What a merged T-Mo and Sprint coverage map would look like

The deal between SoftBank and Deutshe Telekom is allegedly a done deal. All that stands in its way – as far as we know – is the regulatory approval needed to make it official. But we know from previous reports, and open statements from the DoJ and FCC, that approval isn’t going to be easy to come by.

Part of pushing the deal through will be convincing the DoJ that a merged Sprint/T-Mobile is better for the consumer, and offering them a better choice. New York Times argues, that’s a point that’ll be tough to prove when coverage maps show that in many major cities the two companies have good coverage. And so merging them is essentially removing an option for customers living in metro areas.

The map below shows where T-Mobile has coverage (pink), where Sprint has coverage (yellow), and where they both overlap (purple).


More than likely, T-Mobile and Sprint won’t be arguing on the basis of consumer choice. Rather, competing with AT&T and Verizon in terms of finances, technology and customer subscriber base. Gelles of NYT wraps it up nicely:

In essence, they’ll be posing the question to regulators: Do you want consumers to have four wireless carriers to choose from, two of which aren’t very good? Or do you want consumers to have three carriers to choose from, each of which has nationwide scale and the resources to invest in better technology?

Arguing against that is T-Mobile’s progress over the past few years. No, the company doesn’t have the resources to compete with Verizon. But for each of the past 5 quarters, it’s added over 1 million net subscribers. In the first quarter of this year, the Uncarrier 4.0 initiative ushered in more than 2 million new subscribers. It outperformed every other carrier in that regard. It might never catch up with AT&T and VZW, but it’s at least starting to look like a real contender in terms of LTE technology and great offers. Part of me thinks the DoJ would be more likely to “ok” a deal if T-Mobile was doing badly.

Source: NYT


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  • Guest

    Swiss cheese is my favorite.

  • but are the frequencies each company has in their arsenal even compatible? Paging @Conan_Kudo:disqus for some much needed context, but keep it to a 5th grade reading level buddy ;-)

    • If Sprint’s CDMA network were to be shut down for T-Mobile’s network technology, the frequencies for CDMA could be reused for UMTS. Both Sprint’s PCS and ESMR frequencies have been approved for UMTS.

      Most of Sprint’s PCS falls in Band 2, which T-Mobile is now using for new UMTS deployment. Sprint’s ESMR is in Band 26, which is approved for both UMTS and LTE. The merged company could forego LTE on Band 26 for Band 12, and use Band 26 for UMTS. The PCS G block (which is in Band 25) could remain LTE to allow legacy Sprint devices to run on the network.

      Greater than 60% of all Sprint LTE devices sold today (including Sprint’s most popular devices like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy phones) support UMTS on Band 2 and GSM, too. If the merged network settles on T-Mobile’s platform, Sprint devices won’t be stranded.

      It would make sense to shift to T-Mobile’s technology, since it is the global technology, SoftBank uses it in Japan, and T-Mobile’s network is actually substantially larger than Sprint’s.

      Of course, they could do this without merging. A network sharing deal would produce the same savings and the same effects without diminishing competition. Network sharing is used quite effectively in Canada, Alaska, and Europe to lower costs and still provide high quality networks.

      • Deadeye37

        Dang, my 5th grader is really smart if she could understand that ;).

        Good info, thanks for answering the question we all had.

      • Rather, LTE on band 26 and UMTS on band 12, as band 26 allows for wider channels than band 12.

      • xmiro

        I can’t dig out an answer on this, would something like a T-Mobile Galaxy S2 be able to take advantage of Sprint 800 SMR?

        I think not, since the frequencies are listed as GSM 850 and HSPA 850 on the phone. Not 800

  • J-Hop2o6

    Wow. Looks like T-Mobile had way more coverage than Sprint. Still un-sure how I feel about the two together (hopefully with T-Mo’s philosophy, plans & CEO+executives). You should’ve also put up the Combined Spectrum map Cam. Together equals a shitload. But hopefully they sell Sprints garbage 2600MHz spectrum.

    • Adrayven

      Unlikely they will keep the T-mobile path.. Past purchases by SoftBank have shown they will go contract and lock people in while raising prices.. They’ve not been able to do that in US so far because Sprint, to be blunt, sucks and can barley hold it’s current pricing..

