Legere okay with Sprint/T-Mobile merger as long as he’s in charge?

john-legere-twitter-t-mobile-ceo-ces-2014-uncarrier-plans

John Legere has become one of the most prominent figures in the wireless industry since taking over at T-Mobile around 16 months ago. Thanks to his style, demeanor and business approach, he – and T-Mobile with him – has become unavoidable. Whether or not its just a public persona for the sole purpose of personifying T-Mobile’s new-found Maverick brand will be argued for a while yet.

In an interview with NPR a couple of days ago, he shares the same-old responses regarding the wireless industry and T-Mobile’s position in it. The same answers we’ve heard before. As long as T-Mobile changes the industry for the good, Legere doesn’t mind if his company’s number 1 or number 4, because they’ll be successful anyway and they’ll have achieved what they wanted to. “We are either going to take over this whole industry, or these (bleep) are going to change.”

The part of the transcript/interview I found most interesting was his slightly different approach on the question of a Softbank purchase and the seemingly inevitable merger with Sprint afterwards. Questioned on whether or not T-Mobile’s Maverick methods would continue after a merger if it took place, John Legere answered:

“Great question. No, great question. You know, just asked – the question you’re just asking. What’s important for the U.S. industry is the change that the maverick is creating. That’s T-Mobile.”

He also argued that allowing Sprint and T-Mobile to merge would “make the maverick stronger”. It’s worth noting at this time that Legere was running Global Crossing before he joined T-Mobile in September 2012. Once of that company’s owners was Masayoshi Son, current owner of Softbank, the carrier that’s purportedly has an interest in buying Deutsche Telekom’s  67% controlling stake in T-Mobile US. Steve Henn of NPR states that “while Legere is impressing 20-somethings with his taste in rap and his tweets and trying to convince regulators that a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile wouldn’t actually hurt consumers, he also seems to be auditioning for a new job from his old boss, running a combined Sprint and T-Mobile.”

“I just know that what I’ve got – myself, my leadership team, my company, my brand, the growth – is one of the biggest missing things in the industry. So if I was Masayoshi Son and I was interested in T-Mobile, I would say, you know, I got to – I like what they do.”

Since the rumors of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger aren’t going away, it’s worth considering the implications. If Softbank wants to own T-Mobile it’s because of the movements its made in the past year. Uncarrier has been a massive success. Adding 4.4 million net subscribers is an achievement not met by anyone else except Verizon. And one could argue that Uncarrier and John Legere are inseparable. They coexist. Whether it’s an act to promote Uncarrier, or whether Uncarrier is just a business idea that has its roots in the very core of Legere’s personality is unimportant. Without Uncarrier, no-one will make a dent in the “Big Two” carriers’ control of the market. That would remain true if T-Mobile stayed as it was, or if it merged with Sprint.

If anyone should be worried by the bid, it’s Sprint fans. Of the two brands at the moment, T-Mobile has the momentum, it has the “cool factor”, it’s adding the same number of subscribers each quarter as Verizon, it has the most competitive plans and its LTE coverage is expanding at break-neck pace. Sprint is doing the exact opposite. But it has spectrum, and more customers than T-Mobile. Combined, they could mount a serious challenge under a single brand.

In short: If T-Mobile joins Sprint, or if it doesn’t, it has to keep doing what it’s doing. Building on its success in 2013, and keeping the same focus and direction.

I’ve embedded the interview below (in Flash). Otherwise, head on over to NPR.org to read the entire transcript.

Via: BGR

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  • KingCobra

    I kind of agree. The only way I wouldn’t be opposed to the merger is if it’s the Sprint branding that Softbank decides to eliminate and integrate the combined carrier into the Uncarrier T-Mobile branding. Most people probably wouldn’t have any issue with that. The Sprint brand has a negative stigma with consumers in today’s market and most of that 4.4 million that T-Mobile gained actually came from customers who fled Sprint.

    • Willie D

      I had actually hoped that during the Nextel-Sprint merger, Sprint would have taken the Nextel name and culture, instead, they forced them out, and partly used the name, color, and logo to an extent. T-Mobile USA and Sprint cultures are vastly different, however, at one point in time, T-Mobile’s culture was just as bad if not worse than Sprint, as if they hired all of the people Sprint fired. If the merger pulls through, DT will not allow the T-Mobile name to be used between the two companies, unless its licensed, but since DT wants to be rid of the USA market all-together, they likely wont allow the name to be used, leaving Sprint – a brand familiar in the USA, or introduce a new name, SoftBank which is unfamiliar, and honestly, synonymous with a name for a bank instead of a wireless company. With Sprint saying they want to use the Nextel name again for business customers (why bother at this point), it may be wise to either invest in bringing the name back, Nextel, or using Clearwire, or even Clear as their brand. In MY opinion, rebooting Sprint from the ground up with new customer agents, branding, color, logo, and even management from all levels would be a saving point, but the name Clear – complete with clear pricing, clear purchase options and clear fine print would keep an uncarrier like mentality.

  • taron19119

    Im good with t-mobile/Sprint with John legere and t-mobile CTO neville ray running things

    • Jay Holm

      Why the heck would anyone thumbs down this comment? Sheez!

      • jdubtrey

        I didn’t TD it, but if #3 and #4 merge, there really won’t be much incentive for that new company to be as aggressive as TMo was in 2013.

  • tmo97

    Bingo,

    And there you have it. He doesn’t care if he is really in charge, he’ll have a great close out package.

    So all you tmo fans who think the sprint merger is bad, guess again. Bad for you, good for the parent company

    • Bryce

      You are 100% correct my friend. He’s in it to sell a company, not to please the consumer. It’s a clever ruse, but one that some of us are able to see through.

      • UMA_Fan

        You have no reason to form that opinion. None! Making a company sellable and just simply running a company successfully are the exact same thing!!!

        • Bryce

          My evidence behind this is the amount of sacrifice they are making for the sake of gaining customers. their ARPU is plummeting and they are using up all of their funds with this uncarrier initiative. It’s not sustainable for the long term. The obvious conclusion is that they are trying to boost their value in order to sell because Deutsche Telekom is tired of losing money.

        • philyew

          It’s the earnings that are important. If they increase their overall revenue without increasing their operating costs as a result of taking on larger numbers of customers then their EBITDA margin will increase. That’s the number that is being tracked closely rather than ARPU.

  • nd

    Keep Tmobile brand including the CEO. Dump the sprint name. Not sure how network vision would mesh with GSM/Wideband LTE, If the TMobile brand, structure, technology, pricing, Uncarrier sticks and consumes Sprint under a merger, I would be down for that.

    • Jay Holm

      What I think would be mighty interesting is combining Sprint’s Spark and Tmo’s Wideband LTE. I read on a website called Extreme Tech that Tmo doesn’t have the spectrum to deploy 20×20 in all the markets it says it can, some markets it will have to be 15×15 LTE, which should still be great.

  • KingofPing

    I’d still rather see that there remain 4 major carriers in the US, but if this has to happen, I’d rather it happen with Legere and his team running the show once all is said and done.

  • Justin747

    Even if Legere is the leader I don’t want this. I wish the smaller 2 carriers would stop being so obsessed with catching Verizon and AT&T in number of subscribers and just maximize profits with the subscribers they do have. If you provide a good service, customers will come. I see no need for T-Mobile to merge with a dead weight company like Sprint just to catch the other 2. If Sprint keeps at their current pace, a good chunk of Sprint’s customers are gonna go to T-Mobile anyway.

    Sprint was so desperate to add subscribers a few years ago, employees were told to sell people 2nd and 3rd lines and just tell the customer to keep the phone tucked away in a drawer in case they ever needed a back up.

    Sprint is a virus that ruins anything it touches.

    “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Harvey Dent

    • bkin94

      It is the responsibility of every publicly owned company to grow. Stock holders want that, and they have an obligation to increase their value for the stock-holders. I’m not saying I like it, but unless i’m mistaken, that’s how it goes

      • Justin747

        It is the responsibility of every publicly owned company to grow… responsibly.

        I completely agree that a company must grow to succeed. The problem is the US cell phone market is over saturated. There isn’t much room for growth, its a lot of shifting from carrier to carrier.

        The problem with Sprint is how they try to add subscribers sloppily. Sprint employees (I was one) were “encouraged” to sell phones to “max out” the family plan whether customers needed extra phones or not. There was also a lot of shady practices around releases of major phones. If you want to test this theory, attempt to purchase an iPhone 6 without a new line of service when it releases. Sprint REPEATEDLY gave (and they still do) employees unrealistic sales quotas with an incomplete network.

        That in turn DECREASES customer and employee satisfaction
        Which then INCREASES churn as unhappy customers depart
        Which then DECREASES the reputation and number of subscribers Sprint has.
        Which leaves us with the mess of a company that is Soft-Sprint

        I seriously think Softbank is having Buyers Remorse after purchasing Sprint. Sprint is too much of a fixer-upper. So much work is needed for them to compete with any of the carriers.

  • j0mama

    There’s no way T-Mobile branding would stay here since it’s a DT product. If the combination occurs, they should rebrand everything to SoftBank USA and keep the Uncarrier strategy. (Maybe that’s what Maya Son is intending to do).

    • S. Ali

      If DT agrees to take some stock, they can license the brand.

      • philyew

        But anyone planning the long term future would settle on a brand that could be taken outside the saturated US market. That wouldn’t be anything based on TM, which already has an international presence.

