the wireless content providers like Dish Network and Comcast that have made their intentions to enter the business crystal clear.

UBS' Hodulik says that between T-Mobile and Sprint, it is the former that is in the better position to receive a merger proposal because of its strong financials and "strategic" value. Still, the analyst believes that a T-Mobile-Sprint combination is the most likely scenario once the FCC auction concludes and wireless executives get back to business.

source: FierceWireless



1. kiko007

Posts: 7499; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Please God, don't let this happen!

2. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1831; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

This is bad business...

3. tyger11

Posts: 292; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

This would make for a real competitor to Verizon & AT&T, especially with the recent declaration from SoftBank that they wouldn't oppose TMo being in charge of the combined company. Combine the towers and spectrum, in addition to however much 600MHz spectrum TMo gets, some more regional spectrum trades after the fact with Verizon and/or AT&T (which has happened before), and this would be great for Tmo customers. ONLY if Tmo is in charge, though.

7. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

softbank said straight up that once merged they would drastically raise prices. Their goal was "Canadian levels". Yout dont want the merger.

10. cc2400

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 21, 2014

link for reference?

12. jweaver

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 23, 2017

The part I agree with is a better competitor. It really would benefit both Sprint and T-Mobile customers. T-Mobile customers get access to high speed Band 41 and 800MHz and Sprint customers will get access to 700MHz and 600MHz if T-Mobile won the auction which is the key part of the auction, whoever wins. Both get more spectrum that would outnumber everyone drastically. If the merger does go through I doubt any spectrum will happen with the new company as much as it has happened due to new company would control so much spectrum. However if Comcast tries to step their sorry rears in to buy either of them out, I will literally sue them to block it with the claim they are already a monopoly that can't make their own services work. If Comcast does try to step in the FCC will need them to make a huge promise to them to replace every inch of the network with all brand new fiber optic lines and way less coax.

13. jweaver

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 23, 2017

That's for another time.

5. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

No Merge, less choice less competition. If it wasn't because Tmobile shake up mobile industry last last few years, the unlimited data probably no where near what we have today. On top that, they will slap kind fee on top........ make all those CEO check fatter.

11. cc2400

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 21, 2014

sprint is a sinking ship already. If They basically do a reverse merger, where tmobile runs the combined company, I would be good with that.

21. jweaver

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 23, 2017

Not entirely true. You will later have Google which in the US uses both T-Mo and Sprint as an MVNO which creates another carrier and Comcast to use Verizon as a MVNO as well which creates another carrier which in result more competition comes in than ever before.

6. boriqua2000

Posts: 258; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

Competition is great for consumers. Don't let this happen Trump.

14. jweaver

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 23, 2017

They really can't compete if they don't have the network to do it.

8. tokuzumi

Posts: 1919; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

As long as this means Sprint's CDMA network is going away, this will be a good thing.

15. jweaver

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 23, 2017

It might or it might not. T-Mobile kept MetroPCS CDMA alive for a while even though it was decommissioned later. Overall, it might go or it might stay with GSM. Personally, I believe GSM sucks more because of worse quality roaming then CDMA

9. lJesseCusterl

Posts: 96; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

Wow, two s**te networks merging? I'm sure the Death Star and Big Red are just terrified.

16. jweaver

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 23, 2017

That means it won't make a difference really by what you're saying. No they are not. They have greatly improved over a few years in all categories such as speed and reliability. However, the greatest variable that determines if a carrier is good or bad is the area. For my area, both Verizon and AT&T suck badly.

23. LyannaStark

Posts: 91; Member since: Apr 07, 2017

Jesse, when was the last time you looked at a T-Mobile speed test?

17. k9luvr

Posts: 122; Member since: Oct 17, 2016

What do you get when you combine two smaller carriers with inadequate signal coverage> One big Carrier with inadequate signal coverage. This changes everything - NOT

20. jweaver

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 23, 2017

They have great signal coverage overall, as i have said the biggest factor is area, that one one factor alone controls almost everything people would use to define a carrier.

18. Naytess

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 08, 2010

If Sprint had to merge with any company...I'd want it to be T-Mo. But, MORE carriers are always better for consumers than fewer carriers. For that reason alone...I do not support this rumored merger.

19. jweaver

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 23, 2017

Honestly, it would create more carriers, but in the form of MVNO providers like Comcast to use Verizon, Google to use both Sprint and T-Mo in the U.S.

22. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Sprint needs to be bought out... ... BADLY!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.