Softbank purportedly in final stages of talks to acquire T-Mobile

2012-10-15T065010Z_01_TOK307_RTRIDSP_3_SPRINT-SOFTBANK

One rumor that just won’t go away recently is the speculation surrounding Softbank/Sprint’s intention to buy Deutsche Telekom’s controlling share in T-Mobile U.S. And just because it’s Christmas Eve doesn’t mean that those rumors are going quiet.

Recent information passed on to Nikkei (as reported by Reuters) suggests that Softbank is in the latter stages of discussions with Deutsche Telekom about buying the now-popular Uncarrier, T-Mobile.

There are problems however. As we already read earlier this month, despite Softbank’s CEO being keen to push through the deal, it would require loans totalling around $20 billion. The company is allegedly courting 5 different banks to finance the deal, but has openly said that it wouldn’t be willing to accept the risk of paying billions compensation if the deal goes south. Which it could quite easily do.

I – along with many of you – am genuinely hoping this rumor goes nowhere and T-Mobile continues making the moves it has done in 2013, through next year.

Via: Reuters

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  • Eric

    $4-7 billion break-up fee….

    BOOM, all EDGE upgraded to HSPA+/LTE and more spectrum to complement that.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Thats what I’m thinking but if Softbank & Sprint can’t afford a break up fee then why try To go through with the Merger. Softbank should have bought T-Mobile all along. In order for Sprint to compete they have to re do they whole network. Which is a long process. Customers are leaving in droves so now they want to merge to compete. Just retarded to me but OK….

    • kalel33

      The previous breakup fee went straight to Germany, not into the US network. I wouldn’t see anything change this time.

      • Darkbotic

        The AT&T US spectrum that was part of the breakup fee did not go to Germany. It went to T-Mobile USA.

        • kalel33

          True but the OP was only talking about the money, which all went to the parent company.

        • CompSciPhd

          tmobile is no longer a wholely owned subsidiary of deutche telekom.

        • philyew

          Although all the money went to DT, they used about $1.4 billion immediately to finance the network modernization program. They also said that a total of $4 billion would be available for the challenger strategy. Yes, in the short-term the majority of the cash was used for European debt adjustment, but they are releasing funds to continue the network program.

    • samsavoy

      Waiting for failed merger attempts to fix things your company should have fixed already is not a great way to do business.

  • g2a5b0e

    Everyone seems to be up in arms about this, but I’ve got to tell you that I’m not even remotely worried. The FCC & the DoJ have plainly stated in the past that they want to keep the number of national carriers in the US at four. They don’t mind a little consolidation in the industry as long as it doesn’t seem to stifle decent competition. This merger would go against both of those. With all the strides T-Mobile has made in the past year, there’s just no chance they will let this happen. Also, let’s be honest, “T-Sprint” would be the worst possible thing that could happen to the mobile industry. Verizon & AT&T copycat each other at every turn & don’t seem to care much about consumers. A company almost as big as them would probably just fall in line & all the advancements we’ve seen in the Uncarrier Revolution would slowly disappear. NEVER! Long live T-Mobile!

    • DrCG1

      Well said. You are on point.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      I totally agree. The merger would be a disaster. It would never work. Too much debt, different technologies which would cause a big problem. There’s just no way I see it working out.

    • TRUTH! To be honest, T-Mobile is the only major carrier still real pushing innovation and stirring competition. That is evident in the copies of the “Jump” program, and data plan (and some unlimited plans) changes in the other carriers.

      • g2a5b0e

        No doubt. Next, Edge, & One Up all came after JUMP! & none are nearly as good.

  • Aurizen

    Softbank just want Deutsche Telekom’s controlling share in T-Mobile U.S. If this remains to be the case, its not that much of a big deal if it is agreed T-Mobile might get new resources at their disposal… but Softbank is in major debt if this doesn’t go through I wonder what the break up deal is….

  • fsured

    Aside from Sprint currently trying to run multiple different networks as 1, if they tried to turn off T-Mobiles GSM or their own CDMA, wouldn’t that leave just 1 major carrier supporting the other technology? (Verizon for CDMA and AT&T for GSM) DOJ and FCC didn’t want AT&T to be monopoly on GSM previously. Shutting down one of the networks would create this situation would may be an issue with the government.

    In Sprints rebuilding of their network are they turning off CDMA and switching to GSM? Or are the frequencies used just compatible between the carriers but the technology itself still different? Some posters have said it won’t be that bad of a technical problem because of AWS being used. I thought Verizon for example is using LTE for data and CDMA for voice. I figured Sprint would follow the same since they use the same technology.

    • Rob

      Sprint wouldn’t turn off either CDMA or GSM, but I believe CDMA is eventually going to be decommissioned. As I understand it the goal is to transition to an LTE-based system for data and voice (similar to what GSM can do today, but at higher speeds and higher capacities). But what you say is probably correct, if one technology type was turned off prematurely it would probably leave just one carrier using that technology and the DOJ and FCC would probably not agree with or approve something like that. My understanding of Sprint’s Network Vision is that it is consolidating equipment, adding new power systems and cooling systems and making it easier to respond to bandwidth needs via software rather than hardware. That’s a “vision” so-to-speak that should eventually pay off. The only problem is that it’s been a very slow process. I believe T-Mobile is using AWS for its LTE and it almost certainly uses different bands than what Sprint current uses. Not sure how that would affect or prohibit integration of both LTE networks, but all of this is very likely to be a huge mess for Sprint and the customers of both carriers combined.

      • Daniel

        Actually, I think it would be very easy, much easier than you think. Here’s how I would do it:

        Step 1: After the merger, take an inventory of all the radio interfaces and combined spectrum holdings of SprinT-Mobile:
        800 MHz (SMR) 1x/LTE
        1700/2100 MHz (AWS) HSPA+/LTE
        1900 MHz (PCS) HSPA+/eHRPD/EV-DO/1x/LTE
        2.5/2.6 GHz (BRS/EBS) WiMax/TD-LTE

        Step 2: Let ALL current legacy devices continue to operate as before. They may even get slightly improved performance if allowed to authenticate on the combined network with combined spectrum holdings in each respective band.

        Step 3: ASAP, stop selling GSM devices and start selling devices that support CDMA on 800/1900 (as before), plus QUAD-band LTE on 800/AWS/1900/2500. They could even brand it “Sprint Spark II” if they wanted to. As I say, GSM devices could continue as before, and they could simply shut down GSM carriers as the network usage drops from GSM devices being retired and replaced.

        Step 4: Start decommissioning GSM network as legacy GSM devices are upgraded.

        Step 5: As VoLTE is introduced, start decommissioning CDMA as in Steps 3 and 4.

        Let’s not forget that T-Mobile is already in the process of refarming MetroPCS’s CDMA network this way. Why should a Sprint/T-Mobile integration be any different?

  • Oliver Jackson

    This will NEVER happen.Sprint is so much in the red you can use it on Santa’s sleigh.Also they haven’t learned from 2005 w/Nextel and we seen where that went. And oddly enough,they were the first with 4g ,now they’re getting thebrakes beat off of them.Watch it goes south,and the breakup fee,….

  • kpb321

    I doubt this will go through as I don’t think the powers that be would approve of the market consolidating down to three major competitors especially given that between Sprint and T-mobile they actually have majority of the prepaid market.

    I also don’t know that this would be a smooth merger. From a technical perspective their network doesn’t work well with T-mobiles. Their voice/3g is cdma which isn’t compatible with t-mobiles phones. Their Wimax network isn’t compatible with t-mobiles phones and they’ve just started building out their lte network which is split between 800mhz (the ident from Nextel) 1900 (pcs) and 2.5ghz. T-mobile doesn’t currently have LTE on any of these bands so phone support will probably be spotty at best. Sure, eventually after migrating to a single standard they’d have a large amount of bandwidth at varying frequencies to give good coverage and building penetration with large 800mhz cells and good bandwidth with smaller higher frequency cells but that is a long way down the road and Sprint didn’t exactly do a good job merging in nextel.

    I especially don’t want to see t-mobile try to go through with this with out some sort of break up fee like they got from AT&T. An attempt at a buy out of this size has to have an impact on the way the company operates and between the regulatory issues and the amount of loans they’d apparently need the likelihood of it failing seems high so they need to make sure they are getting something out of it failing. I’m not sure Sprint has an AWS or PCS spectrum they can afford to give up but they have a pretty good block of 2.5ghz and cash always works.

