T-Mobile and Sprint Become One
Two years later, the arranged marriage between Sprint and T-Mobile by respective parents SoftBank and Deutsche Telecom looks like it’s really on.
The stock market paparazzi are forming a crowd outside a District Court in Manhattan, waiting for Judge Victor Marrero to give the nod and make permanent the biggest merger in telecoms history!
Why the Delay?
Ask Washington! T-Mobile and Sprint have been fighting an unruly price war in recent years, going lower and lower to capture more poor and rural subscribers. Their coalition not only ends that but possibly reverses it. So, even when state regulators approved the merger, consumer advocate groups persuaded Obama’s administration to step in at the federal level with a massive lawsuit.
Hopefully, the average Joe was sitting on a few Sprint shares just in case, because that suit has fallen through. Pending shoo-in approvals from California’s utility board and there being ink in the pen of the Washington federal judge signing it all off, this is a done deal. Sprint is up 70%. Result!
T-Mobile + Sprint
Both Sprint and T-Mobile had to make concessions to get this deal over the line. One of those was to use their combined might to deploy a faster cellular network to 97% of US consumers inside three years.
Alas, this is a victory for 5G and all the companies that will benefit from its rollout. Those include not only our telecoms giants, but Nokia, Ericsson, Cisco, Qualcomm, Samsung, Qorvo, and Skyworks.
On top of that, the two companies also promised to sell assets to Dish. Armed with new airwaves and frequencies with which to transmit faster signals, the competitor’s new network will take its baby steps with about nine million subscribers.
Going all-out on 5G itself, Charlie Ergen’s Dish is on a no-fail mission. Regulators only allowed it to benefit from T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger terms if it promised to push its ultra-fast network to 20% of the US population by 2022. Failing that, there’s a $2.2 billion penalty!