      Personally.. I think it’s far better to let Sprint live or die as it is.. let vultures pick it’s bones.. Merging with T-Mo will just drag it down.. I, for one, will be leaving for an ATT MVNO the second it’s announced, taking my GSM phone with me. Straight Talk most likely..

      • J-Hop2o6

        I’m sure FCC/DOJ/(FTO?) will block this though, so I’m not too worried about this. But if they do allow this, we can only hope Softbank will let T-Mo’s head-honchos steer the ship.

      • xmiro

        Sprint has ditched contracts as well this year with Framily and MyWay plans, long after Softbank acquired them

        • dtam

          …in response to tmobile

  • Fabian Cortez

    Part of me thinks the DoJ would be more likely to “ok” a deal if T-Mobile was doing badly.

    T-Mobile was doing “badly” when AT&T wanted to buy them. And by “badly,” I mean they were losing subscribers even though they were still turning a profit.

    I get the feeling that you’re on board with this merger Cam. Removing a competitor is never good. More choice always favors the consumer.

    It’s important to never drink the Kool-Aid.

  • Deadeye37

    I always thought Sprint had a lot bigger footprint than T-mobile. I didn’t realize their network was smaller than ours.

    • jeremyvbk

      You forget most of that extra coverage is edge. LTE wise sprint has a larger Footprint

      • J-Hop2o6

        I’m sure Tmo’s LTE is larger. But i’m sure Sprint’s CDMA 3G is larger since this map has Tmo’s 2G/EDGE included, which is like Sprint’s CDMA 3G, LMAO!

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          Correct. Tmo has more LTE and sprint has more 3g

        • Jeremiah McCurry

          Incorrect. Try Sensorly and you’ll see Sprint’s LTE network is larger.

        • Justin747

          Sensorly is crowdsourced. Not many people outside of Sprint fanboys and S4GRU members use sensorly.

          If nobody from other carriers use it, then of course Sprint’s network looks bigger.

        • Jeremiah McCurry

          Then don’t use Sensorly. Go to any map that shows only LTE coverage. Sprint has more LTE coverage. Period.

        • Justin747

          What point is it having a ton of unusable coverage?

          What NO map will tell you is how awful Sprint LTE service is in places that they have native coverage. A great example of what I’m saying is SoCal.

          Sprint service is so bad here it might be better to just use a can and some string for phone calls and a Carrier Pigeon for text messages and emails.

        • Jeremiah McCurry

          …and you know this because you have Sprint? I am a Sprint customer in the Atlanta/Athens metro area. I have great LTE everywhere even when my friends are stuck using TMobile 2G. There are places where both networks are great and both networks are bad.

          If/when TMobile actually does convert all Edge to LTE, they will have a leg up on Sprint nationwide.

        • Justin747

          This comment is probably gonna get deleted but here goes….

          I worked for Sprint for a VERY long time. The coverage in our store was so bad, almost every rep either cancelled their FREE Sprint service, or had a different carrier as their personal phone.

          These complaints about Sprint are valid and will continue to be valid unless Sprint and T-Mobile merge. Sprint needs this much more than T-Mobile does.

          I’m not really sure why Atlanta gets top billing from Sprint but it does. Just understand that your experience is not the norm. If you want to see where these complaints about Sprint come from, just go visit most of the cities west of the Mississippi River.

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      Sprints network is almost entirely 3g, a lot of the tmo areas shown are edge/gprs. Overall tmos network coverage is larger but outside of cities its mostly voice only

      • Fritz

        But considering all 2G areas for TMO will be upgraded to 4G (or is it LTE?) by spring 2015 i dont think that really makes a difference.

        • Trevnerdio

          It’s LTE.

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          Notice how the timeframe for this project coincides with the merger; I think tmo made this announcement to get customers and potential customers excited, knowing the merger will be complete before the time is up and they are no longer obligated to deliver

        • Ashton3002

          That statement can be found the same way for sprint..With all their spectrum they plan to use they will still have a larger LTE footprint than Tmobile..So it doesn’t really make a difference either

      • Trevnerdio

        A lot of Sprint’s coverage map is Verizon roaming*

    • xmiro

      it is, they roamed a lot on US Cellular, Alltel, and Verizon

  • As typical NYT agitprop, it took a fair look at an issue to come up with an ideological non-sequitur. I’ll fix it for them:

    “Do you want consumers to have four wireless carriers to choose from, two of which are SMALL? Or do you want consumers to have three carriers to choose from, each of which has nationwide scale and the resources to GOUGE CONSUMERS?”