    • Daniel

      Actually, I think it would be very easy, much easier than you think. Here’s how I would do it:

      Step 1: After the merger, take an inventory of all the radio interfaces and combined spectrum holdings of SprinT-Mobile:
      800 MHz (SMR) 1x/LTE
      1700/2100 MHz (AWS) HSPA+/LTE
      1900 MHz (PCS) HSPA+/eHRPD/EV-DO/1x/LTE
      2.5/2.6 GHz (BRS/EBS) WiMax/TD-LTE

      Step 2: Let ALL current legacy devices continue to operate as before. They may even get slightly improved performance if allowed to authenticate on the combined network with combined spectrum holdings in each respective band.

      Step 3: ASAP, stop selling GSM devices and start selling devices that support CDMA on 800/1900 (as before), plus QUAD-band LTE on 800/AWS/1900/2500. They could even brand it “Sprint Spark II” if they wanted to. As I say, GSM devices could continue as before, and they could simply shut down GSM carriers as the network usage drops from GSM devices being retired and replaced.

      Step 4: Start decommissioning GSM network as legacy GSM devices are upgraded.

      Step 5: As VoLTE is introduced, start decommissioning CDMA as in Steps 3 and 4.

      Let’s not forget that T-Mobile is already in the process of refarming MetroPCS’s CDMA network this way. Why should a Sprint/T-Mobile integration be any different?

  • UMA_Fan

    Its a regulatory nightmare plain and simple. Tmobile is a smaller player on a growth trend that has DIRECTLY changed the policies of the big two national providers. The government will do yet another study of taking Tmobile out of the market and what conclusion do you think they will draw this time? Tmobile buying Sprint is more justifiable regulatory wise since it would strengthen a growing smaller nationwide carrier and increase competition

    • Eric

      Oh and make Sprint/Softbank in even more debt by having to, somehow, combine the two networks and make sure manufacturers build new phones that support both carriers. This will only decrease competition since T-Mobile will not be able to apply Un-carrier to the landscape of the wireless market, unless CEO John Legere becomes the CEO of the combined company.

      This deal would make sense to kill off or reduce the duopoly of AT&T/Verizon, but in general, this would only hurt consumers and everyone’s pockets.

    • Wilfredo Martinez

      Seriously this would ONLY benefit AT&T/Verizon more and consumers would be hurt by this potential deal and competition WILL be decreased not increased!

      Right now this is what we have:

      •2 big companies screwing consumers
      •1 company floundering
      •1 company putting pressure on the big guys to change (and beginning to succeed in doing so)

      We would potentially move to:
      •2 big companies screwing consumers
      •1 big(-ish) company either floundering or screwing consumers

      I’m sure AT&T/Verizon would LOVE for this deal to go through. FCC and DOJ will eventually block such a deal, they know it’s bad for consumers. DT seriously needs to stop trying to merge with it’s competitors and try to sell the company to a new entrant if he really wants to exit the U.S market so badly!

  • $15454173

    So why do they bother to even bother with these merger talks if they already see they will lose agains the FCC & the DoJ? There must be something they are not learning from the AT&T failure.

  • UMA_Fan

    So the question is going to be is Softbanks offer compelling enough for DT that they wouldn’t care about a break up fee? Its such a huge gamble to keep Tmobile US in regulatory limbo yet again and history has shown us that DT plays it safe. The att deal was a safe deal, for example.

  • hanfeedback

    1 word sums up Sprint. Disaster. The worst cell phone coverage I have ever had.

  • Bruce Banner

    I personally don’t see a deal getting gov’t approval so I’m not really stressing it. T-Mobile is the one forcing change in the market place not sprint. In 2 years time I see T-Mobile passing sprint in subscriber count. A better network and better plans will ensure that. And I hope to God that the sprint trolls don’t show up trying to high jack the thread boasting about network vision and all the other nonsense they’ve been talking about the past few days.

  • GinaDee

    There are reasons I don’t want this to happen but the arguments that coverage will suffer are pure rubbish. If you are going to argue against such a buyout at least have your facts straight my friends.

    I’m not a fan of the way Sprint provisions and activates phones (manually), I hate phones locked to their CDMA network and I hate having to sign a 2 year contract for BYOD.

    If the combined company would adopt T-Mobile price plans and freedom I think many more would be for this. If the buyout is simply to fold T-Mobile customers into the dark ages of a locked down manual CDMA environment then I’d shop for a new carrier.

    Part of me wishes the combined company (if it happens at all) would migrate users from the legacy CDMA network to the HSPA/LTE network but knowing Sprint I doubt that would happen.

    Wishing for the best my friends. Just like all of you I’ll be all ears and watching the details as this drama unfolds.

    • Drew

      I agree Gina!! Hey from what I’ve been reading up on various websites about the Sprint network deal, they actually do have a gsm network. Its just that their gsm network its not compatible with other carriers networks is what that’s about. They’re half gsm and half cdma.

      • Alex Zapata

        The GSM network they have is their LTE deployment. Everything else is CDMA.

        • Drew

          Yes so I was correct then Alex Zapata? I was actually trying to say
          that Spint has a version of both gsm and cdma for other things is what I was trying to say then? Perhaps what I needed to know that Sprint actually have a second network that is actually gsm, but its mainly a different version to deploy LTE is what that one is all about my friend RIGHT?

  • Justin747

    I highly doubt this will go through, but all this potential merger talk is just so Sprint can get more subscribers. Sprint is all about impressing their investors to get their stock out of the sh*tter, and the easiest way for Sprint to show they are a viable company is to almost double their subscriber base. All they want is to be mentioned with The Big 2.

    I can almost guarantee most of T-Mobile’s new practices wouldn’t survive the merger. Sprint would take what they like, give it some stupid Sprint-ified name (think Sprint Spark, Network Vision, etc…), and advertise it as a similar service while its not. The rest of the time would just be spent trying to get 2nd place among US carriers.

    This merger would likely be way in the future when cell tech is LTE voice+data, which is a little easier to merger than CDMA/GSM but still messy.

    With that said…. Sprint would EASILY be the worst thing to happen to T-Mobile and US Cellular. I worked for Sprint and that company is so poorly managed I am amazed daily that they are still in business. Horrible data networks, unorganized systems and practices, shady sales tactics and commissions structures, racism, sexism, favoritism, etc…(I could go on for days)

    If Sprint buyouts T-Mobile, US cellular carriers would then be 2 copycats (VZ & AT&T), a bunch of prepaid services, and a weird Frankenstein mess of a company consisting of T-Mobile + Metro PCS + Softbank + Sprint + the ashes of Nextel

  • ac21365

    Please no please no please no…

  • longtimeCustomer

    If anything is designed to halt T-Mobiles growth it would be this.

  • i’d be on the first cancellation towards the dreaded ATT if this every happened. i want no part of Sprint’s network, company, etc.

    • Wire

      Bye

      • John Doe

        Take your monkey a ss back to whatever sprint site you came from. It ain’t happening so stop fooling yourself.

  • thor

    What fresh hell is this? This Meger makes no sense!!!

  • josephsinger

    Why is Softbank offering $20B when AT&T was offering $39B?

    • taron19119

      Because At&t was over paying and Sprint is paying what t-mobile minimum value is

      • Lala33

        Wrong. AT&T was buying all of Tmobile, Softbank is only going after 67%.

        • Drew

          So Softbank wants to own about 67% of T-Mobile is what you are telling me?

        • Moby

          Right it’s cheaper to buy 67% and then you control the whole thing. Just like they don’t own all of Sprint either—just a majority share.

        • Drew

          Oh cool that’s awesome!! So perhaps Softbank will buy out Tmobiles company that’s being based out I’m Germany. Once that happens is when Softbank would have ownership to about 67% of T-Mobile?

        • philyew

          T-Mobile US (TMUS) is a separate entity traded on the NYSE, it is linked to other TM entities around the world by virtue of the fact that its majority shareholder is Deutsche Telekom (DT). All this came about earlier in the year when the reverse merger with MetroPCS took place. Until then TMUS was privately owned by DT.

          Because DT owns 67% of the company, if they sell their entire holding, then the purchaser will take over their 67% majority share.

