Here We Go Again, Sprint And T-Mobile Rumors Persist

Hey guess what? Another T-Mobile and Sprint merger/acquisition/partnership/holding hands while skipping in the park rumor. This time the Wall Street Journal has stated that Sprint, or more specifically their board of directors is debating whether or not to let rival T-Mobile USA invest in Clearwire. For the record this isn’t the first time Clearwire has popped up in the T-Mobile world as outgoing CEO Robert Dotson has publicly stated that discussions with Clearwire have taken place.

Clearwire, needing funding to continue its expansion from a current base of 49 cities to a nationwide outlay would require significant investment to move forward. The Wall Street Journal states that Sprint’s board is relatively Sprint with some directors supporting the idea of allowing T-Mobile to invest in operations and others “adamantly opposing the idea.” T-Mobile has yet to lay out a 4G strategy and given todays announcement of a doubling in HSPA+ speeds throughout 2011 one has to wonder just what kind of an investment T-Mobile would be willing to make given their own resources being pumped into HSPA+ services. Given the current wireless landscape however, a partnership between Sprint and T-Mobile makes sense on a number of levels in order to combat the increasing subscriber difference AT&T and Verizon are establishing. T-Mobile also has its own set of options aside from Sprint and Clearwire with Harbinger Capital Partners. The Harbinger group is looking to build their own 4G network from scratch and partnering with T-Mobile could accelerate their plans while providing T-Mobile with significant access to wireless broadband.

For starters, this is all of course, subject to rumor and merely comes from “sources familiar with the matter” but these things tend to be true on at least some level. A partnership with Sprint as stated, does make sense on a number of levels. However, to what end does that partnership grow and just how much can T-Mobile and Sprint get together on Clearwire while remaining direct competitors?


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  • NiiDiddy

    T-Mobile has to be smart about it. I’m sure whichever way the direction is, they’d make good decisions for a long term broadband/data buildout.

  • steven

    If such a merger would occur, how much would the subscriber count be compared to AT&T and Verizon?

    • youareatool

      who really cares?

    • Spencer

      The combination would still leave them with the third most subscribers

      • Marc

        Then it’s not worth it then, is it?

      • Yeah, but once AT&T loses their exclusive contract with iPhone, their numbers will plummet. With such a pathetic coverage area, the only reason they have the numbers they have is because of the iPhone, but I’m still surprised that people are willing to tollerate it – even for an iPhone… Once that iPhone contract is up, I wouldn’t be surprised at all, especially with the merger, to see T-Mobile move up to the #2 spot.

      • wack mode

        ummmm ur worng spencer they would be above at&t and verizon

  • Chris

    I still don’t understand how a CDMA provider and a GSM provider can merge…

    • davidohio

      Probably the same way that nextel (iden network) merged with sprint (cdma network). Sprint would offer gsm or cdma service…but it does not matter because it will never happen.

      • sino8r

        I worked for Nextel when the merger took place and it was a royal pain for employees and customers alike. I don’t like this at all. Two companies with different techs should not join. There are way too many mergers with companies anyways. Just let one or the other sink (preferably Sprint). If they joined, I would seriously think about jumping ship to Verizon. And I love T-Mobile way too much to even bear to watch such a fiasco. Plus the headaches it would provide us loyal customers. I’ve been with T-Mobile for * years and hope to God this won’t happen. We have heard about this ridiculous rumor for over a year now. I doubt it would be anything more than a spectrum purchase for upcoming LTE.

    • aliamir

      its not about merging services per se, it would be about wireless spectrum usage. t-mobile needs more spectrum if they were to get into true 4G and sprint has a lot.

  • Cool. So here we are in Suffolk, VA in a metro of 1.5 million people and my city only has EDGE still even tho the other 6 cities have had 3G for a while now and the capital just got HSPA. I hope T-mo isn’t leaving out upgrading it’s coverage footprint in the name of upgrading speed. I mean really. I hate to switch carriers cause T-mo is the best in terms of customer service and price but Sprint, Verizon and AT&T all have 3G/4G here. I don’t know what the prob is with t-mo, but I’m waiting. Loving the 3G when I’m at work, hating edge when I get home. :( Hopefully taking over the Sprint network would get me some of that sweet 4G (if they somehow make the towers work with our devices).

    • redman12

      This might help, Spread the word!

      • Derrick

        uh ha! AF!!