        • j0mama

          This is Axis of Evil like WWII. Germans and Japs teaming up…

        • philyew

          Well we know how badly that turned out for them…

    • JimInChicago

      I agree that there is question about the T-Mobile brand and whether it could be licensed, but really, who wants Softbank–the name says nothing about phone or data service.

  • Willie D

    I can tell you this, a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile will actually make the two combined weaker, and AT&T and Verizon stronger. Many people left AT&T for T-Mobile, and did not go to Sprint – why? Because Sprint sucks. Many people left Verizon and went to T-Mobile – why? Because Sprint is one of the highest priced competitors, in fact, they are #2 in terms of high cost. Even more than AT&T. People hate Sprint to the point that T-Mobile merging with Sprint would cause those who left other companies to go back to the former carrier just because they dont want to deal with Sprint. Nearly 15 million have left Sprint for a purpose, they, myself included, do not want to go back, EVER, even after their network is deployed, they have shown nothing to keep the loyal ones happy or even explained anything more than “be patient” year after year…They have the worst network, and if merging with Nextel is any indication, Nextel, the more stable network of Sprint and Nextel was the one that was lacking upkeep and dismantled data widen from day one. Sprint then forced CDMA on everyone, then didnt keep up with its maintenance either. This should be an indication that Sprint would do the same with T-Mobile, rather than do what T-Mobile did with MetroPCS – convert CDMA to more efficient HSPA+ and migrate via upgrades to the newer network. Sprint wont do this, and they have no intent of keeping any benefits or pricing or even unlimited plans once the merger is approved or completed. Softbank is notorious in Japan for actually having short promotional periods for plans, and then sticking it to the loyal customers shortly after it expires. T-Mobile is moving away from this, and Sprint is only moving back into it. This merger would be disaster.

    • S. Ali

      The question (if the merger goes through) is how quickly can Sprint become T-Mobile (in spirit) before ATT/Verizon simply muscle the two (monopolize spectrum) out of the market. Sprint has the serious potential to be a great network (Legere already knows this), what they lack is leadership willing to bring in customers. Sprint/Dish/T-mobile can easily challenge Cable/Internet/Wireless as one company. Despite all the changes within this industry, Sprint still holds on to legacy plans and reacts to market changes.

      • Andrew Finkenbinder

        I would need to check, but I think Sprint by itself has more spectrum than any other individual carrier already. A combined T-Mobile/Sprint would have even more.

        • vrm

          the clearwire spectrum is worthless- ask clearwire. Oh, where IS clearwire ?

          How much of 800 mhz spectrum do they have and in how many markets ?

          tmobile’s spectrum holdings are much better- AWS and PCS.

        • Bryce

          It’s not worthless by any means. It makes great for outdoor use and once you enter indoor areas, it switches to Sprint’s 800MHz or PCS spectrum. Sprint has a great balance of mid, high, and low band spectrum.

        • Justin747

          Here comes ol’ Bryce with his Sprint pom poms….

          I just wish there was some way you could test Sprint service out here near me on the Pacific Coast.

        • Bryce

          Was that a diss?

        • Justin747

          Not a diss at all. I just see ol’ Bryce C EVERYWHERE defending Sprint endlessly.

          I understand that Sprint works great for you, I understand that you frequent S4GRU. I also understand that Sprint has boat loads of spectrum, but Sprint has internal problems that will ALWAYS keep them from mainstream success.

          If only you knew…

        • Bryce

          I know a lot. And Sprint’s internal issues are being addressed. Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son is keeping Sprint on a tight leash and has publicly stated so.

          He said that Sprint has gotten used to being #3 or #4 in the wireless atmosphere and that he is not going to sit back. He got tired of seeing Sprint lose and this year, he is making significant changes.

        • Justin747

          But how are these issues being addressed specifically?

          What changes is he gonna make exactly?

          How do you explain why Sprint is generally dead last is customer satisfaction and network performance in most of the country, yet the have more spectrum holdings than any other carrier? How is it possible that Sprint can’t even have the best performance in their home city of Overland Park?

          CEOs make promises like this all the time. They have to say these things to please the shareholders. Him putting Sprint on a tight leash just means more unrealistic pressure on the people who do actual work within the company.

          I understand you want Sprint to succeed. I was like you for a while. It’s no different than rooting for your favorite sports team. But when you work for Sprint, you see first hand why they are in a bad position and will continue to be in that position.

        • Bryce

          http://www.lightreading.com/mobile/4g-lte/softbanks-son-keeps-sprint-on-short-leash/d/d-id/707348

          Sprint only began making use of its spectrum last year. They originally planned for “hotspot-like access” to Clear’s LTE network. but once they bought Clear and had Softbank’s funds, that project got expanded to every single Sprint site and then more for added density.

          At this point a lot of Sprint’s network problems come from things that are not in their control anymore. Backhaul, for example has prevented Sprint from getting LTE to sites faster.

          However, Sprint my put in place temporary backhaul to Sprint sites in order to get LTE out to sites faster and replace it with permanent backhaul as it becomes available.

        • yeah right

          Sprint can blanket the country with each one of the three of their spectrum holding positions… 800, 1900, and 2500… that is how much they have.

  • steveb944

    Considering that’s his old boss, I think it’s inevitable at this point. I hope nothing changes for everyone’s sake but if it does hopefully competition remains.

    • Dakota

      Some things starting to smell fishy and its not just that Magenta tee shirt

      • Jay Holm

        I agree!

  • Whiskers

    I think he could be playing Masayoshi Son for another breakup fee collection like T-Mobile did to AT&T when it failed.
    Get Softbank to may a big offer and sit back and watch the government not allow it and T-Mobile collects again,lol.

  • philyew

    I don’t buy that logic at all, but Legere has no choice but to claim that a Softbank-owned entity would carry on with Uncarrier.

    The logic fails to recognize that Softbank would immediately control over 100 million customers – almost as many as AT&T. Not immediately, but over a relatively short period of time, they could easily afford to ease back on the gas. With a comparable network in place, they wouldn’t need to maintain their aggression.

    Legere is paid to spout this stuff, but don’t drink that kool-aid, Cam ;-)

    • Dakota

      He may be trying to hype the stock

      • philyew

        He’s not going to say anything with the opposite intention, is he?

        The perfect…the ONLY answer he can give is that what the company is doing now is the right thing for everyone and that nothing and no one is going to change that, because it’s self-evidently the right thing to do.

  • KP

    Makes me second guess some moves we are making as a company.

    It doesn’t make sense at all from a technology perspective as well as the corresponding capex with two divergent companies.

    Oh well, we can always go back to ATT.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    I oppose to this merger.

  • Dakota

    He’s sounding more and more of the arrogant egotistical guy we’ve seen glimpses of. Why does he care about changing the industry vs focusing on his job as CEO of T-Mobile? AT&T, Verizon, Sprint will copy everything Tmobile is doing. Theyve already started in small steps. If no one has subsidies, what makes Tmobile special? He’s looking for his big payday to get out

    • Glad I Left CA

      He already stated that “No matter what happens, T-Mobile will be successful”.

      He’s trying to change the industry, because it’s broken. It doesn’t work. People are paying more for their phones than they are for the cars in some families. If you FORCE the industry to change, then T-Mobile will win. T-Mobile was not good at competing in the industry the way that it currently is.

    • bkin94

      It will take the other carriers a while to switch their entire business like that. by then the damage will be done, and TMO will have much growth.

  • Glad I Left CA

    Everyone, or most at least, seem to be missing the point.

    A combined merger with Sprint would be an EXCELLENT idea. Here’s why:

    1. Spectrum. Tons of it. T-Mobile would gain SO MUCH yummy, delicious spectrum that our data speeds would FLY through the roof. Not to mention the impact it would have on new coverage areas.

    2. The network: The current sprint network is DEAD. DONE. CANNOT EXPAND. But, they are building a NEW network that is 100% compatible with T-Mobiles network. It’s an Ericsson LTE network, and they have built some already. They are expanding, so everything they have built for the new LTE network will be, again, 100% compatible. So they would just rip the old, incompatible network and integrate the new stuff into their network, adding the spectrum and new cell site locations… BIG WIN!

    3. Customers. A crap ton of new customers = A crap ton of new capital to expand the network to the fringes, giving T-Mobile as big of a network as Verizon in a VERY short time! BIG WIN!

    There are way more positives than negatives. There is NO WAY that they will agree to this without, at LEAST, letting Legere run the thing. Sprint is done. Why would you put the CEO of a dead company at the helm when you have the hottest CEO in technology who has history with the owner. The name could change, but the company would be AWESOME!

    • Deadeye37

      To make this successful, I think they should quickly move to dismantle the CDMA network that sprint uses, convert all of sprint to GSM and put that spectrum to good use, especially the low frequency stuff. Do some refarming and get the lower frequency bands to run LTE and do away with Edge. Also, they would need to get sprint’s backhaul up to T-mobile standards.

      If Softbank can pull off the merger and push the upgrades to sprint’s infrastructure while keeping T-mobile’s brass, The combined T-mobile/sprint company would be virtually unstoppable!

      • vrm

        So far, tmobile has moved < 2 million metropcs customers off CDMA, approaching a year; metro pcs had about 10 million on CDMA. Sprint has 50 million+ on CDMA, and that doesn't include other companies riding on their CDMA network ! How do you propose that happens ? Give everyone new phones for free ? Or worse, make them pay for phones they didn't ask for ?

