T-Mobile, Sprint Want to Merge to ‘Beat,’ Not ‘Mimic,’ Verizon, AT&T

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In their 678 page application to merge, filed with the FCC, Sprint and T-Mobile say they need to combine resources to focus on 5G deployment. Rural broadband deployment is included in their plans. T-Mobile says it intends to build a 5G network that will deliver “unprecedented” services to consumers and increasingly “disrupt” the wireless industry.

T-Mobile and Sprint are merging to beat Verizon and AT&T, not to be like them, say the companies. The “new” T-Mobile 5G network will “leapfrog Verizon and AT&T’s networks,” the company claims, adding it will spend nearly $40 billion to combine the complimentary spectrum, sites and assets. 

“Current Sprint customers will realize 4G LTE coverage benefits; T-Mobile customers will realize improvements from the greater depth of spectrum; and, as the 5G network is built out, the speed and capacity gains will be significant. By 2024, the new T-Mobile network will have approximately double the total capacity and triple the total 5G capacity of T-Mobile and Sprint combined, with 5G speeds four to six times what they could achieve on their own,” they tell the Commission.   

If combined, the companies say they will compete aggressively with lower prices to take market share from Verizon and AT&T. They ask the FCC to grant their merger request, saying it will serve the public interest. Both the Commission and the Justice Department will need to approve the deal.

June 20, 2018

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