    • yup

      Yeah richmond has 3g but 4g has only been out here for two months

  • Chris

    Never going to happen. I couldn’t see all the NASCAR fans wearing fushia instead of yellow.

    • Sapphire

      Do you mean magenta?

    • Derrick

      Its not Magenta, its MAN-genta! i say that b/c i have to wear it at my events, lol!

  • undertmocover

    Spectrum, Spectrum, Spectrum… is all that T-Mobile wants from Sprint/Clearwire/Harbinger. They all have plenty, and T-Mobile needs more than it has or can otherwise acquire to deploy LTE properly. This is not about subscriber count, and so to answer the question I know you are about to post/repost, it will not really matter that Sprint is a CDMA carrier and T-Mobile is a GSM carrier as the spectrum they use is the same. Besides, Wimax deployment (Sprint/Clearwire) can easily be converted to LTE (T-Mobile) deployment. Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile USA’s parent company) knows that T-Mobile USA is a cash cow for them, and will do whatever is prudent to make sure that T-Mobile USA remains competitive and profitable.

    • Usman

      I don’t know how accurate the last part of your statement is… all indications are that T-mobile US has been a drag on Deutsche Telekom’s balance sheet.

    • APlayerFromTheHimalya

      DT has a ton of cash. ST is a LARGe company. Sprint cannot sustain subscriber loss for so long. Sprint also has wireline services. A logical thing would be to split the company and profit significantly from the sale of the Wireless service. Convert to GSM over time or use the backhaul to expand service. 20 billion in cash makes sense to me.

  • mtnman

    I don’t belive that Sprint and Tmo will merge either. After all what Tmo is trying to do is gain more bandwith. AT&T is the largest bandwith hog out there, that’s why they cap your usage. Now if Tmo can gain more bandwith, using it to expand there HSPA+ service will really boost sales by advertising that they cover more people with their “4G” speeds than anyone else. And while Sprint will say they have 4g, they can’t claim they cover more people. AT&T had better lose their fastest 3G speed commercials quick, because when everyone is on 4G and your claiming the fastes 3G?

    • undertmocover

      Not Bandwidth, Spectrum. T-Mobile has PLENTY of bandwidth on the fiber connected sites… and they have enough spectrum to fully deploy hspa+. They need more spectrum because they want to properly deploy LTE, which can need > 20mhz.

  • firefox975

    it is all about the spectrum , which clearwire/sprint have tons of it

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    The problem for Sprint is that it is a dog with fleas, and a serious infestation at that.

    And Sprint at best being an $8 to $12 billion company (depending on whose numbers you accept) has nothing to negotiate with, especially with a Company the size of T-Mobile (DT), a $55 billion company.

    Of course, as others have said in here, Sprint has some attractive pieces to the Company, but anyone getting involved with them wants to strip mine the Company, and Sprint can’t lose what little bargaining leverage it has.

    That’s it in a nutshell.

    That Sprint has the Evo is irrelevant, by the way.

  • mtnman

    Yeah your right, Spectrum not Bandwith. Hey I’ve been working 13 hour shift today, my brain is mush right now. If Tmo and Sprint “Were” to ever merge then Mailman would be kicking himself after getting the Evo and finding himself back on Tmo. lol

    • undertmocover

      roflmao mtnman!

    • Eddie Android

      Your comment has made my day. Mailman will be bacK ROFL!

  • I dont know at this point its anyones game . On a subscriber stand point a merger would make sense . But form a tech stand point it seems like a hurdle. However sprint made it happen before with their acquisition of nextel which has iden a similar tech to gsm. And tmobile has been having a hard time lately being profitable. Its not the recession its bad moves with rate plans “even more plus”,horrible handset selection and unreliable service in moderately populated areas. And im not saying sprints network is the greatest ever but if both could come together they could be a heavyweight carrier.

    • undertmocover

      joe, you don’t seem to have read the previous comments, nor done much research on the subject. T-Mobile is VERY profitable, and your other statements are nothing more than comments that you have read in other forums. Please try to contribute an informed comment next time!

  • Drez

    @chris…. if you look into the mytouch slide wireless network setting, it doesnt say 3G in the settings, it says GSM or CDMA/GSM, so i can kinda see this happening… and to be honest i wouldnt be surprised

    • Sapphire

      No, it says GSM/WCDMA, not CDMA/GSM. Check again, Drez. WCDMA and CDMA are 2 different wireless standards. Go to the link at the bottom of this post and go to the “Development” and “Rationale for W-CDMA” sections.