    The simple announcement of Google Fiber coming to my town led Time Warner to slash prices by 20% and double the speed of internet cable in a few months. The effect of the decreased number of carriers in major metropolitan areas will be the exact opposite and in minor cities be nil.

  • steveb944

    Wow Sprint coverage blows, I thought we had it bad but I stand corrected.

    • jeremyvbk

      Y’all do, Sprint has more coverage for data than y’all. Edge is mostly unusable, so that would be voice, but if you go by voice coverage then, you have to count Sprints roaming deal with All tel/Verizon, meaning they actually have coverage greater than Tmobile. Data coverage (3g+LTE) Sprint is larger than Tmobile

      • Joe

        But after all the 2G upgrade TMO plans to complete, then it’d be bigger than Sprint’s.

        • jeremyvbk

          The Net America alliance/CCA will boost Sprints LTE and coverage past Tmobile anyways. Plus on top of that, Sprint has plans to expand.

      • J-Hop2o6

        Sprint’s CDMA 3G = 2G/EDGE, LMAO! And as for the Roaming deal, it’s still not their network, so meh.

        • jeremyvbk

          No sprint EVDO does not equal edge. Most EVDO I’ve been on performs 10-30 times better than the max theoretical limit of edge, with ping times under 100ms. The CCA/Net america alliance seals will boost their network. And even if it isn’t their network, deployment of NV on those carrier will mean it goes thru sprint cores, meaning it is theirs. Plus the carriers Dan route their LTE thru sprint cores. It will count as native coverage, boosting them past Tmobile

        • x646x

          I love it when those fanbois left on Sprint still talk up this dialup network. The other three carriers run circles around sprint, something illustrated in every study over the last 4 years and counting.

          At least Tmobile is super-fast in Metro areas. Sprint on the other hand has zero advantage on their 3mb congested 3G network, all while they still push this failed (useless) unlimited that most consumers do not want.

        • jeremyvbk

          What dial up network? I’m on LTE all day. 20-35mbps constantly. Tmobile. What tmobile ? They can’t even provide LTE to a city of 110k+. It has worse range than wimax. There is more than highest speed test, I have double the capacity on sprint here than tmobile does on LTE. Hspa+ sucks because of the 500-2000ms ping. I get better pings on 1x on sprint than Tmobile hspa+. Sprint has more capacity than Tmobile. But until carrier aggregation top speeds aren’t the priority. And even then it’ll just be to help with 4k video ccoming.

        • x646x

          Classic Sprint ‘I’ argument that ignores every actual study that disproves sprint lovers ‘I’ isolated examples. Sprint is yet again a distant 4th in data speeds and their archaic voice only 3G 3mb network is practically unusable.

          The biggest laugh about sprint though is this 7 year “Coming Soon” for everything they do and I mean everything. We even have a pool about their next ‘venture’ to be called something along the lines of “lighting”; which will come out in 2015 and will apparently “fix everything”; which will buy yet another year from Sprint fanbois and those clowns still left buying Sprint’s BS.

          To get the claimed 20-35, you would have to be on Spark, which is limited to what street blocks in all but a handful of cities. Then again, Sprint customers are so delusional that I have heard many say that their 2bit bankrupt network that has not mad a profit in like 6 years is better than Verizon. At which point you realize that you cannot argue with the clueless driven by some weird love for Sprint.