        • Drew

          Yeah I know that part already, but wanted to make sure that I was absolutely right about Softbank buying a good part of Deutsche Telekoms european version of Tmobile being the owners of the USA version of Tmobile owning 67% of such company keeping T-Mobile US alive still without having to change T-MobileUS name is what I was being correct on. Am I right with what I was making sure on or what?

        • philyew

          The only T-Mobile entity that I have seen referred to in relation to Softbank is TM USA. Buying the Deutsche Telecom share of TM USA would give them 67% of the U.S. company – not any other part of Deutsche Telekom’s international holdings.

          There’s nothing been written yet that I have seen about Softbank’s long term intentions regarding branding of their US holdings, in the event they acquired TM USA as well as Sprint.

          They could do as TM have done with MetroPCS and maintained them as separate divisions for a time with a long term view of merging them under a single brand. Or they could wind up TM quickly. It’s unlikely they would continue to operate the companies as separate businesses indefinitely.

          The question is whether they are interested in maintaining the Uncarrier philosophy? I could be wrong, but I don’t really see any great interest in moving that direction from Sprint’s management team, which suggests that this take over may be nothing more than an attempt to stifle a direction that Softbank do not wish the U.S.wireless industry to take. If that is the case, it won’t matter what the company is called. It will revert to the old model of doing business and Uncarrier will be dead.

        • Moby

          If Deutsche Telekom accepts Softbanks offer for their stock then they would still have to get approval of the transaction from the Justice Department and the FCC.

        • Moby

          Even the whole company’s stock is only worth $28 billion. Not the $39 billion that AT&T was willing to pay.

    • Moby

      At today’s stock price, Deutsche Telekom’s shares are worth $17 billion. So the $20 billion, is a premium on top of the current price. There’s no need to pay $39 billion—the market says its not worth that much.

  • Adam12

    Is this Uncarrier 4.0?

    • Drew

      Hey the Uncarrier 4.0 might end up being the friggin Sprint situation. Who knows, Dish might have the upper hand in this deal here.

  • Adam12

    Is this Un-carrier 4.0?

  • Flyincloud

    If it happens, I’m out!

  • Al Fonseca

    wtf… I left sprint because of their terrible service, now they want to buy T-Mobile and make them useless as well. I see I may have to start thinking about a switch to AT&T

  • TMOBIZREP

    I am a relatively new Tmobile employee in the business sales division. I came from Sprint. I can say if this does happen, I will be putting in my notice. Working for Sprint was like working in hell, the company lies to their employees and customers about Network Vision. I was a failure as a Sprint rep, but 200 percent to goal as a Tmobile rep.

    I can say this has already had an effect, several potential customers have already put things on hold to see how this shakes out. Nobody wants this except DT, they want out of the US market and sadly, as much as I think Leger is amazing, this is exactly what he was brought in for.

    Fatten up Tmo for sale and get out. Stock is up 200 percent in 8 months, enough said…….

    • Justin747

      I too worked at Sprint. Horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE experience. I’ve seen so many good people get mistreated by Sprint and their silly commission structure that changes every other month.

      Those same people have all gone on to do great things so congratulations on your new job and success.

      • TMOBIZREP

        T-Mobile is such a great place to work, the culture is amazing. I could not fathom going back to being a Sprint employee, like I said, I would put in my notice and leave as I could not possibly look at a customer with a straight face and tell them this is a good thing…….

  • kev2684

    dear Santa, can you not?

  • Wilfredo Martinez

    I am so sick of this rumor and disgusted by it. If this is true, Softbank Corporations is just wasting their VALUABLE time. T-Mobile will not consolidate with any of it’s competitors just because the FCC and DOJ have clearly stated that they want FOUR national wireless carriers. Hell, T-Mobile is not even in a position where it needs to be acquired but if that were the case I think the FCC and DOJ would LOVE and I mean LOVE it if it were a totally different company that wants T-Mobile such as Vodafone or Dish Networks.
    Softbank already acquired Sprint, Sprint is a freaking CDMA/LTE carrier and T-Mobile is a GSM/LTE network, how the heck is Softbank planning to make the CDMA and GSM part of the carriers compatible. SOFTBANK GO AWAY WITH YOUR BS AND GREEDYNESS TO CREATE AN OLIGOPY IN THE U.S WIRELESS INDUSTRY!

    • Chris

      They aren’t merging – Softbank just wants to buy majority of T-mobile’s share. Does not mean they are going to merge.

      • Drew

        More like they’re going to be the owners of Tmobile, keeping the name alive for that matter right?

    • Daniel

      Actually, I think it would be very easy, much easier than you think. Here’s how I would do it:

      Step 1: After the merger, take an inventory of all the radio interfaces and combined spectrum holdings of SprinT-Mobile:
      800 MHz (SMR) 1x/LTE
      1700/2100 MHz (AWS) HSPA+/LTE
      1900 MHz (PCS) HSPA+/eHRPD/EV-DO/1x/LTE
      2.5/2.6 GHz (BRS/EBS) WiMax/TD-LTE

      Step 2: Let ALL current legacy devices continue to operate as before. They may even get slightly improved performance if allowed to authenticate on the combined network with combined spectrum holdings in each respective band.

      Step 3: ASAP, stop selling GSM devices and start selling devices that support CDMA on 800/1900 (as before), plus QUAD-band LTE on 800/AWS/1900/2500. They could even brand it “Sprint Spark II” if they wanted to. As I say, GSM devices could continue as before, and they could simply shut down GSM carriers as the network usage drops from GSM devices being retired and replaced.

      Step 4: Start decommissioning GSM network as legacy GSM devices are upgraded.

      Step 5: As VoLTE is introduced, start decommissioning CDMA as in Steps 3 and 4.

      Let’s not forget that T-Mobile is already in the process of refarming MetroPCS’s CDMA network this way. Why should a Sprint/T-Mobile integration be any different?

      • donnybee

        Keep GSM, ditch and bury CDMA. GSM is more widely used globally, therefore roaming will be a revenue generator. Plus T-Mobile’s HSPA+ already has better speeds than Sprint’s garbage 3G network. Decommissioning the stronger network, with more benefits and ability to bring more revenue, would just not make sense. Besides, LTE is a GSM-based technology.. Keep it simple.

        But Sprint isn’t able to keep things simple, and we all know they’d find a way to screw something up. I say let Sprint watch T-Mobile overtake them, and when Sprint’s dying we can swing in and gobble them up!

        • Drew

          Hey I just read somewhere a few days ago about Sprints network having somekind of GSM to it. Its just other phones from other carriers are just unable to be unlocked onto Sprints GSM in a way network is what that ones about!!

  • David Lebron

    UnCarrier 4.0 – wait for merger to fail, rake in another few billion in breakup fees, and expand even further ;) wishful thinking lol

    • philyew

      But this time there is real momentum behind TM which would be halted while the company waited a year for the process to unfold. I’m enjoying the Uncarrier ride right now and would hate for it to slow down.

  • Wire

    The people who keep saying they’re going to leave are hilarious. Where are you going? You wouldn’t be a customer of T-mobile if you could afford to be elsewhere.

    • 30014

      Really, you up voted your self? You must be pretty stupid if you want to spend more money than you need to. We’re not poor, we’re just smarter than you.

      • TMOBIZREP

        His first name is probably Dan or Masayoshi……..Dan figures they need support to run another wireless carrier into the ground.

    • TMOBIZREP

      This is not accurate at all, many people who COULD pay more chose to be a T-Mobile customer. More value, great data speeds, great voice quality.

      Sprint will ruin that in no time……

    • Flyincloud

      I can afford what ever I want. I stayed because we have been with T-Mobile for 10 years. Prices will go up if there is a boyout. So, I’m not going to pay much as Verizon and AT&T, but with Sprint/T-Mobile service.

  • The Man

    Sprint/Softbank is a black whole with a lot of debt, how in the world are they going to add more debt and suck in T-Mobile in the mess. T-Mobile is on the right track and recovering standing on it’s own feet nice and clean, don’t chop it off again and let it fall back down …

  • UMA_Fan

    I think no matter what happens the Tmobile culture would prevail because that’s what’s actually working

  • Mark Reese

    I think john boys …plan all along was get rid of contracts make it a prepaid brand like virgin mobile so if you want to jump ship after before or during the fire sale you may.easily do so.they made it easy 4 the customer as well as the buyers. Its all about sepectrum …who can tmobile sale theres 2 ??? Unless they can get verizons or some other low band spectrum soon DT IS OUT A HERE!

