T-Mobile Doubles Down On Sprint Merger Pitch, New 5G FWA Rhetoric

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T-Mobile is doubling down on its Sprint merger pitch in an apparent effort to adhere with its original timeline and complete the tie-up by the end of June.

In a recent written address, Chief Executive Officer John Legere once again promised all sorts of 5G goodness should the firm’s consolidation idea be approved and regulators agree to let it complete the all-stock deal valued at approximately $26.5 billion.

Fixed wireless? Fix wireless?


As part of the same communication published on the carrier’s website, the industry veteran reiterated T-Mobile’s commitment to creating an unprecedented fixed-wireless access network meant to fix not wireless but broadband Internet services throughout the country.

Just fifteen months ago, another forward-looking piece from Mr. Legere saw him indirectly dismiss FWA by not counting it among what he then perceived as “real” 5G technologies. Naturally, that was back when Verizon was the only major carrier in the country with a clearly stated interest in such solutions. Over the course of the next half a year, T-Mobile and Sprint finally managed to agree on preliminary merger conditions, finally marking a new chapter in their off-and-on-again saga.

Another half a year later, when it seemed the proposal wasn’t going anywhere as regulatory reviews were being put on hold and critics of the deal began receiving more media attention amid a lack of other meaningful updates, T-Mobile did a 180 on the subject of FWA, proclaiming it’s now planning to build the best 5G broadband alternative in the country, disrupting its larger rivals without having to invest enormous sums into new cable infrastructure, which is something that previously kept the level of competition in the segment low across the country.


Many questions with little precedent

Verizon’s seminal FWA service launched late last year in the form of 5G Home, which the telecom giant unsurprisingly used as a basis for the claim it’s first to commercialize the next generation of mobile networks in the United States.

As far as pretty much anyone not on Verizon’s payroll is concerned, 5G Home is “5G” in the sense that it’s not LTE (4G) and is somewhat faster but the actual standard serving as the basis for the platform is no standard at all, at least not outside of the company itself. The in-house specification is still exhibiting many issues and its scalability is dubious at best, assuming Verizon ever planned to ramp up its deployment and wasn’t just using the service as the cheapest way to the claim of technically being the first to introduce something following up on 4G LTE on a consumer level, though a number of analysts already challenged that notion as well.


T-Mobile claims its network will instead be using actual 3GPP-issued specifications, hence allow for a degree of flexibility, consistency, and scalability Verizon’s 5G Home can’t hope to compete with. The platform would be dependent on small cell stations both T-Mobile and Sprint are presently deploying en masse, with the idea being the said hardware will eventually support both fixed-wireless and truly wireless 5G networks