        Sprint/tmobile merger makes absolutely no sense ANY way you look at it, except to prolong the survival of sprint by handing them new customers on a platter. Eventually, sprint will again bleed these new customers off to the big two and end up in the same situation, with 10 times the debt.

        • Roger Sales

          agreed, Sprint needs to return to profitability on their own before taking on more debt. ESMR LTE needed to happen for them during the PCS rollout, not after.

        • bronxboi

          Sprint is not buying T-mobile, Softbank is the buyer.

        • bkin94

          I don’t see why it has to be quick. what’s wrong with some of metro PDS still being on cdma? sure it isn’t as efficient as the network being 100% gsm, but i think that’s part of the investment that the TMO leaders decided was worth the spectrum and customers. About 2 years after they stop selling cdma phones, shouldn’t the switch be much smaller since everything is on a 2 year cycle? or am i missing something? (i guess i’m not considering the used market)

      • Bryce

        They can’t dismantle CDMA completely because it is used for M2M services. However, what’ll likely happen is both networks will operate separately as their LTE networks get densified. Once density is good enough, they will begin selling LTE only handsets and have everyone use services such as VoLTE instead of the usual GSM and CDMA voice equivalents.

    • Cam Bunton

      Your points are very well put across. I’ve seen a similar move happen in the UK, again involving our T-Mobile. Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom (Orange) agreed to merge the two carriers to form one company. It allowed them to do a lot of damage in the market.

      EE (the combined company) was the first to get license to roll out a 4G LTE network, and now has over 60% of the country covered, in just over a year. It now has the biggest, fastest network, and was able to shuffle around some of its spectrum/coverage since areas once covered by T-Mobile and Orange no longer needed the same number of towers to operate. They started sharing. Fewer structures to manage, and some wriggle-room made it easier to expand.

      That said, the could definitely do with adopting some of T-Mobile US’ Uncarrier moves. Currently, only O2 UK is anything like Tmo, with its Refresh plans basically being like Uncarrier in that the phone plan and airtime plan are two different things, and once you’ve paid off the phone plan, you can cancel the airtime plan, or upgrade to a new phone. 0%.. with flexible options on how much you pay for a device up front.

    • Kidney_Thief

      Spectrum, you say? Sprint only has 40 MHz of spectrum in each market when T-Mobile has around 80 MHz. And the spectrum that Sprint does have sucks. They literally hitched their wagon to the wrong horse as many times as any wireless company could. The only overlapping spectrum Sprint and T-Mobile have is PCS, and Sprint only has around 10 MHz. So, no, there really isn’t a whole lot of yummy spectrum to speak of.

      100% compatible network? Maybe in the PCS band, but certainly not anywhere else.

      OMG customers! That’s totally the best part! But it’s totally cool because Sprint’s network is totally awesome, and 100% compatible, amirite? I’m sure bandwidth is definitely not going to be a problem.

      The only company this is good for is Sprint. That’s it.

      • Bryce

        Sprint has about 40MHz of spectrum per market in the PCS band alone. Whereas, T-Mobile usually has 60-80MHz of PCS and other licenses per market. Another 14MHz is added on for SMR and another nearly 100MHz is added on for their BRS/EBS licenses on Sprint.

        Sprint only has about 10MHz of PCS-G Block spectrum. That is enough for a 5×5 LTE network, which is exactly the same configuration T-Mobile will be doing on their 700MHz network.

        Sure BRS/EBS is not great for penetrating buildings, but at a good site density it’ll be very useful outdoors and you’ll switch to PCS or SMR once you end up indoors. And because Sprint has so much BRS/EBS spectrum, they can aggregate multiple 20MHz carriers. Currently they have 1 20MHz carrier in Spark which is providing theoretical top speeds of 100Mbps in a 3:2 configuration. Later this year, after Sprint provisions a backhaul increase to its site, they’ll add another 20MHz carrier that can provide speeds of 168Mbps with a Cat.4 radio.

        This is good for both carriers because they’ll have the spectrum to sustain unlimited data for years to come. Their network would almost never bog down as they’d have tremendous capacity. And they’ll have the consumer base to take the fight to AT&T and Verizon harder than either of these two companies could do for themselves!

        • Kidney_Thief

          Your math is a bit optimistic. I live in Minneapolis, so let’s use that as an example. Sprint has a a total of 20 MHz (10+10) PCS, including the G block. 40 MHz, it is not. In addition, they have 12 MHz of SMR (6+6), and 61 MHz of BRS, which is not close to 100.

          In contrast, T-Mobile has 60 MHz (30+30) of AWS spectrum, plus another 50 MHz (25+25) of PCS spectrum, plus presumably another 10 MHz (5+5) of A block spectrum, whenever that goes through. Here’s the kicker. If T-Mobile wants, they can also grab more AWS spectrum, if it pleases them (there are auctions upcoming, after all), and they could have chosen as well to participate in the PCS H block auction. What does the landscape look like for BRS and SMR auctions?

          So, yes, Sprint may have a bevy of high frequency spectrum, but very little else. At least T-Mobile can build a fast network without needing something like Spark.

        • Jay Holm

          How exactly do you go about finding out how much spectrum T-Mobile has in a perticular market? Including the MetroPCS spectrum. I’m most interested in Waterbury & New Haven Connecticut.

        • Kidney_Thief

          specmap [dot] sequence-omega [dot] net
          It will allow you to break down spectrum holdings by carrier, type, and band by location.

        • Jay Holm

          Only big cities
          are listed, I’m trying to find Waterbury & New Haven Connecticut for T-Mobile. 700mhz is listed, but people are saying that deal with Verizon hasn’t gone through yet.

        • Kidney_Thief

          Click on the “By Carrier” tab, then select T-Mobile, then find your area. Click on the list on the right. Areas in magenta are where they have spectrum licenses.

          Edit: New Haven has 70 MHz (35+35) of AWS spectrum, 50 MHz (25+25) of PCS, and I’m nearly certain the A block spectrum will cover New Haven as well.

        • Jay Holm

          Wow!!! Looks good! What about Waterbury? Enough spectrum to get 20×20 Wideband LTE?

          Thanks for getting back to me, I’m having a hard time using that site on my S4.

        • Kidney_Thief

          Waterbury is in the same CMA as New Haven, so it’ll be identical.

        • Jay Holm

          Awesome! So you don’t have any doubt both Waterbury & New Haven will get the Wideband LTE at some time this year?

        • Kidney_Thief

          I couldn’t tell you that, but the capability is there, at the very least.

        • Jay Holm

          Sounds good! Thanks a lot! It’s good to have knowledgeable people like yourself in these forums!

        • Roger Sales

          the A block from Verizon covers both.

        • philyew

          It’s not always accurate though.

        • Roger Sales

          Tmobile usually has about 70 to 80 MHz in most metro areas in pcs and aws

        • philyew

          The FCC has a resource called the Spectrum Dashboard. It takes quite a bit of effort to work out how markets can be covered as each band’s licensing was auctioned off in a different way.

          Some licenses cover whole regions, others cover economic areas, which are collections of Cellular Market Areas, others cover a single CMA.

          Then you have to drill down into each license assigned to TM to see what spectrum is covered. Some include a 5MHz block, others 10MHz, and a few 20MHz.

          Also a license for one block in a particular area may not cover exactly the same counties as another license for the same area covering an adjacent block.

          The best way to find coverage for a particular location is to work out what REA, BEA and CMA it falls in and then meticulously work through each instance of those areas you find in the records for each band.

          It can take a while.

        • Bryce

          I use that map as well but it has inaccuracies. For example I know for a fact that my market of NYC has more than 100MHz of BRS/EBS leased to Sprint however it only lists 62MHz of it. Therefore, that site loses a bit of credibility. It also hasn’t been updated in close to a year.

          There was an AWS auction that happened today that T-Mobile was not part of at all according to the official list of participants.

          Spark is no different than any other LTE network. Spark is simply marketing mumbo jumbo. In reality it is just a name for their TDD-LTE network on BRS/EBS, which is actually a more efficient use of spectrum than most current LTE networks today. Instead of having to be allocated in specific chunks, it is one giant slice that can be converted however they please.

        • Kidney_Thief

          From the website: Data Last Updated: January 2014. Before that, it was updated in November, and the guy gets his information directly from FCC filings, which you can readily see by clicking on any of the CMAs on the map. So, to my eye, it’s pretty accurate. But, you know, I’m happy to be wrong.

          It was a PCS auction, actually, for the H block I mentioned before.

          I’m well aware of what Spark is an how it works, and it is definitely not a typical LTE deployment, as it can make use of BRS, SMR, and PCS bands concurrently.

        • Bryce

          That’s weird. If it was updated this month, then would the 700MHz A-Block would not be listed under Verizon. It’d be purple for T-Mobile.

          The auction was AWS-2 and PCS-H.

          It’s fun having an intelligent conversation with someone.

        • Kidney_Thief

          It’ll be magenta once the deal officially goes through later this year. Spectrum swaps are still subject to FCC approval.

        • philyew

          No it wouldn’t, surely, as it doesn’t get reassigned until it gets FCC approval.

    • Bryce

      1. Agreed completely.

      2. Sprint’s network is not dead, or done, or unable to expand, that makes 0 sense. Sprint has more funding than T-Mobile, meaning they can expand as it seems necessary. What prevents them from doing so is cost benefit. Because the areas, where they would be expanding to are so heavily covered by Verizon and AT&T, there would be no immediate cost benefit to having their service in the area.
      However, the second part of your answer is correct for the most part. Every Sprint site is getting converted to Network Vision right now so Sprint’s sites are able to host W-CDMA and GSM networks. And because Sprint is bringing fiber/microwave/AAV high speed backhaul to each and every one of their sites, expanding T-Mobile’s HSPA+/LTE footprint would be tons easier and very quickly. The combined company could be the first to be an LTE only network and dropped CDMA and GSM.