    • donnybee

      We all know where T-Mobile was before John took over, so I can see why you would think this. However, there is still the EIP, which will be more expensive than an ETF for much of the 24 month period. But even if this were the case, it would be incredibly stupid to sell at this point. This worked. This company is a new brand and it’s succeeding and beating even the big boys in the game. I don’t care if DT is ditching, but there needs to be a different way to keep T-Mobile it’s own company. And any of the powers at play would be sorely mistaken if they thought now is the time to sell; it would completely stop all momentum going forward. All the efforts would be tossed in the trash.

  • donnybee

    Has anyone thought that Sprint / SoftBank knows that they won’t be able to purchase T-Mobile, but instead are starting rumors so they can slow the fast and intense growth of T-Mobile? This could all just be dirty tactics from Sprint and T-Mobile suffers because of it.

    • $15454173

      True. But if T-Mobile or DT wanted to they could just say we are absolutely not selling or merging. That would put some real coal in the Sprint/SoftBanks stocking. But if speculation is helping with stock price at all then I guess they keep quiet.

  • landmarkcm

    As long as Sprint is not leading the way. They are the apitamy of incompetence. I say it over & over in areas like here in Vegas. There is no excuse by now why they should not have there 3g yes at least 3g up to speed with every other carrier by now & all they keep saying last couple years is “network vision”. They have had billions to get things done but nope poor choices. I will happily continue with unlocked phones on GSM like current moto g which works great on HSPA+ ( I actually dont notice any diifference here in it & LTE I was using). Anyways Sprint we dont want you & your dial up data & dropped calls. You may catch up one day but your very late to the party. Not to mention they can no longer tout being the low price unlimited leader.

  • Skip Bradfield

    If Mr. Legere would come out and just state for the record that this
    deal stinks to high heaven then all the nonsense would stop. But wait,
    he won’t because he and Mr. Carter are sitting on a boatload of TMUS
    stock (Legere 272,398 shares) with Mr. Carter(229,360 shares) making a
    nice profit from small sales of said stock over the last 6 month
    period(Insider Trades, Yahoo Finance, public record, TMUS). Nice Golden
    Parachutes for both gentlemen while employees are left with.. well you
    get the picture, nothing. Great work John, you’ve set the company up
    beautifully for a sale; what a great smoke and mirrors operation and for
    that I applaud you sir. Let’s hope another suitor steps in, i.e. Dish,
    Google, heck even Apple(imagine the possibilities of a Google or Apple
    takeover, that would change technology as we know it). T-Mobile can
    continue to thrive and make change that benefits the American wireless
    consumer, however a Sprint/Softbank takeover will do the exact opposite
    and eliminate the only competitor enacting positive change to big
    wireless.

    • Nearmsp

      Nothing stopping you from buying Tmus stock. I bought much and am already sitting on some neat gain. If the stock dips, I will buy more, but not at these speculatively high level which assumes 5-4 that the deal goes through.

    • philyew

      How about also that the CEO is beholden to the shareholders, the majority of which happens to be Deutsche Telekom.

      If DT want to talk to Softbank or anyone else, they will rightly expect the company’s officers not to undermine that process.

      If, once a decision to proceed is confirmed, the CEO wants to put his job on the line by speaking out against it publicly, then I’m sure he will do so…but he’ll also have to consider that his career at that level would be over forever, because no one will appoint a CEO who is willing to directly undermine the interests of the major shareholders.

    • xmiro

      you seriously think a CEO would come out making negative comments about a potential merger his employer is working on to appease you?!

      Get real.

      Legere has nothing to do with any decisions regarding a T-Mobile sale, Deutsche Telecom in Germany does. They are the owner.

  • Jon

    This is just speculation at the moment and nothing has been made official. There’s no need to get all worked up over something that may or may not happen. And if this does take place then what? Complaining won’t do anything. If everyone has something to say to SoftBank/Sprint speak with your wallets. Then they will surely pay attention to you. Maybe some good could come out of this just like the AT&T deal. AT&T thought it was a done deal but it didn’t turn out like they thought it would. Let’s all just watch as it unfolds.

    • philyew

      A consumer campaign to the FCC and DoJ directly and through consumer, state and federal bodies had some bearing on the outcome of the AT&T attempted takeover.

      A similar campaign would be worthwhile in this case.

      While the AT&T break up payment has helped considerably to revive TM, the company was damaged by the process even though it had zero momentum going into it. This time, TM has real momentum that is in danger of being halted while this unfolds. The sooner we can induce the FCC/DoJ to block a deal that threatens to kill the Uncarrier philosophy, the sooner we get back on track to achieve a thorough overhaul of the way the mobile market operates in this country.

  • Warden

    If this deal goes thru, I hope T-mobile is in charge instead of Sprint. They have to VERY aggressively kill CDMA (stop selling Sprint CDMA phones almost immediately and restock website and stores with T-mobile phones) give customers with two years contract, discounts so they can buy new GSM phones as well. And figure out how to combine or use their different specturms/bands. Please Softbank, don’t ruin T-mobile….plz.
    Does anybody know if Metro PCS’s CDMA is already dead? or if all their phones are GSM?

    • Drew

      MetroPCS is now Gsm. They’ve been GSM since June of this year. MetroPCS still has their other network cdma up and running still which won’t be decommissioned up until sometime the 2nd half of 2015 that time. Plus MetroPCS will be switching all of their names to T-Mobile for that matters too.

      • Warden

        Thanks for the info.

        • Drew

          Your welcome Warden!!

      • Jay Holm

        I thought Tmo is using Metro’s spectrum to beef up it’s LTE network to 40mhz worth of bandwidth?

        • Drew

          Yes they are also going to be having the name changed to T-Mobile US within a year or less or so too. Tmobile US bought MetroPCS in a reversed merger of things May of this year 2013.

        • fsured

          They are using it. The phones sold through MetroPCS support the T-Mobile signals also. They should maintain the ability to connect to MetroPCS for areas that offer better coverage than T-Mobile. It’s probably a similar process to what was done for the 1900mhz refarm that the company did. They shifted around the spectrum/signals. If it’s a similar process then spectrum from MetroPCS is being re purposed to use on T-Mobile LTE and since the handsets now support T-Mobile signal there is no loss to Metro customers.

        • Drew

          Well sorry to tell you this, but Tmobile always had more coverage than MetroPCS. Tmobile is not only
          using Metros spectrum, they also bought them all out in the reversed merger. Pretty soon within a year or so is when MetroPCS would have been switching to being T-Mobile all togethers my friend!!

        • fsured

          What is your point? I know T-Mobile bought Metro and always had the larger coverage area. I was answering Jay’s question since he asked if the company was using the spectrum.

  • Nearmsp

    I am going to chase this deal through every fox hole with letters to FTC, FCC, and my senator and congressmen. I will blog against this deal in every publication signed by my name. I will prove that this deal will reduce competition, will make the US wireless market the most concentrated market in the western world. I will also show how Sprint’s problem is mismanagement not a lack of spectrum. I will also show how an aggressive T-mobile is increasing market share where as Sprint is falling in satisfaction level. This merger is only to kill competition. Sprint would be better off investing the money in its own network.

    • philyew

      Right now it’s hard to see how these “final stages of talks” could emerge with an agreement to proceed. Obviously, there is much we don’t know.

      How, for example, could Softbank escape with a minimal break up clause? From where I sit, there are two ingredients to make this possible:

      1) TM would be allowed to continue their business as usual approach including whatever is lined up for Uncarrier 4.0, which has been teased enough for us to know it is very likely to be a highly aggressive push for defectors from other carriers.

      2) An undertaking to the FCC and DoJ that the emerging company will adopt and continue TM’s consumer friendly philosophy (e.g. no contract, no subsidy cons etc) as long as the business remains reasonably profitable. Of course, “reasonably” is open to interpretation, but you get my drift, I hope.

      Of course, such conditions are probably furthest from the minds of those behind this move, which is almost certainly designed to achieve the opposite outcome.

      I’m pretty sure DT will be looking for some bidding competition before they commit to one suitor.

