Sprint and T-Mobile vowed to deploy a "world-class" 5G network if allowed to merge, having written as much in their Monday consolidation filing with the United States Federal Communications Commission. The third- and fourth-largest mobile service provider in the country announced the tie-up attempt in April, presenting it in the form of a stock-only swap valued at $26.5 billion, but the duo is only now starting the necessary processes for having the merger approved with stateside regulators.
The Public Interest Statement that the FCC already acknowledged receiving and published on its website earlier today, contains a long string of promises surrounding the tie-up attempt, with T-Mobile and Sprint using it as yet another opportunity to argue that their combined operations would be much more conducive to swift deployment of a futuristic 5G network than any individual effort launched by either party, a sentiment that some industry watchers — including former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler — are skeptical about. Sprint and T-Mobile's 5G network will "leapfrog" Verizon and AT&T's next-generation wireless offerings, the two mobile service providers wrote, vowing to commit close to $40 billion to the effort, a figure that's somewhat smaller than what their two larger rivals are expected to spend on 5G.
Price per gigabyte would also decrease in a market wherein T-Mobile and Sprint operate as a single entity, which is an argument that already has some independent research supporting it but may also simply be a side effect of 5G. The performance gap between mobile and broadband Internet will also be eliminated as a consequence of the merger and rural coverage will improve, allowing millions of Americans to "cut the cord," i.e. ditch cable service in favor of pay-TV solutions and similar streaming services, the duo argues, adding that the proposed consolidation would also create thousands of new jobs. The FCC is expected to complete its preliminary review of the filing this summer, whereas T-Mobile and Sprint previously said they're hoping their tie-up to be approved by all competent regulators by the end of the first half of 2019.