      3. There is a 99% chance that they will NOT build out their network to the size of Verizon. Getting to Verizon’s size is almost a lost cause at this moment. What they will do is focus on metropolitan areas, suburban, and semi-rural areas, as that is where most of the U.S. lives anyway.

    • KingCobra

      I wouldn’t get too excited about the spectrum just yet. If by some outside chance this buyout gains regulatory approval, the combined company will likely be forced to divest some of its spectrum to none other than AT&T/VZW. Verizon’s CEO is already quoted as saying he doesn’t mind if it gets approved because he’s going to be inheriting a lot of high frequency spectrum that they need to add capacity in overloaded markets.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    This is the only way the merger will produce a great carrier as sprints current higher ups have done a horrible job

  • Cgforever

    Could both companies just combine spectrum as far as data goes but remain seperate carriers?….just a thought

    • KingCobra

      They would eventually need to integrate the networks. Running two separate networks isn’t a good strategy for competing against AT&T/VZW

  • xmiro

    and he’s the type of CEO Son is said to like a lot, who is himself aggressive and likes to get into it.
    Plus team T-Mobile has proven to be able to execute strategy very well – LTE coverage happened in 1 year while Sprint is still struggling

    • bronxboi

      You can’t be serious, T-mobile network is small compared to Sprints. Sprint covers twice the number of LTE markets than T-mobile. I really want to know if T-mobile puts LSD on the enveloped that they send to their subscribers. Their good but they have a limited network (outside cities) and once you close the door in most areas, you drop to Edge or really slow 4G. I am not knocking them but you have to put it into perspective.

      • xmiro

        T-Mobile covered 225 million pops with LTE in ONE year. How long has Sprint been trying to get LTE off?

        My doors are closed and I have HSPA+ while my WiFi signal right not is so weak I can’t pull up twitter.

        Read the reports of Son yelling at Sprint management.

        Read about Sprint buying Nextel and completely screwing up the merger of both networks.

        Dan Hesse along with the other Sprint management are toast, when and if the T-mobile merger happens, they have proven to be unable to execute on strategy.

        The likelyhood of Son not keeping them is high, he’ll also move Sprint out of Kansas, to Seattle or California

        • bronxboi

          They have the markets but it does not mean they actually are getting coverage. T-mobile’s network is minuscule and highly concentrated in big urban areas, sure, they can deploy quickly because there simply not the large.

  • Eric

    Let me re-iterate. The day that Sprint and T-Mobile merge is the day I go to the Verizon store.

    • Don’t do it John!

      Me too. F Sprint. We’ll be like Canada with a 3 carrier monopoly, colluding to F the consumer. Bend over!

    • Danny Lewis

      Don’t be so quick… What if T-Mobile absorbs all the good resources of Sprint and phases out the CDMA/EVDO networks? I would be fine with a merger if T-Mobile still exists post-merger and it is Sprint that is killed off.

      • vrm

        how the hell can they “phase out a network” that carries more than 50 million subscribers plus all the companies that use them as a carrier ?

        • Jay Holm

          The same way they are with MetroPCS, immediately stop selling CDMA/EVDO handsets, replace inventory with GSM/HSPA/LTE handsets, it’s not as hard as you make it out to be. Make a plan, and stick to it. People need to realize, eventually, CDMA/EVDO will cease to exist.

        • vrm

          Lot harder than you believe. So, where will you produce 60 million handsets (metro + sprint) ? All of metro PCS are prepaid and about 1/2 of sprint are no contract- so there is no automatic handset upgrade happening here.

          And what about carriers that are riding the sprint CDMA network ? What do you do with them ? This is a matter sprint needs to handle all on its own before it decides to merge with another company otherwise, it will simply burden the new co. with all the problems, in addition to its debt ( not the acquisition related but legacy debt).

          Simply “merging” with another entity will not make sprint’s problems go away- they will dog BOTH the companies instead of one.

          This merger, as ill conceived as it is, will benefit only at&t and verizon.

        • superg05

          good points

        • Cam Bunton

          Remember, Deutsche Telekom has successfully merged T-Mobile and Orange in to one company in the UK too… It took time, and the old brands still aren’t completely dead, but it’s do-able. Those two were #3 and #4 in the UK at the time.

        • philyew

          Doesn’t EE remain a 50/50 joint venture between DT and Orange?

          Together, as the largest carrier in the UK, they aren’t even as big as the old TM before the MetroPCS merger. The geography isn’t comparable either. You can fit the whole of the UK into Texas alone almost three times over.

          Not a good example, mate.

        • Cam Bunton

          Merely a comparison to say that it could work, obviously on a much smaller scale.

        • philyew

          I understand that, Cam, but there are so many differences between the TM situation here in relation to other carriers and how it is in the UK.

          Aside from the questions of size and scale, it helped EE enormously that TM and Orange had adjacent spectrum assignments in each of the bands for which they held licenses.

          If I understand it correctly, there is much less tower-based infrastructure in the UK which may have helped the rationalization. One issue here is going to be the fact that TM and Sprint each have tower leasing commitments with major operator Crown Castle lasting at least another six years.

          The biggest difference is the fact that the UK is a 100% GSM market, so no challenges from trying to homogenize GSM and CDMA networks.

          Anything is possible, of course, but there are going to be a lot more physical challenges for a Softbank takeover on top of the regulatory challenges from the federal authorities and other carriers.

        • vrm

          did those two have the technology, spectrum, network incompatibilities like these two ?

        • Roger Sales

          That was a way different and less painful scenario. People on both carriers will have handset nightmares for years to come if this merger goes through. If this was 5 years from now and LTE was everywhere i might think differently about it, but not when neither company has matured enough towards being future proof.

        • KingCobra

          It would probably take a very long time. Maybe 5 years or more. Just another reason why I don’t think this merger will happen.

      • Eric

        You don’t understand the deep loathing that I have for Sprint. Many years ago, they had some massive billing screwups that eventually resulted in bill collectors harassing me, and my having to write letters directly to the CEO of Sprint. Only once in my life have I been harassed by bill collectors, and this was it. For as long as I walk this earth, I will never have anything to do with Sprint.

        I can’t see Sprint buying T-Mobile without the Sprint management team retaining control. That’s now how buyouts work.

        • UMA_Fan

          With the way things are going if this happens it will be tmo in charge not Sprint. Its Softbank buying them NOT Sprint. When you had Sprint it was probably before Softbank even fully took over.

        • dkbnyc

          Sprint won’t be buying T-Mobile. Softbank is the buyer. As long as the Sprint Management team is shown the door and John is running things, I’ll stick with T-Mobile.

        • JimInChicago

          If Legere runs it, it will effectively be T-mo taking over Sprint. If you just don’t like the name…well…

      • bronxboi

        GSM, in my opinion, have inferior sound to CDMA. They will maintain both networks and migrate both carriers to VOLTE. It would be too expensive and disruptive to just end one of the networks. I could not care less who runs that company because ultimately Son is going to make sure it works. By the way, I am almost sure the name is going to be Sprint.

    • UMA_Fan

      Maybe you should switch that to the day anything materially changes for you. I really doubt anything negative would happen to those who like Tmobile plans. That’s what’s working and its likely Softbank will keep what works

  • Were Screwed

    How quickly will they raise prices and take away unlimited data? The Big 2 will quickly follow, and it will be the return of the #carrier

    • Paul

      Sprint and T-Mobile are the only ones of the big 4 that offer unlimited data. They’d leave it.

  • bryck

    I oppose the merger, but it’s going to happened this time around. Hopefully Legere’s leadership and team is head of the NEW company. I know lot’s of people are going to let me have it, but in my opinion this merger has hope to go through none like the pass AT&T/T-MOBILE.

    • Jay Holm

      ATT & Vzn control way, way too much of the U.S. market, this merger would be a leveling force for the good. With reguards to the messiness of Sprint’s network,…I’m currently on T-Mobile, either way, HSPA+ & LTE isn’t going anywhere.

    • donnybee

      I’m opposed to anything that will undo the UNcarrier status or offerings of T-Mobile. I don’t want that to die with a merger. I also don’t want Legere or our other leaders at T-Mobile to leave, since they’ve proven to be a powerhouse team of leaders for innovating the wireless space. I do hate Sprint and their network is garbage.

      However, I don’t think I’m opposed to the merger as long as it’s done right. I want us to get rid of Sprint and have a jumpstart at really hurting those top 2 dogs in the U.S. market. Time will only tell at this point.

    • As long as pricing stays the same, and T-Mobile is being led the way it is being led now, I’m okay with the merger. I’d of course like T-Mobile to be in charge tho

  • Kidney_Thief

    Extremely limited low-band spectrum, almost no adjacent PCS licenses, and a whole bunch of high frequency spectrum when T-Mobile is trying to acquire low-band spectrum. Sounds like a good deal to me.

    • Stone Cold

      As long as T-Mobile becomes the parent I don’t if it is Dish or Sprint. We know a merger is coming.

    • Bob Smith

      High frequency spectrum isn’t a problem if you have sufficient cell density. It’s when your density is too low that you have penetration problems. Sprint’s 2600 spectrum has huge capacity.