        • jeremyvbk

          First no you do not have to be on spark to get 20-35. Its simple they have multiple 5×5 band 25 and band 26 carriers for LTE. Hate to break it to you, but one 20mhz carrier of TDD-LTE spark has proven speed in the 75mbps range. Amd with 8t8r range is similar to that of 1900mhz. Just because it shows Sprint as slowest doesn’t mean its slow. And archaic? What about all of the test showing Tmobile “4g”(HSPA+) having ping times upwards of 5x worse than 1x ping times.What is useless is a network with 1500ms pings, compared to a network with less than 150ms pings. My sprint EVDO experience is actually faster than any HSPA+ or LTE experience I’ve ever had on Tmobile. And I get listen to not just I. I hear it day in and day out from others. Tmobile has had their fanboys too. And Every one crushes them about coverage. So what if they made an announcement about coverage. Until actual results can be seen no talk. Plus sprint has a lot more going for it right now. A big wallet, plus it will be gaining a lot of coverage areas to be called native coverage, making it the true 3rd largest coverage company. But it won’t matter because It is looking more and more like this deal will come to be and you will have to deal with the fact we will share one network. But make sure to stay off b41, since because its sprint it has to suck according to you.

      • Trevnerdio

        Right, Verizon coverage doesn’t count lol

        • jeremyvbk

          Even with out that Sprint has a larger Data footprint than Tmobile. Edge is useless for data. 1x in my findings has performs better for voice and Data. Plus a lot of places are edge only where sprint has LTE or EVDO

        • Trevnerdio

          I’ve seen Verizon EV-DO speeds as low as .01mbps, so I know Sprint can’t be any better. People who have Sprint complain all the time how bad their Sprint 3G is. It may be faster than EDGE, but only in the slightest. EDGE is alright if you’re sitting still.

        • jeremyvbk

          OK that is Verizon. Sprints complaints came from a time when bundled T1’s were used as backhaul. Which was good before smart phones. Now fiber is used on most sites, microwave on others. And speeds are great on EVDO. Also I’ve tested EDGE sitting close to the tower and couldn’t load webpages. And its like that every place I’ve been. Sprints 1x runs webpages, albeit takes a few seconds but they at least load. Plus CDMA does travel farther without as much of a ddegraded performance.

        • Trevnerdio

          I use GSM, and EDGE loads pages just fine with full bars. The theoretical throughput of 1x is nothing compared to EDGE. And the realistic speeds reflect that.

        • jeremyvbk

          They are actually roughly the same. Most users can see a max of 150Kbps. And I am telling you from running both, CDMA performs better close and farther away from Towers. Especially the biggest thing is Cell edge, EDGE falls apart drastically, As CDMA 1x and EVDO runs with a lot better. I get .5-1mbps on EVDO with fringe signal, with pings running around 80ms. I even get LTE every now and then running 4-5 mbps on a -120 to -130 DBM range.

  • Ron Lunsford

    Does anyone really think that the DOJ or FCC will even allow this? They already have two monster mergers on the table for this summer… There’s the TW/Comcast merger and the ATT/DTV merger. Both of these will have a tough enough time passing, but probably will. After these two, there is zero chance of this one going through – since the same arguments that Sprint used to block AT&T’s buyout will now be used against them. Plus, T-Mobile is making money now, and gaining traction in the market. DT isn’t quite as eager to dump them as they were a few years back. That’s why there’s a $1 billion option to back out if there is regulatory problems.

    • J-Hop2o6

      Yea, I would say this will get shot down again, especially how Tmo has turned it around and has the other 3 responding because of Tmo’s uncarrier moves (and gained a whole lot of subscribers in the past year, and still increasing). So I wouldn’t worry too much of this passing.

    • notyourbusiness

      I sincerely hope you’re right that this will never go through. Keeping my fingers, toes and everything else crossed!

    • xmiro

      even if the Feds allow the merger it will be with conditions

      Most likely scenarios at this time are:
      – DOJ suing in federal court to stop the merger
      or Approval with some conditions like:
      – divesting customers and spectrum
      – spinning off one of the MVNOs, say MetroPCS into a full-fledged national carrier hosted on the Sprint/T-Mobile network with a chunk of divested PCS and/or AWS spectrum.
      – perhaps hosting Echostar/Dish Network’s PCS H, and 40Mhz of AWS-4 spectrum, and helping it launch a national wireless carrier

  • Joe

    Is it me or TMO’s native coverage looks bigger than Sprint?

    • Fritz

      Not just you: I also noticed that there is a lot more pink than yellow…

    • Ad

      It’s also a visual trick. I wonder if they used a color such as blue for the overlap areas, would the map look more balanced and less dominated by pink? As it stands, the purple seems to visually reinforce the pink.

