Sprint CEO confirms interest in T-Mobile merger, but says no talks happening

Marcelo Claure

Earlier this week, a report suggested that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son was interested in merging Sprint — which his company is the majority owner of — with T-Mobile. Now Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has commented on that report.

In an interview with Fortune, Claure confirmed that there is interest in merging Sprint and T-Mobile. “We’ve always said that we were interested, Claure said, adding that “it would be nice to combine both companies to give us scale.”

However, Claure acknowledged that such a deal isn’t close. He said that there would need to be a new president and a different regulatory stance in regard to the mobile market. “We’re not engaged in any serious discussions,” said.

Considering how well T-Mobile has done in recent years with regard to building out its network and adding customers, it’s no surprise to hear that another company is interested in merging with T-Mo. Whether or not Masayoshi Son will actually try to merge Sprint and T-Mobile remains to be seen, but considering that both he and Marcelo Claure said that we’d need new faces in government before they’d attempt such a deal, we’ll likely have to wait a while before they consider making a move.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: Fortune

Tags: , , ,

  • Garblicks

    They will lose alot of customers if they did. Me and my 5 lines would be going somewhere else. No way in hell I’m joining Sprint. I’d go pre-paid before I give Sprint a dime of my money

    • Matt

      You should look into prepaid regardless. There is a lot of value in it! I’m a MetroPCS customer with 60.00 truly unlimited 4G LTE. Postpaid is just about overrated.

      • marque2

        I used to have a prepaid $30 plan with TMo, but now that I have 4 phones in the family, it is the same price to get the post paid, and I get more service to boot. Nice feature, unlimited tethering/hotspot at LTE speed. Prepaid is limited to 200 megs of LTE hotspot.

      • Acdc1a

        So when they de-prioritize you I guess it violates NN.

      • AussieB

        Ive been on Straight Talk for 4 years paying only $45 for 5gb on ATT LTE network …but just got a Nexus and since I never go near 5gb , I may try Project Fi and lower my bill even more. Straight Talk is a good deal if you can do without a local store. They even now introduced a 10gb plan for only $55. No ridiculous fees or surprises either

    • GersonT1000

      I don’t understand why people think this way. If they merge, it’s not like they are going to lose their antennas and go with the other carrier’s antennas. They will combine and create a much better network.
      And if you’re doing it because they pissed you off due to some billing error or a similar problem, then you should still give them a chance because it would be like a new company. Additionally, T-Mobile management would probably be the one to lead the new company seeing as how T-Mobile has been skyrocketing in service, customers and popularity.

  • Andrew LeRoy

    Not no, but hell no. Sprint is a complete dumpster fire. If they ever merge, I’m switching to Verizon. I’d rather pay through the nose for good coverage than be shackled to that dinosaur!

  • Matt

    Well, it would be the merger of the two shittiest wireless companies. I lost all respect that I had for T-Mobile after their announcement of T-Mobile ONE. What a joke! They’re violating net neutrality pretty flagrantly.

    • Pat

      You have no contract with tmobile. You can always go to verizon, we will be fine at tmobile.

      • TylerCameron

        I always hated that they advertise “no contract”
        Yes there is, it isn’t a service contract, but it’s a contract if you finance your phone. You sign your signature, there’s fine print, that’s a contract.
        And if you leave T-Mobile, the remaining balance becomes immediately due? That’s BS.

        • tony

          uh those phones are not free? or just buy your phone straight out?
          were you expecting them to give you a phone for free?

    • marque2

      And yet TMobile customers love it, and the binge which preceded it. Maybe the problem isn’t with T-Mobile but with the net neutrality clowns who got duped by Google and Amazon into allowing them to overwhelm the Internet with paying for it.

    • William Ross

      Why is T-Mobile shitty? Please use facts only in your response. Opinions will be disregarded. Because, based on the latest research, T-Mobile nearly matches Verizon in reliability, but it trumps them in overall LTE speeds and maximum LTE speeds. And, it out paces all carriers in customer support. T-Mobile would be the number one carrier with just a few more clicks in reliability. So, please describe the shitty part. And, there’s not a single T-Mobile user that has an issue with your deflective net neutrality analysis.

      BTW, 120/month for unlimited data is pretty damn amazing even if they cap off the highest offenders at 26g/month. Nearly all of your music and video streaming is free with T-Mobile. I’m tryna figure out how the hell you’ll access more than 26g/month. I suppose if you’re using mobile data for all of your internet then you could easily get there. But, many of us have cable providers as well, so it would nearly be impossible to max out a T-Mobile unlimited plan.