      • Roger Sales

        High capacity but limited capability outside of metro areas. Mid band spectrum is much better overall unless your network is really crowded. Sprints network isn’t overloaded, it’s just unbalanced because of the way they segregated their customers on different technologies for so long. Had they not gone for WiMAX they’d be fine right now

  • JimInChicago

    It will happen. The merged company will be T-Mobile US in every way with Legere at the helm and a switch over to GSM just like the takeover of MetroPCS and they may even use magenta everywhere. But one exception: Get ready for a magenta or orange Sprint logo–they will just keep Sprint’s name and legacy customers. Everything else T-Mobile US.

    • Jay Holm

      The T-Mobile name is owned by DT in Germany.

      • UMA_Fan

        Its two early to see how this deal would be structured. The Tmobile brand would be a vital part of the deal. As long as DT had some sort of stake in the combined company there would be no issue using the Tmobile name

        • tmo97

          Actually no, Sprint is still more of a household name, as the number 3 carrier, and they have been in the market much longer. Its like Ford and Tesla merging. Tesla is a hot company and growing, but Ford is a much better known name.

        • UMA_Fan

          Brand recognition is about even between the two. As cell phone use was exploding in the US Tmobile was present for the highest growth phase of that. T-Mobile has a real shot of overtaking Sprint in customer count this year and its almost entirely certain next year if the two don’t merge.

        • TMOLOYAL

          But they are a household name for being something to stay away from not flock to. Whether or not that is true I am not trying to debate. However their earnings reports for the last two years reflect that people are exiting Sprint no matter how well they know the name.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          It’s also a sore spot for many

        • KingCobra

          These days they’re a name that has a negative stigma known for having a slow archaic network. They have more customers, but that’s because they have been around longer. Notice that since the smartphone age and data speed requirements, all they have done is lose customers. T-Mobile is the stronger brand at the moment. Even their own CEO admits the network is terrible right now.

      • JimInChicago

        Exactly. That’s why they will keep the Sprint name or use another.

  • Paul

    “Steve Henn of NPR states that ‘while Legere is impressing 20-somethings with his taste in rap and his tweets…'”
    – I don’t use twitter and could care less what he puts on there.
    – Macklemore produced every one of his albums himself, and all profits go to him instead of a record label. He’s a smart hard working man that deserves the respect he gets.
    – I’m a 30-something and I’m impressed with his tactics and their results.

    Because NPR is totally hip on what’s super awesome wowy!

    • dkbnyc

      Hey, I’m 50 and I’m impressed by what John has accomplished.

      • Jay Holm

        4.4 million new customers in just one year, isn’t impressive?

    • kalel33

      You must not know that much about Macklemore, because Ryan Lewis produced all of his songs.

      • Guest

        Macklemore released “Open Your Eyes” in 2000 and “The Language of My World” in January 2005. He met Ryan Lewis in 2006 and Ryan didn’t work with his music until 2009.

      • Paul

        Macklemore released “Open Your Eyes” in 2000 and “The Language of My World” in January 2005. He met Ryan Lewis in 2006 and Ryan didn’t work with his music until 2009.

  • Al Fonseca

    The only way I’d stay with T-mobile if the merger goes through is if T-Mobile remains as the main company. Sprint sucks, their network sucks, their reps lie, their bills are ridiculous and their technical reps are worthless. Don’t believe me, check out Sprint’s page on facebook. There are hate comments everywhere. I honestly can’t think of any other company as bad as t-mobile…. If Sprint comes out on top after the merge, I’m taking my business to AT&T. Verizon is still overpriced. Lesser or 2 evils.

    • Al Fonseca

      I meant to say Sprint not T-mobile.

  • philyew

    If Softbank wanted to run their US operation just like TM, why isn’t Sprint the UnCarrier already?

    All this nonsense about how the merged company is going to be TM under another logo is just that…nonsense.

    • .:: Urban Hitz Radio™ ::.

      Obviously you see that Sprint is making changes to MIRROR everything T-MOBILE is doing…Hmmmm!

      • Jay Holm

        Now they are! Everyone is playing catch up to T-Mobile.

      • philyew

        They have post-paid no contract? EIP for non-contract plans? Unlimited LTE for $70/month? International roaming? An early upgrade program that is more than just a glorified EIP?

        If their changes mirror what’s going on at TM, then the mirrors they use are the kind that you see in the house of fun!

        • maximus1901

          Ebay Framily and you can have unlimited everything for $45

        • philyew

          “EBay Framily”?

          “Unlimited, My Way” is $50 + data for the first phone. “My All In” is $110, according to their Plans home page. What are those plans, if you can get unlimited everything for $45?

        • maximus1901

          People are posting their framily ids on eBay. Sprint is eventually gonna get wise to this. But hopefully not till after I get my iphone 6 32gb all for $80 per month.
          Jailbreak, TetherMe, enable wifi hotspot, set up wifi router in repeater mode. Cancel home internet

        • philyew

          So $45/month unlimited everything is as simple as finding at least six other people to go in with you on a Framily plan? LOL!

          And how much does it cost until that happens?

        • maximus1901

          $75 if you want unlimited everything but this does not include phone. No more subsidies. The best value phones will win.

        • philyew

          Compared with $70 for unlimited everything for one user from TM and as low as $42/user for 5 lines on an unlimited family plan.

          Either way, TM gets to a cheaper price most easily and the only way you can save money with Sprint is if you have at least 6 or even 7 people willing to collaborate on a Framily plan.

    • Adrayven

      Brand perception.. and leadership.. Johns leadership is very different from Hesse.. Also, if they move and merge T-mo with Sprint and kept John, I’d bet bottom dollar that most of the jobs lost.. would be on Sprints side and just use the spectrum mostly. They’d keep some of it.. but Sprints billing and support suck and are far from the streamlined engine T-Mobiles is…

      T-Mobile has the will and technical ability to put to use all the spectrum Sprint has. So it’s not just about Brand name.. though T-Mobile would likely be the name thats kept for the public Uncarrier perception..

      It’s about the talent and technology T-Mobile has access to.. Which has proven much more nimble than Sprint. They’d likely do the same to Sprint as they did with Metro.. Use as much open spectrum right away to T-mobile towers and/or upgrade Sprint towers to prep the network for Sprint customers, then move existing Sprint customers from CDMA handset by handset. Just on a much larger scale.

  • sushimane

    i cant believe what im reading. but interesting if john became the new ceo of the future merger if it goes through but i doubt it. i would still stay but i still want them to be their own company just because their different. As ceo I would prefer John then Dan. Dan with his leadership he drove sprint down the hole and no where to climb out investing in the wimax waste of money everything he did was wasteful spending. i dont know lol mixed feeling. At the momentum tmobile is going it could jump in front of sprint in no time whats the point on merging. I know tmobile has spoty coverage in place but u already know they trying to fix it with merging with metropcs buying spectrum from verizon so its a working process. and they havent even finish with the integration of the metropcs spectrum yet we havent seen the full potential of this. im gonna hope for the best.

    • 500kv

      Sprint had no choice but to use wimax. One condition placed by the FCC as part of the Nextel deal was to have 4G service in the 2.6GHz band within 4 years of the after the Nextel purchase or risk losing the spectrum. LTE was still being worked in labs. On top of that they had to reband Nextel 800mhz band because of interference issue. Hesse had to guide Sprint through some rough water since taking over.

      • sushimane

        i guess lol when i had sprint for the 2 year term i had random drop calls in a strong signal spot and billing being charge twice even when i paid my bill on time and they said i didnt i had to look for the receipt and show them and this is a month time frame had to look through my box of receipt and find it. i just have mixed feelings with sprint that’s all john is the better ceo.

        • Adrayven

          Sprint was horrible on billing.. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember bring a customer with them.

          Sprint talked a good talk, I was eager to see their talk become a good walk.. but they fell.. flat on their face..

          now I’m with T-Mobile and very happy.. Everywhere I go almost has LTE, and other places HSPA+ 4G.. a few places between towns are EDGE.. but I almost never go there, so it’s generally a non issue… like I can go months w/o ever seeing EDGE..

        • sushimane

          Yeah me too just a little bit down the road from my house I didn’t get service at all but now I got edge which is better then nothing right sooner or later its gonna be hspa+ lol. But everywhere else LTE

    • tmo97

      T-Mobiles network isn’t very good, in a lot of places. All of the major carriers are decent in major towns, where most people live. T-Mobile hasn’t really expanded coverage.

      Whats attracting customers is price. DT has made a corporate decision to drive their prices to bottom basement levels, to attract customers, so they can increase the stock value, and make a good sale. As I stated in the other thread, its like you’re cleaning out your car before you trade it in, to try and make a better offer.

      DT is done in the states, they have to much competition at home. They’ll sale to softbank/sprint, and then go home. LIkely with a large share in the new company, not controlling, but large. They may have a seat on the board, but it won’t be CEO.

      The new company will be called sprint, because T-Mobile just isn’t as well known as the sprint name.

      Sprint can’t keep up with T-Mobiles pricing, because they are trying to stay viable for longer then a few years.

      Likely the FCC will approve this deal, with significant spectrum saleoff in higher bands. Its not the AT&T-Mobile deal, which would have pretty much made sprint completely unviable. This takes two companies, one with a shorter view, and one with a longer view, and makes a viable third carrier to compete with the big two.

      Its just a matter of time now, and the deal will likely be signed, and approved, by late this year.

      Read a few articles down, the “T-Mobiles share prices reach pre AT&T levels” thats what this whole “uncarrier” thing was about.