  • Fritz

    If DT really doesnt want Tmo, cant TMO just buy themselves from the parent company? Would that not be a better win for everyone than DT bending over to Softbank?

    • J-Hop2o6

      They will need to raise and loan billions of dollars to do that.

    • itguy08

      Sure, they can repurchase shares from DT. Stock repurchase is done all the time.

      Or you can buy up a whole lot of TMUS shares and eventually DT will have a lesser stake.

  • PapaSmurf

    Less competition and higher prices. This aint going to end well if the FCC approves this merger

  • Here’s the kind of misinformation spread around about this merger: “Michael McCormick, an analyst at Jefferies, says that this gap cannot last in the case of a merger. “It is not a sustainable situation. If the companies merge, they will need uniform pricing across the company… Sprint’s prices are much too high, but if Sprint cuts prices, its stock will fall,” said the analyst.”

    What is more probable to happen is that TMUS will then raise its prices approaching the more expensive S.

    I must say that most analysis of this merger that I read about in the same-stream media is about the investors point of view. They love it, for they know that less competition lines their pockets. To the lame-stream media, the interests of consumers be damned! Shameful corporatism that assails this country…

    • xmiro

      Sprint’s stock will fall? it’s like $8-$9 now while T-Mobile is trading at $33+ and having 29-35% margin :)

      Verizon customers pay the premium because the network supports it, though it too is not without its problems.

      There isn’t much room to raise prices in the near term because the network is smaller and there are still issues with coverage, and also considering T-Mobile customers like the lower bills.

      AIO wireless has positioned its pricing to be in line with T-Mobile so there’s an alternative albeit its pre-paid.

      • Jason

        AiO shut it doors….aio is now cricket

    • Cam Bunton

      Ha. Just seen this quote.. Used it in my post this morning. I think that there are plusses and minuses to the merger. But, it would seem Sprint has the most to gain. T-Mobile needs to get making profit again and it’s in a very healthy position.

  • mreveryphone

    Montana, Utah, North and South Dakota… Yikes!

    • Bob Brown

      I think that you meant Wyoming(not Utah). Also…don’t forget Alaska….

      • mreveryphone

        Right, Wyoming lol. Oh wow poor Alaska…YIKES!

    • xmiro

      yep on our cross country drives we roamed on Union Telephone while going through Wyoming.

      • ChitChatCat

        Union has some damn good coverage in Wyoming too.

        • xmiro

          yup, my boyfriend talked on the phone for over an hour and reception was stellar in the middle of nowhere while using car bluetooth. Now if I could just find a huge ranch with a fat fiberoptic cable service… :)

        • ChitChatCat

          Haha. I wouldn’t be surprised in Union offered it. I’ve made that drive three times and always been crazy impressed with their service. Even got pretty decent data coverage.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Tmobile should totally buy them. shouldn’t cost much

    • brianb

      AT&T’s map in those states looks the same.

  • Paul

    Please tell me again why the merger is needed…

    • Mike

      It isn’t needed…it is wanted by both Softbank and DT.

      • Paul Garrison

        It is wanted by Softbank, but DT just want to unloaded to anyone. They will sell to you if you have the money.

  • macman37

    1 good look at the map and both the DoJ & FCC will block this acquisition/merger in record time!! Why!?! There is too much overlap in the coverage of the 2 networks! Sprint only has a few areas that could give T-Mobile more coverage looking at that map; that along with the fact that they could hardly give any frequencies/spectrum that T-Mobile wants. The only thing T-Mobile may want from Sprint is their 1900 PCS spectrum; their other 2 LTE frequencies does not give the consumers interoperability. 1 thing that we have to remember is that “interoperability” is what helped subscriber growth as other carriers experience a churning rate.

  • xmiro

    Two small networks converging to create one big small network ;)

    • UofM2005

      My thoughts exactly. Their combination doesn’t look like it would have any impact.

  • dtam

    never realized how crappy sprint network was. tmobile is definitely lacking but that’s on 1900/2100 mhz. sprint has low band and their network is still that spotty?

