T-Mobile CFO Says The Wireless Industry Will Eventually Consolidate

March 10, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

The Sprint/T-Mobile merger may seem like it’s dead in the water but it would appear at the very least that they are at least keeping the dreams and hopes of the successful acquisition alive for investors. According to a statement made today by T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter, the expectancy of a wireless industry consolidation  involving T-mobile is still very much a possibility. Diving further into the matter, he says that if the merger takes place is not really the topic for discussion, but when the merger takes place, implying that the whole deal comes down to a factor of time.

Many people see the rejection of the At&t merger and think the same thing will happen with Sprint, and a strong argument could be made for that case as since then, T-Mobile has made considerable strides forward on its own without a merger of any kind. Still, Carter sees the merger as something that could benefit the U.S. wireless industry from a competition standpoint. The problem with fostering competition in this market is that spectrum auctions are dominated by the two largest carriers in the U.S., Verizon, and At&t. To preserve competition, the government will have to do a better job at regulating the dispersal of Spectrum. Carter’s argument is such that the government wants to keep 4 major players within the U.S. wireless industry but that they basically don’t do enough to ensure adequate spectrum distribution, stating that, -The government can’t have their cake and eat it too. If they think there really needs to be four players in this market on a nationwide basis, they are going to have to put some structural protections to ensure an adequate distribution of spectrum-.

For now, T-Mobile seems to be doing OK and their parent company Deutsche Telekom stated last week they have no need to rush any sort of plans to consolidate the U.S. market wireless industry but that it is open to the possibility of a deal if the right deal comes along. DT’s CEO Tim Hoettges says that -At the moment we have no difficulties to run T-Mobile US on a stand-alone basis-.  It seems that more than one party member on either side of this deal are open to the possibility of change and entering into this merger, even if T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere seems to feel differently by making the usual joke about his competition via tweet.