Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge T-Mobile fan and subscriber. But after reading Joe Levi’s piece over on Pocketnow, I can see where he feels that a Sprint/T-Mobile merger would be good for the industry. But will it go down the way he’s envisioning it? Maybe, maybe not. As we all know, AT&T attempted to buyout T-Mobile back in 2011. Which that eventually fell through, with AT&T paying T-Mobile about $3 billion in cash and giving magenta about $1 billion worth of AT&T’s spectrum. Which is a big reason why a lot of us were thinking that the regulators may not allow Sprint to buy T-Mobile. There’s also the fact that the FCC has said we need more competition in the wireless industry and not less.
Sprint and T-Mobile are “the little guys” they are number three and four, respectively, in the US wireless industry. If they were to merge, or become a new entity altogether, that would give them 100 million subscribers all together. That’s still a long ways away from AT&T and Verizon’s numbers. As of Q2 2013, the numbers looked like this. Verizon 117.194 million, AT&T 107.884 million, Sprint 54.887 million and T-Mobile 45.039 million. While the 100 million together between Sprint and T-Mobile would be much closer to AT&T and Verizon than they are now, it still may not be enough to really force competition from the big guys.
That’s where John Legere comes in. John Legere has been the CEO of T-Mobile for a little over a year, and man has he done a lot to shake up the industry. If there’s one thing I want out of this potential merger, it’s John Legere to be the CEO instead of Dan Hesse. I think that with Legere as CEO and a Sprint/T-Mobile merger bringing their subscriber base close to what AT&T and Verizon have, it could really turn stuff around in the wireless game. John has been showing us that the customer is king. I mean, he even replies to customers himself, instead of having his customer service reps do it. Who else does that?
In a world where only two major national carriers offer unlimited everything, that being T-Mobile and Sprint. It could be a very good thing to see these two get together and create the ultimate Uncarrier. I’m just a little worried, since Sprint’s network really isn’t all that great. Now I understand that some places, their network is amazing, but many others it’s not. On the flip side, T-Mobile’s network isn’t the best either. However, they do have faster speeds, but they may not have coverage everywhere. While Sprint probably has coverage in more areas, but not “fast” data speeds in all those places.
It’s definitely going to be an interesting 2014 in the wireless industry. Whether this deal goes down or not, I think the industry is definitely going to get shaken up. Especially after T-Mobile announces Uncarrier 4.0 at CES in January 8th. What do all of you think? Would it be good for the customers for Sprint and T-Mobile to merge?