      • sushimane

        very true but like i said when they integrate all the spectrum they have recently gotten from verizon and metropcs it might look a lot better. John did say the whole process is gonna be finish in 2015 thats for metropcs not sure with the verizon one. the only thing i know all the places i gone to i had service. i wanna see how the new network is gonna be like before anything happen like the merger. its like u wanna see sumthing u work hard for grow and how it would be like. i know sprint/softbank had a lot of money into the sprint and other useful things for that network. but maybe tmobile has a better performance then sprint with the spark. its just wishful thinking. we just have to see the outcome im crossing my fingers. been with tmobile for 10 years

        • Jay Holm

          Does that mean MetroPCS will completely dissapear in 2015, the spectrum fully integrated, stores closed and so on?

        • Eric

          All of Metro’s CDMA network will be shut down by 2015 (that will be used for HSPA+/LTE) and their LTE will be integrated into T-Mobile’s network, having 10+10 LTE in more places than today and having 20+20 LTE in 23 of the top 25 markets.

          Also, Metro’s DAS (Distributed Antenna System, kind of like a small cell system) will be used on both Metro’s new LTE and T-Mobile’s new LTE network, since both will share the same LTE.

          So no, Metro will not disappear, just that T-Mobile is combining Metro’s assets with their own. This also means Metro customers will have to buy HSPA+/LTE compatible phones by 2015 to gain access to the new network, if not, they can still use LTE, but not CDMA because that will be killed off.

        • Jay Holm

          So 2015 will be an even better year for
          Tmo, awesome! I’m sure the *S5* will have Wideband LTE capability and be able to take advantage of all these new spectrum implementations.

        • sushimane

          yeah in 2015 its the test to show how robust tmobile network is after everything is really done but we have wait and see the out come of the sprint merger stuff but if it fail break up fee. wideband lte any phone with a cat4 phone should be able to use it which im pretty excited about and the cat 5 phones.

        • Jay Holm

          Cat 5 LTE isn’t anytime soon.

        • iansltx

          Or with the Sprint merger MetroPCS customers can just keep their phones for a few more years, even if the MetroPCS CDMA network gets completely shut down (which it should be).

        • maximus1901

          Hmmmmmm. Or Sonny boy can just use his billions to improve Sprint’s own network.

        • sushimane

          If I’m remember I think tmovile is keeping the metropcs name for prepaid. But still under T-Mobile network like sprint boost Mobile etc I know sprint has like 5 different prepaid company

        • superg05

          no there opening more stores metropcs will just be t-mobiles prepaid brand

      • vinnyjr

        Price isn’t what brought me to T-Mobile. In my area, (suburb of Boston) T-Mobile is the fastest Data Network with great coverage. Verizon and AT&T are both over saturated and bogged down. I know, been with them all. Don’t care about price as much as data speeds and coverage in my area.

    • macman37

      Some things to consider: 1) Softbank now realizes that they acquired the wrong US network and instead of going through the process of putting it up for sale, they would have their former employee John Legere take over to turn things around, so that Softbank’s Board of directors and shareholders don’t get too mad at Masayoshi Son. 2) The point of merging with Sprint does not really satisfy much of T-Mobile’s needs – unless they want Sprint’s 800 Mhz spectrum. They have enough PCS, Sprint’s network is too spotty and they don’t have 700 Mhz spectrum or lower spectrum to address the need for obstacle/in-building penetration and covering rural/farm/ranch areas – a really big mess that isn’t worth getting involved with at all.

      Let Sprint die without any sympathy from any other carrier as they will eventually become #4 in the US and have Masayoshi Son deal with the fact that he made a bad investment decision in acquiring them! With T-Mobile’s rate of improvement in acquiring more low frequency spectrum, more LTE markets, and more new subscribers, there is no doubt that T-Mobile will eventually and probably soon surpass Sprint in becoming #3 in the US; and there is no need at all to have their progress slow down by merging with them.

      • maximus1901

        It’s the 2.5GHz he cared about.

  • no. just no. any situation that involves me being part of Sprint, i take my cell business elsewhere.

  • MMA Prints

    I chuckle at all of the rumblings and “the merger is going to happen this time!” talk. So what negative changes to the industry will magically push the DOJ to approve this merger and move from 4 to 3 national carriers? It’s not going to happen.

  • 0neTw0

    Sounds just like The Justice League to me. Oh Batman.

  • Roger Sales

    What pisses me off the most about the potential merger at the moment is that Sprint is mega shady about their network and its upgrades. We hear from T-Mobile every month about how deep the footprint is getting. All you see in the news from Sprint is what they “plan” on doing. I would really miss the transparency

    • iansltx

      S4GRU, bro. Granted, it’s “third party” data, but you can get access to Sprint upgrades on a nearly daily, tower level. T-Mobile doesn’t do that.

      • maximus1901

        I’ve read on that forum Robert Herron saying he “logs into the Sprint database” so it’s not actually third party.

  • fentonr

    I really hate sprint, but if legere was in charge, I might think about giving it a chance…turning around that mess might be too much for even him though.

  • Chris

    I wonder if this time around the merger would be approved. While 4 players is better than three, the field hasn’t changed much since the attempted merger. Verizon and AT&T are still on top and the gap hasn’t changed much. Sprint has been essentially idle while T-Mobile continues to move forward. Maybe if Softbank makes a good enough case the regulators will see it as a positive and approve it. AT&T wanted to gobble up the spectrum and users. Softbank more than likely wants to change things, which is exactly what T-Mobile is doing

    • philyew

      AT&T wanted to kill a competitor. Softbank/Sprint want to kill a competitor.

      AT&T wanted to change their market position. Softbank/Sprint want to change their market position.

      The result of concentrating the market by reducing the main competition to three companies would exceed the acceptable threshold in 2014, just as it did three years ago.

      Take a look at the Department of Justice submission in their case against the AT&T takeover. Substitute Softbank/Sprint for AT&T throughout. It’s amazing how little would need to be changed otherwise.

      The main arguments that were deployed then have hardly changed at all.

      • KingCobra

        You’re right. As of right now Sprint/Softbank is losing more customers to T-Mobile than anyone. That trend looks to continue throughout 2014 and could potentially get even worse with the Uncarrier 4.0 ETF payoff. Softbank doesn’t want to sit back and watch its new investment slowly drop down to 4th place so buying T-Mobile would instantly put them in the realm with VZW and AT&T and they would no longer have to worry about TMO taking their customers.

  • jdubtrey

    “If anyone should be worried by the bid, it’s Sprint fans. ”

    I’m not sure what that means. This isn’t a popularity contest. Sprint users are with Sprint for a reason, and the same goes for TMo. I assume that the best technology, speed and coverage that the combined network has to offer will be carried forward. Both sets of users should benefit there. Both sets of users will probably be allowed to use their handsets for 2 years after the deal closes (as that is the norm). No one loses in that respect.

    The question then turns to pricing. Will the new company be motivated to be aggressive on customer rates? Current Sprint and TMo users will all find that out together.

    • maximus1901

      Go to ebay, search for “fRamily” and BAM!
      $25 for 1GB, unlimitegd talk text
      $45 for unlimited everything
      Then add the iphone 32GB for $32/month

  • vinnyjr

    Long time T-Mobile customer who doesnt want to have ever get stuck on a Sprint 3G Network. When I rarely drop out of a LTE area I drop to a very faast HSPA+ Network. When on Sprint dropping out of LTE area you drop to a patheticly slow 3G that is unusable. That will happen if Sprint gets involved.

  • Impatient Waiter

    Why Sprint? It can’t because of their horrible coverage and service! They don’t even have 4G here!! They just need to go out of business already. Now if TMO and Verizon merged, AT&T would be forced to bend over.

    • macman37

      The possibility of Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile merging – now that’s a really sweet sounding merger. Verizon has the domestic US coverage and can do a lot with of T-Mobile’s AWS spectrum to handle the network congestion. T-Mobile can possibly strike a roaming agreement with them to help expand in rural areas. Sounds like a win-win situation as opposed to merging with Sprint.

      • KingCobra

        Don’t be ridiculous. Verizon and TMO merging would just make the largest company even larger and give them even more leverage to raise prices. Plus it would never pass regulatory approval anyway.

      • JimInChicago

        VZW is larger than AT&T. If the DOJ wouldn’t let AT&T & T-Mo merge, there’s no way they will let VZW and T-Mo merge.

    • Chris

      LoL the irony if this happened and Verizon bought T-Mobile with some of the money T-Mobile just paid them with

  • Larry Griffin

    I actually wouldn’t mine a Sprint/T-Mobile merger…. As long as T-Mobile came out on top. Sprint has horrible customer reps and bad service. And with all the changes tmo has made with legere it wouldn’t make sense to watch it all disappear. In my eyes sprint is the in trouble

    • Justin747

      If T-Mobile comes out on top, whats the point?

      Most of Sprint’s customer base is gonna jump ship to T-Mobile by the end of 2014 anyway. Why inherit all the bloat and problems that Sprint has just for spectrum?

      With no merger, T-Mobile will be ahead of Sprint this time next year. I guarantee it.

      • Jay Holm

        I don’t doubt it, not one bit! People are fed up with Sprint.

      • OJ

        I doubt that most people will leave lol . Most people generally stick with there horrible service and complain. Moving forward tmo has a better short term strategy and sprint a better long term strategy. I wouldn’t mind to see a combination. The spectrum between both companies plus 700 a and 600 spectrum would (possibly) exceed verizon. I do agree that tmo would be ahead of sprint by 2nd or 3q 2015.

