Perfect T-Mobile partner needs to have spectrum and customers, makes Iliad buyout unlikely


There’s no two ways about it: T-Mobile is an attractive company right now. It’s disrupting the wireless industry, expanding its network and taking customers from its competitors at a rate of 3:1*, and of all 4 major carriers, it has the best public image and appeal. What’s more, Deutsche Telekom wants to get rid. Not because T-Mobile is unsuccessful, but because it needs to focus its efforts on competing in Europe. But what are the options? Iliad has bid, and is frantically begging for money from a variety of sources to help raise its offer. Sadly for the French telecoms giant, it’s unlikely to be successful.

Analysts from Jefferies met with T-Mo’s investor-relations team yesterday and came away with a distinct impression that the magenta-flavored carrier is looking for a partner with a U.S. customer base and U.S. spectrum. Iliad doesn’t have either of those things.

“In this respect, and in our view, a deal with Iliad appears less likely given the lack of domestic spectrum and customers,” they added. “Dish also does not necessarily fully satisfy the criteria, but offers a more compelling opportunity given its spectrum holdings, and video customer base.”

One thing is clear, Iliad isn’t the only interested company, and the interest isn’t likely to end anytime. As reported by Fierce Wireless:

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said at an investor conference last week that he knows the company is a potential takeover target but that T-Mobile has options. “We take the interest in T-Mobile–which isn’t just them [Iliad], it’s many different companies–as flattering,” he said. “I think that will continue.”

“What we are doing, we are constantly looking at multiple paths,” Legere continued. “One is a very strong, vibrant, stand-alone business. We also look at the various trends in the industry and ways that we could do things inorganically.”

One company that’s always speculated as an option is Dish. The TV company has both spectrum and customers. But very little of the speculation comes from sources with any knowledge. They’re just “educated” guesses.

Exactly what happens from here on out is unclear. T-Mobile has plans to overtake Sprint as the #3 and will then set its sights on AT&T. Although we have a feeling that target might take a little more time than overtaking Sprint will.

Source: Fierce Wireless

*Porting ratio of 3:1. For as many customers who leave T-Mobile for one of the other three carriers, 3 customers come the other way. This doesn’t mean T-Mobile is bringing in 3 times as many new subscribers as its competition.

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