      • samsung freud

        I’m curious, which “latest research” are you referring to?
        While we don’t save the numbers, some friends and I run speedtest
        and fcc speed test when we can all get together.
        Usually verizon comes in first for all tests, at&t second, tmo & sprint are a toss up for third.
        On one rare occasion a cricket user beat the hell out of all of us.
        I can see how a user can go over 26g in a month.
        A co-worker watches movies during lunch if he’s not over 26g he’s pretty close.
        Just for the record I’m a tmo user and concerned about net neutrality not only for my mobile device, but my cable provider.

      • AussieB

        You realize that most wireless customers still use under 2gb of data per month? So now Tmobile’s cheapest plan is going to be $70, which will put it at a higher price than its competitors. It may work on family plans and people who use tons of data but it will not be competitive for an entire other group of customers. Single, low data users will be better off with other major networks or MVNO like Straight Talk ($45 for 5gb; $55 for 10gb on ATT LTE which is more than enough for most people) or Google Fi for Nexus users

        • William Ross

          What you’re saying doesn’t explain how T-Mobile is shitty. They nearly have the best service around and I’d expect to pay a little more for that. Where did you get the 2 gig stat. Sounds like you pulled that one out your ass. LOL! Fi is expensive by comparison and it absolutely Does not deliver when it comes to call and data quality. It’s best use comes when you travel outside the US. I think T-Mobile has a reputation to disavow with many, but while the many are tryna denounce its credibility, I’ll be enjoying its benefits.

    • Acdc1a

      You clearly have no idea what Net Neutrality is in the United States. It was designed to weed out any one service from getting priority and penalizing people who use a VPN. T-Mobile and Sprint for that matter have not violated these rules in any way shape or form. BingeOn was debatable as it had participating providers. This is a whole different animal.

    • tony

      t mobile is the #1 fastest growing postpaid subscribers 2 years straight their stock has doubled, postpaid has almsot tripled then what it was 2 years ago. millions have joined t mobile and metro pcs in customers. more then all 3 carriers combined in 2 years straight. lte reaches 310 million pops and growing.

    • GersonT1000

      Does it really matter to you if they are violating net neutrality? Leave that up to the FCC to decide. You worrying about it is not going to change anything unfortunately.

  • Cam Fas

    IT would suck if they merged im grandfathered onto the old 70 unlimited plan and Id contemplate moving if sprint users saturated tmobiles towers at once. I used verizon and att. I really dont want to go back to either two.

    • Critic4U

      I think it would more be T-Mobile buying sprint, take a look at stock prices and you will see that T-Mobile is worth almost 8 times the amount of Sprint stock

      • Acdc1a

        Market cap is more important than stock price. Market cap at Sprint is $24 billion while TMUS is roughly $36 billion. Even so both companies have controlling interest owned by much larger companies. Since DT wants out of T-Mobile it would be Sprint (Softbank) as the buying party.

        • Critic4U

          Do you think that John would try to get another investor instead of them?

        • tony

          dt is not selling, they made alot of profits from t mobile usa.

  • Philip

    Didnt this two CEO go at each other the last year? That is funny.

    • Nick Ramacciato

      Multiple times, yes.. on Twitter.

    • dtam

      Haha, claure still thinks he’d still have a job if they merged

    • AussieB

      They have twitter wars like little girls every time either company makes an announcement. They went at it again last week

  • Rob H.

    I’m still waiting for Softbank to cut their losses and Sprint away. It would make more sense for a Sprint/US Cellular merger. That would make both companies more competitive.

    • marque2

      US Cellular is another company it’s customers love. They have excellent customer.er service and excellent coverage in the Midwest. Why they would want to be saddled with Sprint is beyond me. Maybe US Cellular and TMo should merge.

      • AussieB

        Get Google Fi if you have a Nexus – They use Tmobile, Sprint and US Cellular

        • TylerCameron

          Too bad Fi is horrendously overpriced.

    • ColorMeMagenta

      The Carlson family are being really subborn and want to run US Cellular into the ground. They’re old turds and they know they can’t keep it going forever. Eventually they will have to sell but they don’t seem to be budging yet.

  • jj201367

    This would be bad

  • Guest

    There should be a simple rule for the wireless telecom industry: No company should own more than 25% of available spectrum, where at least 20% should be used for personal telecommunications and internet, the other 5% can be used IoTs, video services outside the internet and things like that.