      If – after all the hurdles are passed or fail to materialize – an offer from Softbank goes to the FCC/DoJ without some clear indications that Uncarrier will survive the takeover, I will be more than happy to help your campaign. Just let me know how.

  • JoshU83

    The only reason why Softbank is trying to buy T-Mobile is because they fear that soon T-Mobile will jump to the #3 spot due to the momentum and success T-Mobile is having. From Softbank’s point of view is to swallow the competion because they know it was a total failure the recent purcase of Sprint, but, at the same time they did have the oportunity to purchase T-Mobile and opted for the other one. All I can say is that Softbank has no clue on what they are doing, on which this means for all of us that this company is just bad business and just setting T-Mobile to failure.

    • bucdenny

      Softbank has no clue what they are doing? They are one of most profitable mobile companies in Japan. T-Mobile has not seen billions in profits and Softbank are making billions in profits. Softbank Sprint deal was completed this year and a failure already?

      Softbank has no fear of T-Mobile. When combined Softbank, Sprint, T-Mobile = more buying power. That is over 100 million sub to get lower price phones = better price to sub. Get your facts straight and stop misleading others.

      • Bklynman

        Also let’s not forget(like everyone is saying) Sprint network is a total mess,no matter how much money SB has,it will take time
        do them to get the mess of neat and tidy,once
        they do,they will make run for big red,and the deathstar,if Tmo,
        takes 3place from Sprint,you really think SB,will just throw up
        their hands,say oh well there nothing we can do about it? SB,
        may not even care if Tmo takes 3place,because I am sure
        they were told how mess up Sprint network is,how long it
        take to clean it up,once they do watchout.

        • fsured

          Perhaps they only want T-Mobile as a back up network to offer their customers service as they clean up their mess. They are losing customers and offering them T-Mobile’s network to use could stem that. One of the reasons At&t wanted T-Mobile was to add capacity to their network since it being built out and offering better HSPA+ signal. They took a huge beating with the Iphone/network issues. It would have been quicker and easier to integrate since the network was/is already in place.

        • Bklynman

          That maybe true,but still the DOJ,FCC,what ever other gov’t bodies,this has pass,and get their ok,that is going to take time. I doubt very much SB,will just sit back wait,without
          doing any work on Sprint,the people who are saying
          that Tmo(John L)will stop what he is doing run Tmo
          into the ground,I can’t see that happening.

      • 30014

        It’s almost as if yoshi has you bent over and is just giving you the business. There are 45 million of us that have no interest in sprint, that’s why we are where we are. Your rhyme and reason are just as irrelevant as you are.

      • JoshU83

        Misleading!?!? You need to get your facts straight. From a business perspective, just look how much attractive T-Mobile looks now with all the advancements they had done this year compared to Sprint. Of course Softbank wants a piece of that pie! This reminds me of what At&t tried to do not that long ago. Sure, having close to 100 million subscribers looks very attractive from a business point of view. If Softbank thinks they will be able to manage Sprint and T-Mobile, then good luck! I still believe they fear that T-Mobile will merge with another company and will jump ahead of them. So, I guess they rather be in debt and buy two american wireless companies and hope to be producing money. I don’t think so.

  • Freddy

    Loyal T-Mobile customer for years now ! But I would like too see this merger happen. More spectrum for us T-Mobile customers . . . And you guys keep saying how People are running from the Sprint name. How do you guys know when this deal does get approved SoftBank want keep the T-Mobile name alive ? Someone answer that . I’m for any deal that would make competition more close. Verizon and AT&T has dominated way to long. Combined Sprint & T-Mobile will bring them rite on there heels

    • bucdenny

      It is not like Softbank will just shut down T-Mobile. T-Mobile and Sprint will have plenty of spectrum for LTE combined and have a fast Network. That will keep the prices low and compete better against the big two.

      For those, stop it already with GSM and CDMA not being compatible. Everyone is moving to LTE. Most new devices supports both Sprint CDMA and T-Mobile’s W-CDMA. Last, Sprint’s Network will have more LTE coverage than T-Mobile in a few months which is great for T-Mobile if this merger goes through. That would translate more coverage for T-Mobile!

      • 30014

        Your pretty ignorant to think that they wouldn’t have a fall back network. No one with good sense wants to deal with a cdma network on any level. Even now when I call my brother I get “please hold while we locate the subscriber”. Only on cdma, only on cdma.

        • Jay Holm

          And 3G EVDO is absolute garbage. That’s why I left Verizon, I pay for LTE, not 3G EVDO, much more prefer the combinationof HSPA+ & LTE on T-Mobile.

        • fsured

          Using HSPA+ as their backup is the far better option than Sprints current 3g. There are times when I get HSPA+ speeds faster than LTE or simply full HSPA+ signal and 1 bar of LTE.

    • philyew

      The name isn’t important, the operating philosophy is. Once you consolidate the market to three pretty evenly matched companies, each with around 100 million customers, who is going to act as the disruptive force that shakes up the status quo?

      • mloudt

        I don’t think some people realize that if T-mob and Sprint become one with a bigger customer base with more spectrum; then they can also compare to the Big 2 and ultimately raise their prices. Obviously, T-mo/Sprint are going to say they doing it for the customer but they really doing it to make more money. That is why having 4 national carriers is better than 3.

      • Freddy

        It’s Pretty obvious Sprint/T-Mobile would become the disruptive force ! There both already cheaper it’s so obvious they would continue too be . I’m just saying I wish people would just learn all the facts once the deal is announced before just shutting it down

        • philyew

          Why is it obvious? Both companies are currently disruptive to one degree or another (and there is a considerable divergence between them) because they are so far behind the market leaders. However, once you create an entity that is on a par with those market leaders, the imperatives which drive disruptive behavior cease to exist.

          The only way I will support this takeover, if it proves to be more than just talk, is if TM is allowed to continue with business as usual pursuing its Uncarrier strategy during the takeover process, and Softbank give assurances to the FCC and DoJ that TM’s consumer-friendly policies will be the mode of working for the new company, as long as it remains profitable. If no such undertaking is given, then I won’t be taking chances on how the company will be run and will be joining the opposition by every means possible.

  • bucdenny

    What I want to know is how people think that Sprint suddenly owning T-Mobile would somehow be the end of the world? Keep in mind, the Sprint of today is damn different from the Sprint of two years ago – Softbank the owner with huge pockets and a drive to make some serious roads into the North American market. Mr Son told Sprint to deploy LD-LTE on all Sprint 38000+ sites is already insane. (Softbank uses LD-LTE in Japan and damn average speeds are 50Mbps+)

    Facts are T-Mobile is not investing into their network other than LTE overlaying HSPA. Softbank is investing into Sprint and deploying a monster network. Same will happen to T-Mobile if Mr Son get what he wants.

    • 30014

      This is a T-Mobile fan site, we don’t give a fahq about yoshi or sprint. And after the so called network vision, sprints network still blows compared to T-Mobiles in the Atlanta area. It’s hilarious that you think a merger has a good chance of getting gov’t approval. Take your happy a ss back to whatever sprint site you came from.

      • Drew

        Hey not chosing sides, but Sprints LTE network is actually an Gsm network. Its just other networks that are from a different carrier technology is just unable to have their cell devices unlocked on sprints gsm lte now network is what that ones about that’s
        all.

  • Bklynman

    I would like to know why is everyone up in arms about this? If this does happen,
    it won’t be for another year or two. Like others of said,it must be given the ok goes, by,DOJ,and,FCC. We won’t know what happen until then. If it does,I will wait
    and see how the new company goes before I do anything .

    • bucdenny

      Plus if it does go through, it is not like T-Mobile will just disappear. Softbank would likely eliminate all T-Mobile redundant sites (Sprint and T-Mobile co-located same cell site) and Sprint would start hosting all of T-Mobile’s GSM/W-CDMA. Softbank would then deploy 800/1900/2500 LTE on all T-Mobile non-colocated with Sprint sites or even sell off the network to Dish.

      At the end of the day it is all about LTE, LTE, LTE! More spectrum combined for LTE, LTE, LTE! It is not hard to combine the network, it takes time and money. At the end it would be a monster LTE network in 5 years.

