Lately the big talk surrounding these two carriers have been the merger. We’ve been hearing since last December that Sprint was looking to purchase T-Mobile US. Which, I’ll admit, at first I didn’t like the idea. After being with sprint for about 5 years, then with T-Mobile for the past two, I know all about Sprint’s broken promises, and didn’t want them to “ruin” T-Mobile. But since December a lot has changed. We’ve heard that if the merger does go through, Softbank would put John Legere in charge of the combined company. That would mean adios to Dan Hesse. Which many of us have a bad image of Hesse, but that’s due to him cleaning up the mess from the past few CEOs of Sprint. Including the whole WiMax debacle. that really set them back a couple of years.
Not only was I happy to hear that rumor of Legere being in charge of the combined company, but I also began to think of how great of a carrier they could be, combined. Especially if Legere keeps his staff, and the momentum they’ve had with T-Mobile. Now obviously prices are going to go up because T-Mobile’s ARPU keeps going down and that’s costing them money. But with Sprint’s 800MHz spectrum, and the 700MHz spectrum that T-Mobile just bought, that’s going to put the combined company in a good spot once that is built out. Sprint already has the most spectrum out of all four carriers, they are just not utilizing it to its full potential. But I’m sure if T-Mobile combined with Sprint, and Legere took over, they would be. As he’s been using T-Mobile’s spectrum to its full potential.
Both carriers have less than stellar coverage and data speeds. Although, I have to say that both have drastically improved over the past year or two. When I first switched to T-Mobile, the signal was pretty bad, especially at home at my desk. But now I’m looking at full signal strength indoors. Now the speeds aren’t all that great, but I’m sure that will come. While Sprint is the opposite. I still have the same 1-2 bars of signal at home, while Sprint has upped it’s speed to about 7mbps, but if I go outside and walk about a block I’ll get around 25mbps. Which is a huge difference. So both carriers are improving.
So would Sprint hurt T-Mobile more than help? Well I’m still not sure. Of course there are advantages and disadvantages to having the two merge. We’ll be down to just 3 carriers instead of four. But we’ll also have a stronger third competitor for Verizon and AT&T. They will also have some pretty spectacular spectrum, as a combined company. We should also see Sprint moving back over to GSM or LTE technology. Which would mean you can bring unlocked phones to Sprint – which is a big reason why I left Sprint a few years ago. At this rate, a combined Sprint/T-Mobile would have around 103 million customers. Compared to the 111.5 million that AT&T have and the 121.3 that Verizon have. That’s definitely better than the 53.6 million Sprint has now and the 49.1 million T-Mobile has now. I’m pretty sure that AT&T and Verizon don’t want this deal and will fight it, but I think it will help T-Mobile, and get more money invested in their network.