    Why? To prevent a monopoly, duopoly and triopoly, and to secure a free internet for the future.

    Then they can merge as many times as they want but they would have to sell a bunch of spectrum to another company.

    Not a perfect idea, but that’s the idea.

  • vinnyjr

    Stay far away from Sprint T-Mobile. They will drag T-Mobile down. I’ve never had such great service with any Carrier than what I’m getting with T-Mobile right now! Strongest signal, Fastest Data Speeds and by far the very best plans.

  • tony

    sprint can screw off.

  • tony

    not even verizon want sprints horrible coverage. lol

  • Don’t hate me, but I’m a big T-Mobile fan. If Sprint is who will take over T-Mobile then heck no. Terrible idea. I wouldn’t mind if Sprint merged with T-Mobile, but used T-Mobile’s team to control everything and keep the T-Mobile name. Also have John Legere as CEO of both combined companies that’ll be interesting to see. However, it’s a big huge headache to combine Sprint’s crappy CDMA network with T-Mobile GSM network. In the end though, I’d still rather have 4 cellular companies to choose from instead of 3. More competition, more competitive prices.

    • marque2

      I am not sure, with everyone going to LTE, I don’t think that CDMA vs GSM is as big a deal any more. Bigger problem, unless you purchased a Google Nexus phone, your TMo and Sprint phones won’t be able to use each other’s frequencies. They are significantly different, unlike ATT which has more overlap with TMo

      • Genbu

        Well if tmobile had access to sites where sprint towers are (and tmobile doesn’t have as good coverage) maybe they can take advantage of upgrading those towers to their frequencies. Idk how all that works, but I imagine if tmobile was able to keep the same management/name/etc, they could take advantage of areas where sprint offers decent coverage compared to tmobile

        • marque2

          You are right, I am sure they could eventually work it. TMobile did assimilate Metro PCS and it was CDMA as well with different frequencies. It is not a matter.of changing to TMobile frequencies, TM would own the sprint ones, it would be a matter of getting phones that work with them all into everybody’s hands. That is about a 3 year proposition. And as I said, there are already phones that work with both. Nexus 5, 5x, 6, 6P have all the Sprint and Tmobile bands (with the exception of 5 missing the new Band 12)

        • Genbu

          Perhaps a theoretical merger could allow them to modify towers to add tmobile frequenches to those older sprint ones to slightly widen tmobile’s coverage then. Idk, the way you described it, unless that theoretical additional coverage is significant, the work required to modify and possibly rebuild towers could simply be too much trouble than its worth

      • Yes, I do agree with you. As T-Mobile has GSM phones and Sprint has CDMA phones. While Nexus has both. Keep in mind that MetroPCS that T-Mobile acquired, was a CDMA network as well. I don’t remember exactly, but T-Mobile somehow managed to convert all their customers that used a CDMA phone to a free GSM LTE phone so it would work on the T-Mobile network, and slowly decommissioned Metro’s CDMA network. Unfortunately, I do see the problem here as you’re dealing with millions of customers on Sprint and various devices ranging from basic flip phones to high end iPhones and Galaxy devices. Almost impossible for T-Mobile to offer a free phone upgrade to a GSM phone. Only way this would work is if calling is VoLTE only without relying on CDMA or Edge/HSPA (GSM).

        • TylerCameron

          Or if T-Mobile offered true SIM unlocks for the Sprint phones – most Sprint phones have GSM/HSPA and Band 4 LTE. Customers on devices that don’t have that are old devices, T-Mobile could just bite the cost of replacing those customers’ phones.

    • ColorMeMagenta

      Totally agree that’s the only way I would accept this. Sprint’s entire team would have be terminated. Every single person and replaced with T-Mo’s. Operate under the T-MO, name with T-Mo’s plans and absolutely sunset CDMA immediately.

      • theforevermachine

        I agree with you that the CDMA network is outdated and needs to be discontinued, but I also think that encouraging the firing of all Sprint Employees in the potential merger is a childish and immature sentiment. These are people with families and bills to pay, and some who have been working for Sprint for years likely. I’d be willing to bet that there are a lot of talented people in the field working for Sprint who would be invaluable to have on board working for T-Mobile.

  • Ian Arnold

    I love Sprint, it would be a good plan for T-Mobile users. T-Mobile did save me a bunch of money by getting Sprint to compete, but sprints coverage is much better for me.