      That would be LTE on 800Mhz, 1700Mhz, 1900Mhz, 2100Mhz, 2500-2600Mhz. That would bring seriously competition to the big two. Again stfu about GSM/CDMA not being compatible. GSM/CDMA will disappear soon once VOLTE is matured.

      • philyew

        Crown Castle, who operate the largest number of towers in the country, announced last week that they have 8,000 towers housing both Sprint and TM equipment. The Sprint leases run for 6 more years and the TM run for 8 years. It will therefore be a considerable expense/waste to consolidate the tower equipment in a hurry.

    • TechHog

      While T-Mobile waits for the deal to go through regulation, they will do absolutely nothing. No more LTE expansion, no more Uncarrier announcements, no more anything. Subscribers will leak, we’ll get less phones, customer service will deteriorate even further. T-Mobile will be stuck in limbo and will be ruined.

  • Mark Reese

    Sprint will have more debt as well as dish, after the deal closes. The only possible postive outcome is if tmobile becomes sprint t’s , prepaid brand or if sprint dies .The logo the contracts and the ceo….. And by the way yes softbank is a little jeleous of tmoble gains & is realizing upgrading tmobile is easier than sprint (spectrum not be factored in )

    • Jay Holm

      Uh…dish has nothing to do with any of this.

  • Alex Zapata

    So SoftBank wants their tentacles all over the place. Interesting…….

  • Jay Holm

    One positive thing that can come of this is Sprint does have more coverage outside of just urban areas, also combine both carriers spectrum and speeds will be blazing fast for everyone! ATT & Verizon control nearly two thirds of the entire U.S. market, they need some competition! .

    • fsured

      40+ million handsets will need to be replaced for T-Mobile customers to use Sprints network. That is a hefty amount. If they want Sprint customers to benefit from T-Mobiles HSPA+ and LTE networks then that is 50+million handsets that need to be changed. The possibility of all that spectrum being put to good use is great but they will have to give up a good portions of it for the government to approve the deal. Sprint right now has more spectrum than the other 3 and taking T-Mobiles with no concessions would create a huge monopoly.

    • Frank

      No good will come from this. Walk into a room with 3 or more people in it and mention Sprint. It will not take long for an animated “I hate Sprint” rant to get going. Too much bad will out there. If not for MVNO’s concealing their identity, they would probably have folded long ago.
      Easy to go back to AT&T, impossible to suffer Sprint.

      • 30014

        If you’re so passionate about sprint go find a sprint related website to praise them. This is a T-Mobile fan site, many of us have dealt with sprint in the past and had terrible experiences. Before you cry about them being a different company just remember that you only get one chance to make a 1st impression. You keep drinking the sprint kool-aid but don’t realise you’re drinking it by yourself. T-Mobile ftw.

  • tomarone

    SoftBank Sprint realizes that T-Mobile is just too much competition additional to Vz and ATT, so the only way they survive is buying out TMO which they can do if the banks extend them credit. Business destruction of companies and competition due to lack of regulation, destruction of capitalism itself because it cheapens the product.

  • Cjpowers

    Do you think they will keep gsm or get rid of it.

    • Whiskers

      When their LTE is complete it will be GSM.
      But i still don’t like their service they offer.

  • rfgenerator

    Very bad for the cell phone customers in the US. Let’s see a horror show of merging networks (probably moving forcing T-Mobile customers off GSM to the more closed world of CDMA and Sprint). Less competition meaning even if you are not a T-Mobile or Sprint customer, get ready to screwed every which way as less competition is pretty much always bad for the customer. T-Mobile’s MVNO’s will probably be shut down. Leaves AT&T as the only GSM network in the country. Not good all the way around. I hope the government rejects it. Will be contacting my Senators (Elizabeth Warren & Ed Markey) and Congressman (Jim McGovern) to ask them to do what they can to block this anti-consumer takeover

    • pop

      uh everyone is moving off gsm, and cdma and moving to lte(which isnt part of the gsm ratified set)

      why do people talk about things they have no clue about.

      • New York’s Finest

        The only person talking about things they have no clue about is you. LTE is an evolved form of gsm regardless of what you’ve been told. You just got learned son.

        • Metro PCS

          he is right actually LTE and VOIP is not that common yet GSM is more of a world standard. CDMA like Verizon and Sprint is more of a USA network, they both have advantages and disadvantages. The think I like about GSM though is the SIM card and its easier to switch to different phones.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          larger selection of gsm phones too.

  • Corey Harrell

    Hopefully its more like Metro PCS merger, were both networks are still available.

  • Juan Pablo Darquea

    This is bad i hope the deal Don’t go true man i dont want contracts any more then i see a aliance between the tree big Cell Carriers not good for consumers same prices they want to get tmobile out the ecuatoin so they can go Back to what was before screw the customers

  • Freddy

    Omg people give it a chance ! You guys don’t know how this new company would be run ! This is SoftBank ! Not Sprint. Sprint is OWNED by SOFTBANK. You guys don’t know if they’ll bring contracts back you guys don’t know if they would get rid of the T-Mobile brand. You guys don’t know if they’ll price around AT&T and Verizon Prices ! My bet is the two company’s will be the value leaders so they can poach Away customers from Verizon and AT&T

    • Whiskers

      That’s just it nobody knows , so who in their right mind is going to buy a new $700.00 smartphone if SoftBank actually bids for T-Mobile not knowing what’s in the future .
      I predict sales will drop big time if approved for the bidding process for T-Mobile just like it did during the attempted AT&T buyout.

    • Stone Cold

      Softbank is already in over their heads with the debt from the Sprint deal. Trying to make this deal makes little sense unless one of the 2 companies shut down. DOJ has said they want 4 players. This could start a bidding war between Dish and Softbank.

      • stevejobbed

        DOJ never said they want 4 major carriers, they said they didn’t want to have only one major GSM carrier. Depending on what Softbanks plans are technology wise this could be approved easily. There was no precedent for what ATT was doing, there are plenty of precedents from smaller companies coming together to have a better position in the marketplace.

        • philyew

          I’m not sure how you can reach that conclusion when Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said in a statement about their opposition to the deal in August 2011. “Consumers across the country, including those in rural areas and those with lower incomes, benefit from competition among the nation’s wireless carriers, particularly the four remaining national carriers. This lawsuit seeks to ensure that everyone can continue to receive the benefits of that competition.”

        • Metro PCS

          I think you are right but T-Mobile doesn’t really do well in Rural, I think Sprint may have a better network their. My concern is the 40,000 people that will lose their jobs and then consumers with only three choices now. It means whatever a Softbank would want to do or call its company. I thought they bought Sprint and got a $21 billion dollar loan, they were going to work an turning them around? I would rather see Dish, their might be less layoffs and more opportunities because they want to bundle and have spectrum, and we would still have four players the more the better the less the more they can stick it to the customer with a trioploy

    • 30014

      You’re right, we don’t know and don’t wanna know how a new company would be run. From the network to the pricing and plans, T-Mobile is the superior carrier. Give it 2 years or so and T-Mobile will be the larger carrier. T-Mobile customers would lose big time unless sprint was going to keep T-Mobiles prices and plans.

    • jay_max

      Until Softbank replaces Hesse and the rest of the legacy Sprint management, it is business as usual.

    • tomarone

      Once this happens there are only 3 companies. No more.

  • ar

    Humm I think my nexus 5 will work just fine with the sprint bands..

  • UMA_Fan

    I don’t think DT has this ‘itch’ to get out of the US like many people make it seem but they’re realists and are for anything that’s good business sense. Before the att merger DT was faced with buying spectrum with little hope of a good return then att came in with their huge offer and the largest break up fee in history relative to sale price. It made sense it wasn’t a deal of desperation. Tmobile is literally on Sprints heels right now and has very likely chance of getting a nice chunk of market share based on their current path alone. 5% more market share would be huge even if they were still number four. So whatever discussions in merging with Sprint they are having I would be shocked if Tmobile isnt approaching it with some kind of leverage. They just need some of that 700mhz spectrum and they don’t even need to partner with anyone else

  • Metro PCS

    I just don’t see it. I like having four major choices, not three, just means rising prices for the consumer. If Softbank wanted to buy T-Mobile, why didn’t they do that first, instead they borrowed $21 billion to buy 80% of Sprint and brought them to a current standstill with their network upgrade. A more likely bet is a buyout from Dish Network so they can use their spectrum and bundle cell/sat services. Dish already has $20 billion in credit lined up.