    • xmiro

      Sprint started using the 800Mhz SMR they have late 2013, other than that their network is PCS 1900

  • gadget_hero

    I find it interesting that Softbank and Sprint can throw around huge sums of money, and they have a huge pile of spectrum, but yet they still need T-Mobile to bring competition to $T and $VZW (not to mention Sprints coverage based on the map above is barely bigger than T-Mobile even though Sprint is a much much older company)… I call bull$hit on that. This is about one thing and one thing only, Sprint was the original “Uncarrier” and T-Mobile stole its thunder and apparently a lot of its customers.

    • HalfnHalfCoffeeJelly

      Softbank has the money but not the time. Plus with its 2.5 hz spectrum they need denser coverage. That “crap” spectrum can’t penetrate but carriers more bandwith than either Verizon At&t. Spirit is basically taking the shortcut by buying T-mo. No construction or legal wrangling for every new permitt. Plus in the long run T-mo sadly can’t keep up its momentum due to $$.

  • kev2684

    so basically coverage will not expand, just sprint users ready to leech off t-mobile’s network when they open the gates. I guess that LTE throttling of users on sprint side would help future data surge if they are to combine. looks like sprint do need t-mobile more than vice versa.

    • izick

      I have posted many times that West Virginia is a T-Mobile black hole. Verizon and AT&T have gone into the state and purchased all the smaller carriers in the state except for a few, such as nTelos. Some of the more notable was AT&T’s acquisition of Dobson Communications dba Cellular One and Verizon picking up West Virginia Wireless. U.S. Cellular also operates in the state, leaving the #5 U.S. carrier a stronger presence than #3 and #4.

      I will say that map is somewhat incorrect as I had native Sprint coverage traveling to Charleston, WV from Pittsburgh, and they have WiMax unofficially deployed (and I think unofficially LTE, too) in Charleston, WV.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        Yeah theirs a small coverage area in Charleston, WV. I checked their map a while ago. Wierd it’s not on here. :-/

        • Jeremiah McCurry

          Sprint users get native coverage on nTelos and Shentel. That is not listed on these maps.

        • susank

          Tmobile also uses AT&T towers in many areas and it doesn’t show on the map either. I assumed they only show owned and operated towers on this map.

  • Nearmsp

    It seems tmonews gets advertisement from T-mobile and is now actively canvassing for this merger. Cam – you do not seem neutral any more and are non stop writing articles as if this is a done deal. Those who oppose the deals are sharpening their knives. We will unleash the same forces we did when AT&T with one of the biggest lobbying budget tried this same thing. I personally wrote some 50 postings with my name on reputed sites and will do this again to shame FCC and FTC should they try to show benefit to US consumers. I have the whole history of FCC – every merger that they rubber stamped to increase choice and ended up in making the US the most concentrated market in the world. This buy out offer by Softbank is not about fighting T or VZ. This is about snuffing out competition and reducing choice for American consumers. The argument that T-mobile will go bankrupt if T does not buy it is being made again. Legere has for no reason started the buying out of T contracts and has shown a loss at the expense of goosing up number of subscribers. His intent is not good for T-mobile customers. Most of the posters here have been bowled by his charm. He stands to benefit the most from this merger as the new CEO of the merged entity. He is no more neutral on this.

    • Cam Bunton

      I live in the UK. I don’t gain anything from the merger.. but the site stands to be affected negatively if the T-Mobile brand disappears. But, I try to remain neutral and bring all the angles to the table. Apologies if that doesn’t come across.

    • Steve

      Put on some aloe because Cam just burned you!

    • chardog

      FYI- Everything anyone has heard has been from a 3rd party news agency so far. Neither T-Mobile nor Sprint/Softbank have made ANY official announcements. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, but everything at this point is putting the cart before the horse. All but done deal? How can you even have a “deal” yet when nothing has been officially announced?

  • Mark Hartman

    The only way the FCC will approve it is if they say through the merger they can build more towers to support more coverage to the consumers.

    • Jeremiah McCurry

      I think they’ll also demand some pricing guarantees.

      • Jason Crumbley

        They would probably also have to sell a lot of the spectrum in the overlapping areas.

  • Durandal_1707

    That’s it?! There’s almost no coverage Sprint has that T-Mobile doesn’t!