    • Acdc1a

      I suppose it’s possible but my experience has been the exact opposite…especially if we’re talking the past 12 months.

    • Nearmsp

      Why is T-mobile gaining market share while Sprint is losing customers for several quarters now.

      • Acdc1a

        Sprint has been gaining customers after 7 YEARS of losing customers. They’re righting the ship, albeit at a much slower pace than T-Mobile did.

    • frankinnoho

      Curious. Tell me, do you happen to live in crate beneath a sprint tower?

  • Marcelo is a con man

    he has been at sprint for a while now and the company is still as crappy as the day he got there with so many gimmicks and gotchas….LOL 2 different international roaming plans??? 64kbps 2G throttling???? 50% off that really isnt 50% off and still people are not biting??? Faster network than tmo?? 1% of Verizon but still below ATT??
    Marcelo is the true con artist Sith Lord supreme!!!!!!

    • Acdc1a

      Not true. At least the plans are novel now…

    • TJStrat

      This will only work if John Legere runs the new company.

    • tony

      then sprint tv commercial says sprint is within 1% of verizon and millions of new customers flocked to sprint. where are those millions come from?

  • Couvebear

    Let’s see……I started working for Sprint PCS back in 2000. Oh the glorious Tech Boom era. Sprint then made bad decision after bad decision. The first one was “One Sprint” which rolled all of the Sprint’s nimble and customer centric business units under a slow corporate bureaucracy.

    Then Sprint decided 2 try and birds with WorldCom AKA MCI thank God then company merger didn’t go through thanks to the US Justice Department to the FCC.

    Then there was the the doozy. The worst merger in US history which is covered in today’s college business classes. Best opposing merger of equals between Sprint and Nextel. This was not a a merger of equals this was Sprint buying Nextel customer base to stay competitive with AT&T and Verizon.

    Unfortunately Sprint didn’t realize it had to treat Nextel customers with respect and the same level of customer service, and not treat them like Sprint retail customers. All it took was three short years and all of those customers Sprint bought were gone.

    • Acdc1a

      Forcing wireless retail reps to sell outdated home long distance service was a clear marking of the beginning of the end.

    • JA

      >The worst merger in US history which is covered in today’s college business classes. Best opposing merger of equals between Sprint a

      Haha and the next one will be softbank-sprint purchase

      That yellow really smells like poo poo poo

      ;)

    • gmo8492

      Well at least T-Mobile took full advantage of it’s merger with Metro.

  • moonoverparma

    If this was to ever happen, T-Mobile users probably wouldn’t notice any difference. Sprint users will be the ones benefiting by having a better network.

    • lomsha

      The onslaught of sprint users would bog down the network so we would notice lol.

      • Acdc1a

        You assume it would be instant. Frankly they’d have to combine spectrum and move customers slowly. Sprint has huge spectrum holdings they’re just sitting on. I’m not for a Sprint Merger but someone should do something with all of that spectrum.

    • frankinnoho

      Not willing to take that chance! Frak Sprint!

  • Walt

    Run a speed test and post your speeds here. Im curious to see how fast the new sprint network is

    • Cam Fas

      I also wonder about call quality with no VoLTE on sprint.

  • Guest

    I saw the new Sprint and Boost unlimited plans, better than T-Mobile’s I say, too bad they don’t allow unlocked phones. Sprint’s plan has 5GB for tethering at full speed… T-Mobile should do something like that to fix its new plan a little bit.

    • Acdc1a

      Sure they allow unlocked phones…just a very small number of them qualify.

      • Walt

        How about Iphones?

        • Guest

          Yea what about Iphones?

        • Acdc1a

          Per their terms and conditions if it was another carrier’s iPhone the answer would be likely no.

          Best bet if you really want Boost? Sell your iPhone and pick up one of theirs brand new. They’re offering them at SUBSTANTIAL discounts…unfortunately you still have to deal with Boost.

        • Golden M Roberson

          yes iphones 5 S and up

  • AussieB

    Just let the Sprint and Tmobile CEO get in a Twitter streaming cage match for charity.

  • tony

    wait wait wait why should t mobile merge with sprint? sprint is losing half a billion every quarter.

  • FryChickenIsha

    Sprint and T-Mobile together? T-Mobile better be the name they keep and kill Sprint.

    • frankinnoho

      They should just kill Sprint. Period, Full Sop.

  • Paul

    If their service is consistently good for you then congrats.