        • Justin747

          If it’s the Sprint name and leadership, I’m gone.

          The difference between this merger is most T-Mobile customers aren’t in contact.

      • iansltx

        If you merge, you don’t have to market against that provider anymore. You just go after the Big Two, and you’re about the same size as the Big Two at that point anyway. Economies of scale get you cheaper phones, and tons of spectrum will keep data speeds fast.

    • bronxboi

      I have been with Sprint since 1997, I left for about a year and then came back. Their voice coverage is vastly superior to T-mobile and their data network is improving. Yes, they have some issues and made some missteps but they are working hard to change direction. They are under new ownership and they have lots of spectrum to work with. T-mobile is doing as well as they can, they have the fortune of have HSPDA which allows them to compete with LTE to a degree. However, their coverage outside of main metro areas can be awful. I used T-mobile at one time and have many friends that have them and when we go on road trips and leave the highway, they use my Sprint phone.

      • philyew

        Unquestionably if you spend significant time outside the cities and suburbs, you may well find a better carrier than TM for your needs.

        Nevertheless, TM can get the blame unfairly. When I call my daughter, who lives in the country and uses Verizon, it will drop 2-3 times regularly. Given that I never get dropped calls otherwise, I’m pretty sure the problem is at the Verizon end, but most people would blame it on TM because of the relative image of the companies.

        Who, other than TM, has HD voice service? Who has the ability to route calls from Wi-Fi to the regular voice circuit, other than TM? Sure, it’s a substitute for sub 1GHz spectrum, but you can only play with the hand you are dealt. Aside from the 2008 700MHz auction, TM didn’t get a shot at anything else that could support better in-building signal strength.

        TM has HSPA+ service in areas covering the residences and workplaces of 73% of the population. It now has LTE service in areas covering 67% of the population and has begun to deliver LTE-A service, with tests hitting 147mbps in Dallas recently.

        Unless you spend a significant amount of time in those areas that aren’t covered, there is a very good argument for taking advantage of TM’s value proposition.

        • bronxboi

          AT&T, I believe, is the hands down leader in rural coverage. I am talking about voice. Data is really a secondary issue because I rarely need a lot of data in the woods. I actually have Sprint, Verizon and AT&T phones so I am pretty good judge in terms of their service. Those LTE numbers you are quoting seems way off, they may have the market but that does not mean they are actually delivering the services to the entire population. Don’t quote me but they can have 20% deployment in a market and still say that they cover the market. My friends on T-mobile in Houston see more and more LTE but, generally, they see 4G. My personal phone is still Sprint and since I have the others, I am ok. I really don’t see T-mobile as an option because saving money is not worth the headache.

        • philyew

          I was talking about voice initially, but also responding to your comment about HSDPA and LTE.

          I live a shade more than 25 miles from downtown Houston and see LTE pretty much everywhere I go. I certainly have it at home. I get better performance here than my friends using Sprint (just now 36mbps DL), but then I got better performance with HSPA+ as well.

          I was complaining a year ago about announced markets being based on a small percentage of the overall area, but unquestionably TM has continued to build out in all the planned markets since then and I don’t doubt that they have upgraded over 30,000 cell sites by now.

          Based on my personal experience in Houston, compared with your anecdotal information, I’d say that my optimism about LTE coverage is closer to the mark than your pessimism.

          In the end, it’s a matter of personal choice which carrier you use – or at least it is for those people who have been freed from contractual service obligations by TM’s Uncarrier approach. If you are happy wherever you are, then stay.

  • BigMixxx

    A sprint and t mobile merger would be great for the consumer. Really there is not a lot of overlap. In those competing areas, where they could be, it would benefit most everyone.

    This could be done. Sprint could completely write off the Nextel network and sell it. They could then use more of the network from CLEAR for LE A. This could present a top notch product and help sprint more than t mobile. Gets DR out but more softball in. Which means we could possibly see better devices.

    Don’t know about yall, but global crossing, while not a top notch service provider, will break their necks for you. That was all John L. This might be in the makings of something big.

    • Justin747

      Sprint can’t write off Nextel because they are in the process of converting that spectrum to LTE.

      T-Mobile and Sprint also use different types of LTE technology, and of course one company is GSM while the other is CDMA.

      The only real beneficiary from this merger is Softbank. It gives Softbank a chance to recoup some of the money it will inevitably lose from purchasing Sprint.

      This merger would be a disaster. I finally left Sprint last year. I don’t want anything to do with that company anymore. I’m not sure Softbank has considered the fallout from people like me. Many people would leave a merged T-Mobile/Sprint just because we want nothing to do with Sprint EVER AGAIN. This could potentially just make The Big 2 even stronger

      • Jay Holm

        Perhaps Softbank should have invested that $20bln in T-Mobile instead of Sprint, it would help Tmo get that 600mhz more easily.Sprint remains a big uphill climb, things won’t look better for Sprint until at least the middle of 2015, at least in my opinion. Their only covering 100 million with Spark this year.

        • maximus1901

          And they’ll only have 150mil 800 MHz LTE end of 2014.

      • fsured

        I would have to see how things play out and the details on how they plan on merging the two companies before deciding to leave. We should look at what stays, what goes, who, what, when, and where. The beauty is by the time this deal is done, if it happens and hoping it doesn’t, the contracts that T-Mobile has remaining will be ending. Any one of the 48+ million customers T-Mobile has can jump ship when ever they want if they don’t like the direction the company will go. It won’t be a smooth integration but T-Mobile customers should not be worried about being stuck with Sprint again. It could be a whole new company with John at the top.

        This merger might also cause contracts that Sprint has with their customers to be void in some fashion and give their customers a 30day window to break it without ETF’s. They had this chance when Softbank bought Sprint.

      • Jenny

        We could have a phone that run both GSM and CDMA

        • Justin747

          Phones like that already exist. The current Nexus 5 is one, It’s too much overlap between the T-Mobile network and Sprint’s “network” for a phone like that to be feasible. The phone would just be constantly switching between both networks and killing battery in the process.

        • Justin747

          We already have that. The Nexus 5 is compatible with Sprint and T-Mobile.

          The problem is the T-Mobile network and Sprint’s “network” have too much overlap. Running a phone on both carriers simultaneously would pointless, as the phone would just be constantly switching between T-Mobile service and Sprint “service” and killing the battery in the process.

        • iansltx

          Nah. Sprint is running a tri-band network, and adding a couple more bands wouldn’t hurt as long as the network is coordinating things properly. The network just tells the phone which frequency it should be on, and the phone goes to that one if it can find it. Simple.

        • Justin747

          That Spark Tri-Band is already gonna hurt some batteries. Also having that many radios in all phones is gonna drive prices of phone up. And a phone with that many active radios will need a bigger battery, also increasing the price.

          But you are right. It’s not a complicated process. The problem I have is Sprint and T-Mobile have TONS of overlap. A phone would just be hopping frequencies in a densely populated place.

          Another weird issue is what happens when there is no service? Do we get T-Mobile Edge or do we hop on over to Verizon like Sprint does?

        • maximus1901

          Why will Sprint only have 150mil LTE on 800 MHz? If they’re gonna have 250mil on 1900 MHz . . . is there really 100mil in IBEZ?

        • OJ

          If they can meet the deadline, those are sprints estimates of lte coverage by the end of this year.

        • AJC1973

          sprint and verizon world phones are GSM/CDMA the note 3 on sprint is a world phone… so is the NEXUS 5

        • Justin747

          We already have that. The Nexus 5 is compatible with Sprint and T-Mobile.

          The problem is the T-Mobile network and Sprint’s “network” have too much overlap. Running a phone on both carriers simultaneously would pointless, as the phone would just be constantly switching between T-Mobile service and Sprint “service” and killing the battery in the process.

  • Chong

    I want to see T-Mobile expand their LTE coverage. That’s all I want.

  • bkin94

    this probably isn’t the best place to ask , but i don’t know of any other way. Are the forums down for everyone? I see the button, but It leads to a weird page. Have the forums ever worked?

    • $15454173

      We are working on it ;)

      • bkin94

        okay :-) thanks. just making sure it wasn’t a problem on my end. Great site otherwise! (I’m assuming that you are associated with the site since you claim to be working on it)

  • TechHog

    *sigh* It’s all over…

  • UMA_Fan

    If T-Mobile just acquires more 700mhz spectrum they’re set. A lot cheaper than folding Sprint

    • iansltx

      There’s no more 700 to be had, unless you’re talking about the incentive auction. And remember that VZW and AT&T will be bidding on this spectrum too. Combine that with the headache of adding more frequency bands to phones (which to be fair is decreasing) and merging networks, trimming redundant non-LTE and adding LTE wherever spectrum permits starts sounding like a good idea.

      • Roger Sales

        That’s not true, there are are a lot of A licenses held by other companies that would be willing to sell to T-Mobile. The only ones I can think of that wouldn’t sell for sure would be C-Spire and US Cellular.

        • OJ

          Do you actually think Tmo can afford to buy nationwide 700mhz A Spectrum lol?

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          With DISH… yes. Quite possibly, yes. But they’d need to hurry up and merge.

        • OJ

          So you believe Dish has a better wireless strategy than Softbank?

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          I do, actually. They have the spectrum, cash, and vision that I think would ultimately benefit T-Mobile. Also, they have a large rural presence… and I’m sure they will be eager to offer a bundled service to that crowd, which will inevitably lead to more rural expansion.