  • Antonio JcRM

    I knew the coverage will look similar to this but i didn’t know sprint’s was non existed. It’s just an overlay over an overlay. No benefit what’s so ever. Maybe the AT&T merger was a better choice since they have more coverage in more places than the 2. I guess ppl was more scared about higher prices than coverage. This whole merger is too just brag about the # of customers the new carrier will have which at the end solves nothing.

  • PK

    I think what this map lacks to show is in some of these overlappin area’s, TMO is running edge and Sprint is on LTE. Most of the time when I travel somewhere that isn’t all that rural, I will check the coverage map on sensorly and see Sprint has LTE while TMO is stuck on good ol worthless edge. Food for thought.

    • vrm

      If anything, the map shows that tmobile’s coverage is better – there are more pink spots than yellow but on the whole the overlap is so significant that anyone can see that the merger adds no value to the consumer. The networks have huge overlap and to make that worse, they use different spectrum and technologies !

      WOW ! CANNOT see a case for merger, the two network groups will be fighting like dogs to keep their own n/w going and retire the other and ignore building out.

      And PK, don’t forget that t-mobile is upgrading 2G to LTE and I am pretty sure that they are/will be ahead of sprint by mid 2015 by a huge margin. Still, the merger talks are a distraction and both companies either should survive on their own or be bought out by a REAL, healthy carrier. Two very sick people sharing a decrepit ICU will not per se lead to a cure for either of them.

    • TBN27

      Won’t be like that for long.

    • VapidRapidRabbit

      Sprint is as horrible as T-Mobile. Neither has anything on Verizon or AT&T in terms of LTE coverage.

  • they are going to have to show the DOJ immediate plans to build towers in non covered areas, other than that it looks pointless

    • TheCudder

      My exact thoughts. They completely over lap for the most part. Way too many zero coverage areas along the east coast & California.

  • Chris

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Thank you.

  • Monkeyk

    It seems to me that the purple is an area that antennas can be redirected to improve coverage. Just looking at the map, I would guess that redirecting antennas could add 5-10% coverage

    • Andrew

      I’m so glad an RF engineer could chime in on this.


    This is probably ONLY for VOICE, not true data coverage.

    I live in Chicago and the surrounding areas, including Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan is pretty much EDGE (E) or GPRS (G) with T-Mobile so it’s useless for smartphones except for making calls.

    I hope that if T-Mobile or the merged T-Mobile/Sprint will at least use the highway corridors and apply 3G coverage if not HSPA/LTE. I can understand more rural areas away from highways and cities, but driving I94 through Michigan is 90% sad E or G coverage.

    • Charlie

      That last I heard, Tmo is looking to convert ALL of that E area to LTE by the end of 2015. 50% in 2014 and 50% in 2015. So hold out another 2 years (and save about $1000) and you’ll have your LTE on the highway.

  • BLU

    IMO the merger is about the revenue to purchase the coveted lower frequencies at the net FCC auction, without joining neither TMO nor S have a chance to win. AT&T, VZW continue being market bullies with absurd pricing. TMO has proven that profits can be while keeping the consumer in mind.

    VZW doesn’t care about the customer proven by its horrible cust care. What does it matter VZW has the most $ and can afford the lowest frequencies and what are you, the customer going to do? Leave?

    • kpb321

      Actually the merger would HURT T-Mobile and Sprints chances of getting spectrum in the upcoming auction. There are currently rules in place that would set aside a portion of the auction that AT&T and VZW wouldn’t be able to bid on specifically to make it easier for T-Mobile, Sprint and smaller regional carriers to get it. If they merge before the auction this rule is no longer in effect.

  • Paul Garrison

    This map speaks volumes.

  • VapidRapidRabbit

    So it won’t vastly improve T-Mobile’s coverage. Softbank just wants to eliminate a competitor of Sprint…

    Oh, and didn’t all of those Sprint stans say Sprint had better coverage than T-Mobile? Why is there more pink on this map than yellow? LOL.