      “The ITU eventually accepted W-CDMA as part of the IMT-2000 family of 3G standards, as an alternative to CDMA2000, EDGE, and the short range DECT system. Later, W-CDMA was selected as an air interface for UMTS,” is a direct quote from the “Development” section.

      “The W-CDMA system is a new design by NTT DoCoMo, and it differs in many aspects from CDMA2000,” is a direct quote from the “Rationale for W-CDMA” section.

  • mtnman

    With Tmo coming out with the New G2 which will be an HSPA+ phone as well as the Glacier latter this year. Rolling out more HSPA+ to a projected 200 million customers. Their new “The Family Network” plans, $0 AAL promotion, Tmo looks to make some serious coin by the end of Q4. Sprint will be trying still to cash in on their 4G speed commercials all the while droping customers……well except for Mailman. And if that’s all they got, good luck to them.

    • Eddie Android

      I wonder hows he doing.

  • Kitpogi

    Please, whatever you do T-mobile. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT MERGE with SPRINT…You’re doing just fine!

  • Shawn


  • Danno

    First off, if T-mobile invests in Clearwire, it doesn’t mean that T-mo and Sprint are merging.
    But look at the bigger picture. In the current state, T-mobiles HSPA network is much faster than Sprints supposed 4G network wich is, by the way, Clearwire.
    So what sense does it make for T-mobile to use Clearwire as a 4G partner if their speeds are slower than Magenta’s 3G HSPA network.

    Like someone said above, the only possible reason would be for spectrum which T-mobile is badly in need of when it comes to building out their LTE network.
    That is why T-mo isn’t talking LTE yet because they can’t build it on top of their current network and don’t have bandwidth to build it otherwise.

    Don’t start making the mistake that our nations media always makes and try to figure out how bananas = oranges when we’re talking about apples.

  • currator

    i really dont car because i brought this up almost exactly what he has writen here and i was told i was smoking crack. but when a mod puts it up its it will never happen. so idc

  • currator

    you wanna know why i already went over this. its called wimax 2.0 it has top speed of 1gbps with real world speed of 100mbps ohh its only a software upgrade to current towers and plays nice with wimax 1.0 thats why tmobile is spending money on clearwire which is almost completely owned by sprint who is slowly dieing from net loss

    • Tmorftech

      T-mobile will NOT be using wimax in any way, shape or form. A big reason for that is handset availability, most devices will be having lte chip sets, as the rest of the carriers in not only the us, but the world have chosen lte over wimax. The other reason t-mobile will not be using wimax is because dt has already vetted, and indeed began deployment of lte across its other carrier holdings. So please, stop spouting off about wimax, you obviously haven’t done any real research beyond listening to a sprint commercial.

      • Tmorftech

        Wimax sites can however be converted easily to lte, and at fairly minimal costs. That is what would happen if tmobile partnered with clear wire

  • mikeeeee

    t-mobile UK merged with ORANGE in the UK.

    as long as the phones work, i could care less.

    boards of directors are there at the behest of the CEO and are just window dressing.

    just gimme a UMA/ANDROID, i don’t really care about corporate B/S.

    anybody out there know any suits that are worth a damn?

  • Rilesman

    @undertmocover, @danno, and @currator hit the nail on the head.

    4G requires additional spectrum that T-Mobile does not have at this time.

    Clearwire can provide the spectrum and services….but at a decent price and quality…I would question that statement.

    LTE looks like the winning standard (due to Europe influence). However, upgrades to WiMAX is also a viable option.

    I personally see little benefit from merging with Sprint, however purchasing their spectrum and perhaps their customers would be a benefit but I only see success in directly “migrating” them to T-Mobile and then rolling out services on the new spectrum.

  • JackRussell

    And if T-Mobile and Sprint merge, I will go to Verizon as soon as my contract is up. I had one unfortunate incident in the past with Sprint, and I will never go back to them.

    • Rilesman

      Same here…so bad that they open and closed accounts 7 times to fix a mistake on their part…payment went to one account and they charged me on another account. Wouldn’t transfer payment to the charged account, wouldn’t refund from overpaid account, and then sent two bill collectors after me and one said, “Sprint is stupid” and the other said, “we will never bother you again, Sprint is wrong”.