    • jay_max

      I prefer neither, but given the choice, Dish seems the lesser of two evils.
      I absolutely loathe Sprint. I’d be very tempted to move to AT&T if this merger is approved. (I can’t believe I just wrote that)

      • Rand0m3

        I would be on ATT (which I dislike only slightly less than Verizon because of the devices I tend to prefer being on ATT) before the ink dried. Sprint is my LAST choice for a provider. They may have changed since I left Soooo many years ago but I hold grudges for quite a while and wouldn’t go back unless the choice was that or no service (and it would still be a couple of months of looking for alternatives like going back to carrier pigeons or smoke signals) before I did it.

  • fsured

    Nothing stays the same when big mergers happen. Look at banks. They send all kinds of notices to the customers saying nothing will change and they will have all the benefits of the purchasing bank. Once the deal is done they slow shut down the programs from the previous bank and back track from the notion that nothing will change. Not to mention the joblosses that follow. It’s b.s. and to think Softbank will keep the same policies as T-Mobile has now is foolish. If they wanted to compete with the same pricing and plan structures they would have done so. They earn more money trough contracts and will need that revenue to pay back the 40 billion in debt they would gain from the purchase of Sprint and T-Mobile. That does not include the debt that would come for making the networks compatiable.

    If they were to leave T-Mobile alone and have it run as an independant company I could be infavor of this. They can market Sprint as the premium carrier and have T-Mobile to attract the value oriented customers. Softbank would still own both companies.

  • Jaime

    If this deal goes through, I will go to AT&T!

  • Frank

    The nicest thing about “no contract” plans? I will not have to be a $print customer for any longer then 29 days.

    Nobody wants to be a $print customer. Look at their numbers. Having been a $print customer in the past, I’ll not hesitate to go for the door.

  • jdubtrey

    Sprint customer here…

    Softbank might be open minded enough to stick with whatever approach is working best between TMo and Sprint. There’s no reason why Softbank has to be married to Sprint’s roadmap as opposed to TMo’s as Sprint has only been in softbank’s folio for about 6 months.

    However,and this has been tangientally in a few posts, Sprint and T’o keep EACH OTHER’S prices low. Either one no longer existing would be bad for all of us.
    As a Sprint user, I am as much if not more opposed to this deal as many of you.

    • philyew

      It isn’t just low prices that are the issue, the TM drive to change the way that the market operates is what I fear most will be the casualty.

      With three competitors of almost equal size, any one of them could use pricing as a short or long term competitive strategy, but none would need to dispense with contracts.

      If device prices start to fall again over time, it may once again become an option to use the subsidy con to lure customers into a contract.

      All the ugly facets of the carrier-consumer relationship will be reinforced. I’m hoping that TM’s underdog presence continues long enough to drive those things out of the market and make them very difficult to return.

  • trife

    The real bastards here are DT. I understand business is business, but sh*t or get off the pot already–either give up TMOUS or stick with it, invest in it fully and watch it grow. Enough of the dillydallying.

    • philyew

      DT spent their big investment when they bought into the market acquiring Voicestream and other components to make up TM US. It cost them $55 billion.

      Despite growing by almost 40 million customers, the whole company is now worth only around $30 billion. Until the reverse merger with MetroPCS allowed the company to be publicly listed, DT carried all the cost of investment in growing the company.

      They have therefore been chasing what turned out to be a bad investment for them for almost twelve years.

      Since the takeover offer from AT&T failed, DT received cash and spectrum worth $7 billion in the break up settlement. They immediately started to use the spectrum and $1.4 billion of the cash to boost the network with the deployment of LTE, which had previously not been possible because of the lack of available spectrum. That was a critical move as they would cease to be competitive with the other market leaders, if they had no LTE.

      The company recently added a further $4 billion in funding from a common stock issue and the sale of senior notes and that money is to be used on acquiring more spectrum to continue the network enhancement.

      I think characterizing DT as bastards doesn’t reflect the reality of the situation. They made an ill-advised investment, and have struggled to put it right. Meanwhile many of us in the metro areas have had pretty decent service at a bargain price while they have chosen to work the budget end of the market in that effort.

      Over the years, it’s been rumored that DT have talked to a number of companies interested in buying them out, it’s not really DT’s fault that the only one so far willing to cover their losses was AT&T, or that now the only party willing to make public their active interest is Sprint.

      • trife

        I definitely see what you’re saying, and for the most part I agree. But can’t they be held accountable for getting themselves in a position where an AT&T buyout was going to be the only way that they’d be able to cover their losses? Could they have done more from the beginning to avoid being the #4 carrier for so long? Isn’t DT the reason that TMO is the #4 carrier in the first place?

        I guess my point is that it sucks that because of DT’s bad investment (or more likely bad handling of that investment), they’re consistently open to cashing out at the expense of the customers who kept them from completely drowning for years. And I see what they’ve done as far as investing to make TMOUS look more appealing to potential buyers, and I can accept that those actions are simply business. But for the end user, it still stinks having that air of uncertainty lingering around all the time. I’d rather DT go all in or just go away, but I guess that’s why I’m no businessman.

        • philyew

          When TM completed the acquisition of Voicestream in June 2001, including the markets served by Powertel, which it also acquired at the time, it had just 5.4 million subscribers. It now has 45 million. TM achieved most of its growth by building customer base, rather than by acquisitions, so it could be argued that DT did make an honest effort to grow.

          I have no idea what made DT think that the valuation they placed on Voicestream and Powertel was good value, other than the following statement that they made in the 1st June 2001 press release announcing the completed acquisition: “VoiceStream, with its affiliates, owns licenses to provide service to more than 273 million people, covering approximately 97% of the U.S. population.”

          Unfortunately, that spectrum (PCS 1900 MHz band) wasn’t capable of supporting the deployment of a 3G network, so they waited until September 2006 to bid in the FCC auction of the AWS (1700/2100) band. They spend over $4 billion acquiring licenses and over $2.5 billion deploying the equipment to deliver it.

          Part of the problem with that auction, however, was that other government agencies were still using the spectrum and didn’t rush to clear the airwaves. In fact, it wasn’t until May 2008 that TM was able to launch its first 3G service. Way behind the rest of the market leaders, despite their reasonable intentions.

          Arguably, we wouldn’t be fighting for the continued existence of a fourth nationwide carrier, if DT hadn’t made that questionable investment and persevered to grown 5.4 million customers into 45 million. There was nothing about the state of the wireless market in 2001 which suggested that this would be how things grew and turned out.

          As far as I can see, it is what it is. I can’t blame DT’s management for trying to make the most of a highly dubious investment decision on behalf of their stockholders.

          I keep hammering the point that, with less than half the number of subscribers compared with AT&T and Verizon, with each paying substantially less for service, TM has to keep focused on the urban markets where the vast majority of the potential customer base resides and where it costs less per unit to provide competitive network services because of the high population density and the narrow geographic spread. Assuming for a moment that all of TM’s customers live in these larger markets, there are still over 180 million people living there who don’t have TM service. Compare that to the rest of the country where there are less than 90 million distributed over huge geographic spreads.

          With that in mind, I actually think that what TM is being allowed to do by DT is quite something.

    • jdubtrey

      I think you have touched on something that many here aren’t recognizing.

      It is apparent that DT wants out.

      Divesting is the priority unfortunately, which means that we (consumers left behind) probably aren’t much of an afterthought.

      As a Sprint pre-paid customer, I’m afraid of the power this new company would wield: nearly 70% of the pre-paid market.

      If DT sells to Sprint, the days of $30 5GB plans are over, I think.

      • UMA_Fan

        Historically however DT hasn’t made rash impulsive decisions. Everything they’ve done so far has been well thought out. They could have just as well sold tmobile instead of going through the hassle of hiring John Legere in the first place and buying Metro PCS. The Att deal was good business sense if you consider the premium they were willing to pay and the break up fee. Whatever come out of Soft bank I think DT will have a good idea of what they’re getting into

        • jdubtrey

          When the AT&T deal failed, it wasn’t surprising that T-Mobile would look to strengthen itself in the short term, while still keeping an eye on getting out altogether down the road.

          Making an agreement with AT&T just hoping to garner the breakup fee would be a bad faith negotiation. DT was obviously willing to sell, and probably still is for the right price.