    • Ashton3002

      Lol this has to be for voice coverage because sprint covers more poeple with LTE than t-mobile..FACt!! even when 3g comes into play sprint has more of that too but when edge comes into play t-mobile has more of that than sprint..and this map is actually false because it shows t-mobile coverage all over oklahoma which is wrong 5 miles from downtown and i have 2g where i have LTE with sprint but then again tmobile is faster (when available) even sprints 3g can be as slow as t-mobiles 2G. Also sprint has LTE all throught out vegas but its not on the map or even their own coverage map..im sure the case is the same for tmobile in some areas. but the maps ALWAYS lie i dont are whose map you look at they all Lie especially Sprint in the LTE portion but 3G and voice are pretty accurate.

      • VapidRapidRabbit

        A hit dog will holler. As it stands, Sprint’s LTE is not even as good as T-Mobile’s HSPA+.

        • Ashton3002

          Did I say it was? No..but for what normal people do it works just fine. And if you can read you would have seen when i said “t-mobile is faster (when available) ” keywords *when available*

  • Marc

    Cam, please fix. It’s Deutsche Telekom with an “sch”. Looking quite painful… Thanks!

  • Rick Rudge

    Thanks for sharing this coverage map, Cam. I had no idea how little coverage Sprint had that T-Mobile didn’t have across the country. I was led to believe that Sprint was a bigger company than T-Mobile, but it looks like they basically are the same sized company, at least as far as coverage goes.

    • kalel33

      They seem bigger because they piggyback off of Verizon’s network for roaming, which gives them the largest calling area in the US, plus there’s no pesky 50MB hard cap of data roaming with Sprint.

  • Jon

    I used to be against this but at the rate sprint is going I say this was inevitable. In America competition is disappearing at an alarming rate. I’d rather be Softbank USA than ever become Comcast wireless. This is the lesser of two evils, T-mobiles parent company just needs the money to work on their own network back at home. I’m looking at things differently from most and I’m for this as long as Legere is running the show he’s done a lot in the short time he’s been in control of T-Mobile. I’m impressed with his results imagine what he would do with the combined resources of both companies. Whilei admit it may not be a smooth transition I do expect some bumps on the road and some hiccups here and there but I’m optimistic and really hope this becomes a reality. Verizon and AT&T need to be kept in check and this is the only way I see that happening. The FCC is a joke and the goverment is bought and paid for by the big corporations.

  • Jason Crumbley

    The overlapping areas don’t matter. I’m pretty certain that TMO/Sprint would be forced to sell most of the spectrum in the overlapping areas.

  • superg05

    merge merge merge how much is phone dog getting paid to try to sway public opinion?

    • Nick Gonzalez

      What exactly are you getting at?

  • PK

    In the end, if they merge and my bill doesn’t change and they keep on pushing T-mobiles branding.. cool. If they don’t merge, cool.. T-Mobile will continue with their progress. I mentioned this earlier in the comments, but Sprint has been pretty aggressive with their LTE rollout as part of their “Network Vision” initiative. If this merger would give us access to their footprint (once everything is all integrated) that would be awesome since Sprint does have a lot more highways and such covered. My buddy with Sprint in the area says LTE is great, but of course folks know the 3G on sprint sucks… but not as much as edge or GPRS IMO. Here is a sensorly map comparing the 2, and I am sure this is the same case in many other markets as well (shows how the overlap maps dont account for data coverage)



  • Eric the Fruit Bat

    Where’s DISH in all of this? I wouldn’t think they’d be sitting on the sidelines while all of this activity is happening with all of the bandwidth they’re sitting on.

  • Tyler Kirchman

    T-Mobile needs to just by U.S. Cellular they lack mostly in Midwest and NorthEast rural areas. US Cellar has the same band 12 spectrum they got from Verizon so why not?

  • Impatient Waiter

    Hopefully this is just one long, bad rumor that will NEVER happen. Sprint is horrible! It would add literally 0 coverage where I live and Sprint doesn’t even have LTE anywhere in my state! Screw Sprint, not even sure how they’re still in business!

  • Chris

    Many people are so against this saying Sprint will ruin T-Mobile. They fail to think about what happens if T-Mobile comes in and runs the show, which from all the rumors we have heard sounds most likely. That would mean Sprint’s ways would fall away and eventually the two combined would be like a larger T-Mobile, most likely under a new name