  • Bob Archer

    I’m curious. What do we think a T-Mobile/Sprint Merger would look like? Would T-Mobile be rolled into Sprint or vice versa. Would the T-Mobile network be converted to CDMA or would all the Sprint network move to GSM? Or would they keep both. Would they just move to 100% LTE voice?

    Are there dual CDMA/GSM phones. Sprint could perhaps expand t-mo’s reach into more rural areas and the more urban sprint markets could be converted to LTE to provide more bandwidth and coverage in the 700Mhz band?

    If GSM wins what would be come of all the MVNOs? I can think of two big ones, Virgin Mobile and Ting that run on top of sprint right now. Would they be out of luck?

    Bottom line… what would be the point and goal of the merger?

    • KingCobra

      The point is for Softbank to eliminate T-Mobile as a competitor.

      • OJ

        *The point is to make a stronger Verizon competitor.

        • philyew

          The point is to create a market in which margins in the range of 40-50% can be maintained for all the major players, not just AT&T and Verizon.

          Three businesses each with in excess of 100 million customers pulling down some of the highest profit margins of any industry anywhere, means that the pressure to compete aggressively with each other is all but unnecessary.

          When it happens it will be bad news for every consumer.

        • fuzzylumpkins

          T-mobile users don’t NOT want a merger, they just don’t want Sprint buying T-mobile. It would make more sense if it were the other way around; T-mobile buying Sprint.

      • maximus1901

        Yep. Sprint has like 120MHz of TDD B41 spectrum which, in the planned 3:2 configuration, would mean peak download capacity of at least 540mbps. Sprint doesn’t NEED TMO to survive or compete. Sprint just wants to secure the low end of market i.e. so it doesn’t have to fight a price war with TMO. All countries that have 4 wireless carriers on an equal footing have awesome prices and competition.

    • iansltx

      My bet is that CDMA, GSM and WCDMA would stick around for awhile. GSM would go offline before CDMA. There are plenty of phones that support both CDMA and WCDMA (basically every VZW LTE phone) so I’d expect more of them. But the merged entity could probably just leave the base voice techs as-is and just make sure that all phones going forward had both companies’ LTE bands and that’d be enough.

      No one’s complaining about either company’s voice coverage as far as I know. I have both providers and I certainly am not complaining. It’s just high speed data that’s at issue, and adding 700A and AWS to Sprint phones and PCS, SMR and BRS/EBS to T-Mobile ones would go a long ways toward solving that.

      • fuzzylumpkins

        If you think GSM is going anywhere, you’re very misinformed. LTE *IS* a GSM technology; CDMA is not compatible..even Verizon is looking to abandon CDMA in favor of GSM.

        • Rod

          Verizon/ Sprint are not looking to abandoning CDMA in favor of GSM. Sprint has no plans to ditch its CDMA network anytime soon, it has enough spectrum to build out its LTE network without cannibalizing its CDMA network. Verizon on the other hand, has no plans to switch to GSM; once enough of their subscriber base has switched to an LTE capable phone, they plan on shutting down their 2G CDMA networks completely and enabling VoLTE.
          Plus in any case LTE is a hybrid CDMA technology.

        • fuzzylumpkins

          LTE is an evolution of GSM, has nothing to do with CDMA, Verizon’s old network is CDMA, their LTE network is GSM, hence the sim cards.

        • KevinMCo

          It’s important to remember that GSM is an organization and CDMA/LTE are technologies. Yes, LTE is controlled by the GSM which is why SIMs are required. But it’s fundamentally based on the Code Division Multiple Access technology. Regardless, the future of mobile networks is pure LTE (and LTE-A) with VoLTE taking over for legacy voice communications.

        • philyew

          The organization is 3GPP. “GSM” is used loosely to describe the evolving series of standard specifications that 3GPP manages.

        • rod

          LTE and UMTS are both based on W-CDMA(Sideband Code division múltiple access). They are not evolutions of GSM, just the natural upgrade path for GSM based carriers, theyre not related network wise. GSM is based on time division while LTE/UMTS/CDMAone all use digital code division. The use of the sim card is just a natural carry over from the original GSM systems. Plus in addition the lack of sim cards on cdma networks has always been a public gripe as it limits phone selection and forces carrier intervention to activate a new phone l

        • magmaspawn

          wrong. CDMA melds fluidly into LTD or VLTE call it AVTE for advcanced or cv for voice over ip LTE it all molds into the same. Id assume that V-LTE will be the name soon enough.

    • xmiro

      Sprint would be rolled into T-Mobile’s network and CDMA will be turned off.

      SoftBank Mobile in Japan uses W-CMDA/UMTS 3G and HSPA+ so their customers will be able to roam on TMUS/Sprint.

    • magmaspawn

      CDMA and GSM both roll into LTE. Thats what makes this the last battle of US carriers vs international compatibility moot. They all evolve to LTE,

  • Herb69

    ” If Softbank wants to own T-Mobile it’s because of the movements its made in the past year.” Masayoshi Son wanted to strike a three way deal when they were in initial talks with Sprint more than a year ago, but T-Mobile was concerned regulators wouldn’t approve the deal.

  • iansltx

    I’m a Sprint fan and am not concerned with a T-Mobile merger. Bring it on…I like T-Mobile’s plans but can’t use them because their ‘net is unusable in areas where I’ve gotta have it, and Sprint has 4G in those same areas. If Legere took over the merged entity, that’s cool. Just don’t drop CDMA too quickly…it’s a really solid network tech for making sure you can get voice and a little bit of data right at the edge of the cell.

    • bkin94

      Sprint has fans? :-O I thought they only had regretful customers….

      • bronxboi

        In Houston, Sprint has very good service. There are some issues when I travel with data but I continuously see improvements in their network. I see 4G way more often as the months go by. People need to understand that Sprint is now under new management and Son is going to make this work, he has done it before when Softbank was also an also run company in third place in Japan.

      • xmiro

        ^lol good one

    • Mark G

      i had t-mobile but switched to sprint sometime ago, t-mobile isn’t very good in Chicago …… I’m happy with my sprint service

  • james

    It’s no secret that Sprint wants to drop CDMA and switch to GSM and the best way to do that is to acquire T-Mobile but the problems lays who will run it Sprint execs or T-Mobile execs

    • bronxboi

      Sprint, has no desire to go to GSM. CDMA is technologically superior to GSM but GSM has a global presence. CDMA offers more security and is capable of handling both data and voice up to 3G. GSM carriers had to go to GPRS in order to get above 9.6 kbps. Anyway, all the carriers will be going to VOLTE and phase out CDMA and GSM.

      • philyew

        GSM is used loosely to describe the evolving standard specifications managed by the 3GPP standards body that range from GSM through to LTE-Advanced.

        You would be hard pressed to find a carrier actually delivering only GSM (GPRS and EDGE). Most “GSM” carriers will deliver at least W-CDMA/UMTS or be moving on to LTE and LTE-Advanced.

        • bronxboi

          Yes GSM (3GPP) is the standard that was set by the Europeans (ETSI); however, for layman, it is just referred to as GSM. Basically, you stated and build up on my post. Thanks.

        • philyew

          My point was that people aren’t talking about the original GSM standard when they talk about “GSM” carriers, but rather the GSM continuum which was picked up by 3GPP to develop evolutionary 3G (UMTS/W-CDMA) and 4G (LTE/LTE-Advanced) standards.

        • magmaspawn

          So gsm v cdma = lte

        • philyew

          I’m not sure how what I said came across in that way. LTE evolved from standards that originated with GSM is all. The fact that all the major carriers are now migrating to LTE just means their standards base is going to converge. Unfortunately, there will still be a couple of different standards for LTE, depending on the use of paired or unpaired spectrum.

  • John Brown

    Sprint doesn’t even work where I live. And T-Mo has 2G EDGE. So, this wouldn’t fix any problems in Owensville, Ohio. We might gain service on Sprint, but it would still be prehistoric 2G, which is why I left T-Mo last month

  • She-Ra

    Watch how quickly China buys T-Mobile just to get rid of this guy. Watch how quickly Japan crumbles. Watch how quickly Japan and Softbank are put out of business.

  • TrueCopy

    At least I don’t have a contract with T-Mobile so I can leave if/when this happens and starts to impact prices.

    • Timothy Wrona

      but you still have to pay your phone off

      • TrueCopy

        Uhh. Done and done. Free and clear. That’s why I’m with TMo now, because the plans are cheaper if I own my phones.

  • Jon

    I don’t know how to feel about this if it were to happen but If Masayoshi Son does decide to buy the controlling stake in T-Mobile nothing will change overnight. But I do think Dan Hesse will have to take another position or look for work elsewhere I believe he would have John Legere run the combined entity if that’s what he does decide to do with it. This could be a good thing if done right. But the same exact opposite could be said should this be done poorly. There is only one way to find out and that’s to let it all unravel. I am just going to sit back and watch the show.

  • Noel

    Sorry i am not for any merger with Sprint..Tmobile will single handedly disrupt the US cellphone market. I like John Legere and his moves on Tmo but i am concerned of the revelation that the owner of SoftBank was part owner of Global crossing which Legere was managing b4 coming to Tmo. I don’t want to see a Nokia, Microsoft and Elop kind of deal…don’t wonna use the word TROJAN HORSE. Let Tmo be Tmo and i still strongly advocate to keep the four major carriers intact…it is a win win for all the cellphone consumers.