New report shows what a combined T-Mobile and Sprint network could look like

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Recent reports have suggested that the oft-rumored merger of T-Mobile and Sprint is making progress, and so some folks are taking it more seriously and wondering what a combined T-Mobile-Sprint could look like. A new report from Ookla tries to answer that question.

When it comes to coverage, Ookla used maps that show Speedtest results from T-Mobile and Sprint in Q1 and Q2 2017. We see that the two carriers share coverage in populated urban areas, but there are parts of the U.S. where there are test results from one carrier but not another.

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We can see that T-Mobile customers have posted results in areas like southwestern Montana, northern Nevada, northern Minnesota, and North and South Dakota where there’s nothing from Sprint. Meanwhile, Sprint test results pop up in places like rural parts of southwestern Oregon and eastern Nebraska.

Combining T-Mobile and Sprint could result in improved coverage in these areas where customers only have access to one area.

This report also touches on the two carriers’ spectrum. For example, T-Mobile could utilize some of Sprint’s 2.5GHz coverage to beef up its network performance. Ookla also points out that T-Mo could repeat what it did when it bought MetroPCS, shutting down Sprint’s CDMA network and then repurposing that spectrum.

This all sounds like a combined T-Mobile-Sprint would be great, but there would also be some downsides to such a move. While T-Mobile passed Sprint in terms of total customers awhile ago, Sprint still offers up competition to T-Mo as well as AT&T and Verizon, and less competition could be a bad thing for the U.S. wireless market. We’d also likely see some job losses as the combined T-Mo-Sprint would work to get rid of redundant positions.

Right now, the rumored T-Mobile-Sprint merger is still very much a rumor, and it’s not a sure thing that it’ll get regulatory approval even if an agreement is struck. We’ll just have to continue to wait and see if more leaks surface that give us more details on how the negotiations are going. You can pass the time by hitting up the link below to read Ookla’s full report on what T-Mo-Sprint could look like.

Source: Ookla

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  • 9to5Slavery

    Whatever Tmobile does to have those crazy speeds on top of other carriers better keep up. When merging with Sprint’s discounted cellular service, just hope they don’t drop the ball or listen to traditional corporate. I wouldn’t mind those old school sprint hardheads corporate getting fired. Tmobile has done a great job and their network shows.

    • John Doe

      Actually, sprint’s ceo Marcelo Claure is learning a lot from John Legere and they are friends… it is just that Sprint’s brand was tarnished and that is hard to come back from.

      • Andrew Addison

        Actually nope. They are not really good buddies. Marcelo Claure is only using Legere for all the techniques. Remember John used to bad mouth at Marcelo Claure awhole lot. Marcelo Claure is just only playing clue in the situation there. Besides Sprint-BoostMobile network is way more reliable/with better connectivity/stability than T-Mobile-MetroPCS. lol This merger will fail.

        • John Doe

          John Legere said on periscope that they are friends so I don’t know what you are talking about.

        • Romdude

          It’s all about public perception, I guess it’s only business, nothing personal.

        • Lies Lies lies Sprint is at the bottom of the barrel

        • riverhorse

          You sir, have just shown us the premier example of hard work, dedication, and impeccable ortography– typing out all those perfect Sprint-BoostMobile and T-Mobile-MetroPCS.
          Just reading them over and over has made me dizzy– I can’t imagine physically doing it…time for Jack Daniels.

        • Sharti24

          Why do you say it wont happen? Sprint wants to sell and trump will approve because of his boy “son”. Only question is at what price will tmobile be interested in paying

  • Sayahh

    ” …Sprint still offers up competition to T-Mo as well as AT&T and Sprint, and less competition could be a bad thing for the U.S. wireless market…”

    I think you meant AT&T and Verizon.

    • HeatFan786

      Yep, sloppy typo there.

    • 3 carriers will still be competitive and not to mention U.S. Cellular is a good 4rth regional alternative to customers

      • Sayahh

        “…U.S. Cellular is a good 4rth (sic) regional alternative to customers”
        Not to people in California.

        • Too bad too sad. Sprint is on its last leg I rather see them merge then see Sprint go bankrupt

        • Sayahh

          Wonder which is better for consumers and/or Sprint: a T-Sprint or a VeriSprint merger.