  • Long live the magenta muh ha ha haaaaa

  • just mee

    I kno this is off topic but look there is a hd3. Check it out and tell me wat ya think:

  • Hmm

    Does T-Mobile have the bandwidth for 4G? In terms of economic survival both are struggling. Sprints at a dead end in getting funds to clearwire to expand their footprint and T-Mo has no plan out to the public as of yet. ATT and Verizon just go on their merry way with their ad campaigns and stay in the front. HSPA+ is nice, but again, those in the know may actually have 4G speed, but the public likes things simple and hearing 3G then 4G is easier than HSPA+. VHS or BETA, Blue ray or that other one???….ANyway, makes sense to partner with Clearwire and then branch off from there…

  • just mee

    Off topic again lolz but could this be the motorola phone thats resistant to water and all that, that was said to be comming to t-mobile?

  • TMoFan

    I would be concerned that T-Mobile would lose its identity if it merged with Sprint. Right now Magenta has a lot going for it concerning the rollout of HSPA+ and some nice looking smartphones coming out soon. Sprint would just bog down T-Mobile and I question whether it would stay committed to reasonable rates and customer service.

  • mwl1119

    Maybe with this merger T-mobile could send out an Android update for once.

    Sent from my Slide with no update of when 2.2 is coming.

  • Joe Blow

    I dumped Sprint for T-mobile over billing and coverage issues. I’d go to the Death Star rather than stay with a Sprint-Tmo combo. Plus AT&T will be smooth sailing after 1/2 the iphone users leave :)

  • currator

    tmorftect. u r a it10t. you must not understand things for that matter much else they will use the wimax for fiber to the towers for there truck line det de de. you know nothing its already been said d.t. is fronting cash to clearwire so learn to look at more then 2 sites to get your info. you will see and when it happens i will laugh anyways when those sprint ads come on t.v. i change the channel. u know nothing

  • =D

    If that’s the case, I’d rather get small coverage than mess up monthly bills resulting my family to argue for such inexplicable amount of cash going into a company that some here claims to be bad.

  • Nath12

    Access to the Sprint nationwide fiber network sure would help expedite a HSPA+ rollout…

  • Nath12

    …or maybe it’s internet backbone one of 3 primary world wide isp interconnections… Not sure.

  • MT3GS

    I started with Sprint, migrated to Nextel when they bought each other out (what a PITA that was), then went back to Sprint when I finally had enough of iDen’s data transfer speeds were too disgusting to handle; then when I broke the data glass ceiling for tethering with my V3M, my Power Vision got permanently shut off and they wouldn’t turn it back on even when begged! Got out of my contract and signed up with T-Mobile… Haven’t had a problem with T-Mo yet; going almost on 3 years… Aside from the EVO being a juicy temptation, I know that when I travel to Italy it will be as useless as my V3M was when I went there last time, sat there, searching for a signal 3000 miles away… Sorry, I just can’t give a crappy company my business… Sprint is OUT for me!

    • Sapphire

      Were you one of those subscribers that Sprint cancelled their contract on? I remember in mid to late 2007 a bunch of Sprint subscribers were canned as customers lol

  • edsned

    Don’t ever stick the pink T at the end of sprint’s logo!!! This is just disrespectful. Why do so many people calmer of the 4G network. HSPA+ blows 4G/LTE out of the water now and next year. Personally I cant wait till next year for our HSPA+ with 42 mps to come out and Verizon and Sprint will be left in the dust at 20 mps with their new LTE network and ATT…HA! at 8 mps. Long Live Magenta and Long Live sweet sweet Catherin Zeta Jones ;]

    • Sapphire

      @edsned Just to tickle your pickle, I suggest you check out this link:

      Imagine if T-Mobile were to utilize this HPSA+ standard at 168mbps on the downlink.

  • No comment

    Why would we want 4g when hspa+ is faster and we already have more coverage… Sprints 4g network tops out at 10mbps while hspa+ can do 21 anyone ever used clear write? Kinda sucks doesn’t it.m t mobile currently has no interest in partnering with sprint they want us to help save their company the only reason we don’t call it 4g is because sprint patented it as a wifi network. This is directly from deutche telecom

  • Ken&Shel

    Wrong Wrong!! Customer at T-Mobile 6 yrs w/ 5 lines. Like the services and plans. If T-Mobile wishes to keep this faithful customer. Drop this whole Sprint idea. Thanks.

  • T-mobile does not need Sprint to survive. They just need to keep building coverage.

    Sprint on the other hand, according to what i read about them everywhere on the Internet, they may need T-mobile’s help to stay in business.