In short: Sprint's executive chairman and former CEO, Marcelo Claure, spoke at Mobile World Congress: Americas, which is taking place this week in Los Angeles. Claure spoke about the T-Mobile merger and mentioned that this merger has to go through, in order for the US to retain its leadership int eh 5G race. Claure did mention that with the government helping to roll out Small Cell sites across the US, it's not enough to remain number one. It needs to have a deep, broad and world-leading 5G network, which can only happen by merging with T-Mobile.
Background: Sprint and T-Mobile announced their merger back in April of this year. Shortly after the merger, Claure was announced as the outgoing CEO, and put Michel Combes in the position until the merger is complete. Claure transitioned to executive chairman for the company, and is now part of SoftBank – which owns a majority stake in Sprint. Recently, the FCC put the review of this merger on hold, as it needs more time to look over all of the documents that both parties have provided to the FCC before it can approve the merger, or decide to block it. Many still firmly believe that the FCC or even the Department of Justice will block this merger. But so far, it's hard to tell. Since the merger was announced, Legere and Claure have bene touting how the merger would help the combined carrier roll out a 5G network quickly, and take a leadership role in the 5G era.
The impact: While Claure is talking to those in attendance at MWCA, he is really talking to the FCC, and attempting to persuade the regulators to approve this deal. Both Sprint and T-Mobile had expected this deal to take a while to be approved – and announced that it would be Q1 2019 before it was expected to close – but both are hoping that it gets approved soon so they can move on with this deal.