          Sprint and TMobile competing for customers helps us (as consumers) but probably puts a ceiling on what either can do to cut into VZ and AT&T’s market share. Softbank and DT know that.

          We just hope that the Fed doesn’t let them do anything about it.

    • tomarone

      Wrong, because this is typical business in the US. Look at any tech field in the last 40 years, it goes through this, company buying company until there’s essentially nothing left.
      The real bastards are the government for allowing this to happen. As long as company A can afford to buy (leverage, bank loans etc) >50% of stock of company B, and company B is a good competitor to company A, then they will do that because greed trumps all other good things in this world we have here.

  • landmarkcm

    Sprint is the apitamy of incompetence. People are so tired of there “network vision” excuses. Im sure one day they will finally get it together & they can no longer make claim to being the unlimited value leader either. They are the worst carrier here in Vegas still and in major parts of CA etc. There LTE in some areas where its up is not any faster then Tmobile’s HSPA+ which I am happily using my Moto G on. I mean I guess I wouldnt care to much about the merger as long as theres no major changes. Theres no way there going to eliminate the GSM etc. I mean that would cause alot of unhappy people. They cant be that stupid. Tmobiles network is the growing faster one right now over Sprint’s.

    • grammard00d

      Erm… “epitome,” “their,” “I’m,” “their” again, “it’s,” “wouldn’t,” “too,” “there are,” “there’s,” “they’re,” “a lot,” “can’t,” to name a few…

      • landmarkcm

        Aww lol gotta love it. I knew I spelled epitome wrong but I couldn’t go back & edit it. Your response has what to do with the topic on here though..

  • Bori

    What would they call this “marrige”, SprinTmobile? ??? Eeek, not liking these rumors..

  • Kuma951

    We gonna stop this merging as we did AT&T and t-mobile in 2011, we have sign Petion to FCC, FCC abd DOJ are will listen to people, so we should stand together as we did in 2011. Sprint get f**k off. We love t-mobile

    • Joshua

      Let’s hope Dish Network owns T-Mobile verses it being Sprint!! Sprint smells bad.

  • Joshua

    Please please please Dear Heavenly father do not allow Sprint to buy out T-Mobile, instead only allow Dish Network to buy out T-Mobile!! Dish/T-Mobile is the best Combination to go with!!

    • msohail

      Dish is even worse .. they only thing they will do is to increase the price.

  • Kpennett

    If it Didn’t Go through For AT&T, It Shouldn’t Go through For SoftBank/Sprint!

    • calvin200

      You can wish that, but this proposed merger is far different than what would happen with ATT

  • Right now there are 167 comments on this topic. How many are in favor of the merger? All DOJ needs to do is read all the negative posts on this issue. The problem I have is that the TM and Sprint tech is not at all compatible. The other problem is they want to become the “third” major player the easy way. Vacumin up customers thru merger. They need to do it the hard way by being the “un” carrier. Most of the off contract ATT people went to tmobile if they knew what was good for them (and unlocked their phone and got off the upgrde marry go round). Tmob Coverage is ok but not as widespread as ATT (in semi rural areas of So Cal.). Anytime you decrease competition you raise. prices. Period. Now the next thing we need to do is stop all the spectrum squatting. Use it or loose it. The fact that DT wants out of TMob is problematic. I dont know what you can do about that other than use the govt. to stop them from getting out. Thats not a good thing. Also with respect to Sprint I recon back to a day when they were doing lots of advertising and “un” carrier stuff (like tmob) but now that LTE is here they are all quiet. Hmmm.

    • jdubtrey

      “The other problem is they want to become the “third” major player the easy way. Vacumin up customers thru merger. They need to do it the hard way by being the “un” carrier.”

      I think some people are under the impression that TMo’s motives are different, more innovative or more noble than that of other carriers. Maybe they are to some extent, but the cold truth is that TMo had to differentiate itself to survive as the #4 carrier.

      There was a time when Sprint was that lone voice in the wilderness. When my contract with AT&T was up a few years ago, I was completely free to choose any carrier available. I chose Sprint, because I could essentially get a smartphone with unlimited everything (including unthrottled data) for $63 a month after discount and taxes. TMo couldn’t touch that at the time (I know because I looked).

      The $30 5GB plan that people love so much was TMo response to Sprint’s $25 300 min/Unlimited Text/Unlimited Data prepaid smartphone plan. That plan is now $35 and throttled at 2.5GB, but it doesn’t change the precedent they set.

      TMo does get a lot of credit for a continuing effort to separate the subsidy from the phone cost (something that AT&T and VZ trying to do and the main Sprint brand doesn’t do at all).

      What’s my argument? The point is that TMo and Sprint have both shown they can be progressive. However, either through growth, merger or acquisition, neither is going to have the motivation to be as innovative as they get larger. Customers of both would be better off if TMo and Sprint stayed right where they were in terms of market share. We all benefit from them fighting to keep every customer they have.

      Unfortunately, DT and Softbank know that too, and likely have other plans.

      • I dont disagree. Its like people arguing over IOS and android. Pick what you like. I do think its a ashame that we have to throw phones out every two years or if we change carriers (the exception being TM and ATT on GSM) I would like to have a euro model where you buy the phone you want (now or used) with the OS you want then pick your carrier. And for some reason the cellular coverage in EU seems insanely good when I have been over there compared to what I see here in the USA from TMOB

  • JNawaz

    I think T-Mobile USA should just spin off as a separate entity with the help of MetroPCS. Selling to SoftBank (essentially merging with Sprint) would do nothing but kill all the efforts set forth by Legere. Also, if I lose the ability to bring my own phone and inserting SIM card to use the device, I’d be very unhappy. I tend to use unlocked handsets more than carrier supplied ones. I’ll be stuck with what sprint will offer.

    • philyew

      They are already independently listed on the NYSE through the deal with MetroPCS. Deutsche Telekom remains the largest shareholder with a 67% holding. It is the possible sale of that holding which is attracting interest from Softbank and, perhaps, Dish Networks.

      There is nothing that can be done to prevent a third party considering a buyout. In this case, DT has sufficient equity to refuse, or accept and transfer effective control of the company, without reference to the other shareholders. Of course, federal authorities can and do oppose such deals where they represent a threat to market competitiveness, which is very likely in this scenario, given the comments of the DoJ when opposing the AT&T takeover.

      It would be surprising if DT were not looking for at least one other competitive offer before committing to sell.

  • Flyincloud

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rand0m3

    It would easily go south, didn’t one of those 3 letter agencies give as one of the reasons for the ATT failure that they wanted 4 major competitors in the market? They already own too much of another US mobile company to pull it off (in my non-expert opinion) which is why they aren’t willing to put up the money for the attempt. Although it seems the easiest way to make TMo (your competitor) lose customers for a while is to threaten to buy them and force them to go somewhere they have zero desire to be. So maybe that’s why this rumor won’t go away

  • Winski

    SoftBank WILL NOT BUY TMO US…. Legere won’t let that happen regardless of what the Press OR Sprint OR anyone else says… TMO US is having too much fun right now kickin a little booty..

    • calvin200

      Then maybe he should say it won’t happen. He hasn’t.

  • pips78

    Anyone notice that this rumor appears just about every year? Albeit it’s a little different this time around. It’s like the T-mobile USA being on the “top 10 list of companies that won’t exist next year” the first 3 years I worked here. Yet here i am. The fact that Sprint is now owned by “Soft Serve” changes nothing. This CEO “allegedly” is approaching banks like a shopaholic with awful credit desperately applying for credit cards online so they can complete their Walker Texas Ranger commemorative plate collection. They don’t have the money. And it will be shut down if they do manage to get it. Sorry Son! Your great empire and asspirations to one day rule the world with your buddy “Pinky” will have to wait and consist of a dismal Sprint for the time being. T-mo has changed too much in the industry to be allowed to be handed over to “Soft Lube” for 20bill. Which is insane btw. 20bill, seriously? We were crap back when the Death Star wanted us and they offered 39bill. Maybe I’m missing something here. Seems like they are just throwing out these rumors to gauge a response and have no intention to do anything but test our waters.

    • calvin200

      Sour grapes much? Things and dynamics have changed in the direction that this more likely. As far as financing and price–who wouldn’t have to finance and OMG a low bid offer. Who does that? Everyone.