      • Rob

        Ummmm… US Cellular only has coverage in 23 states and mine isn’t one of them. We need 4 national carriers. Right now we have two tiers – Premium (at&t and Verizon) and budget (T-Mobile and Sprint). Eliminate Sprint and T-Mobile has no reason not to inch up towards premium prices.

        • If everyone wants great super coverage a premium is going to be paid there’s no such thing as great coverage for cheap move to MVNO if you want that. Alot of people just need to stop being cheap

  • Jason Caprio

    T-Mobile covers exactly what Sprint does and much more. Combining the two networks won’t make a huge difference except in metro areas. Sprint uses completely different bands than T-Mobile. Now if all those bands were to be aggregated, then that could be a good thing in terms of overall bandwidth and speed. Sprint’s rural coverage is non-existent though. Almost all of it is roaming networks and CDMA 3G.

    • Qu3st

      Sprint covers plenty of rural and other areas where T-Mobile is non-existent. I should know being that I have access to both carriers on Project Fi.

      • Jason Caprio

        You do have a point since you are on both networks, but I’m sure you’re connected to T-Mobile more!

        On a side note, it seems Project Fi needs to update their plans. It would be $70/month to use 5GB which seems a bit expensive to me considering Verizon charges $75/month for their base Unlimited plan and T-Mobile $70. They need to make up some kind of Unlimited plan. Doesn’t seem worth using unless you use less than 5GB/month.

        • Andrew Addison

          Bullcrap, Hes most likely connected to Sprint-BoostMobile way more since in rural areas, Sprint-BoostMobile is pretty good at covering more Areas in the rural area part than T-Mobile-MetroPCS. I also do not want this merger thing to happen at all. Someone please block this mergee deal. thank you.

        • Jason Caprio

          I honestly think you would sh** your pants if you experienced using Verizon or AT&T and how it just WORKS EVERYWHERE. You seem to enjoy using MVNOs so why not give Cricket a try? If you switch to Cricket, you’ll be talking about how bad Sprint and T-Mobile are lol

        • Sharti24

          Lol exactly. I bet metro kicked him off becuase he was blowing up their customer service daily lol

        • Jason Caprio

          It looks like Andrew Addison’s account got deleted lol

        • Sharti24

          Bout dang time lol

        • Brandon

          Metro PCS is WAY better than trash ass Sprint.

        • Rob

          Actually I picked up Xfinity Mobile the other day and the coverage is fine but the speeds…. yeah no. My throttled Mint SIM gets 20/11 at 2AM at home (Mint appears to be throttled around 20 down and not throttled on the upstream) while Xfinity Mobile on Vzwinternet is 8/3. I’ve compared with buddies who have Verizon postpaid and we test within striking distance of each other every time. Verizon needs to upgrade their network. T-Mobile postpaid is 50/11 at my house with spikes up to 70.

          That said, Verizon has the better signal and I will probably be keeping Xfinity Mobile and letting Mint run out in February.

        • Sharti24

          Dang. You’re right

          https://youtu.be/eAeejVylgoY

      • They roam on Verizon 9 times out of 10 on 3G. U can keep it

      • Tony Chen

        yea keep your 3g speed on sprint dont need them. haha

    • Andrew Addison

      Hey you were right all along, Sprint-BoostMobile is more reliable in most other areas than T-Mobile-MetroPCS. I am now back to using Sprint-BoostMobile for that matter also. I also believe that this merger thing here will not get approved by the new FCC/DoJ or Donald Trump Administration. This merger will most likely get blocked. T-Mobile-MetroPCS was great in some other ways and all, but face it Sprint-BoostMobile has more stability/reliability than what T-Mobile-MetroPCS claims to have had. I say nooo to this merger here.

      • Jason Caprio

        Enjoy your Sprint/Boost Mobile which scored the lowest speed ratings lol

        • Andrew Addison

          I am proud which is why I get better reliability/connectivity with Sprint-BoostMobile, especially in rural areas. I still do not want this merger to happen at all.

        • Sharti24

          Why do you say it wont happen? Sprint wants to sell and trump will approve because of his boy “son”. Only question is at what price will tmobile be interested in paying

        • I hope you know 9 times out of 10 your roaming on Verizon when on sprint In rural areas on 3G lol

        • Brandon

          Exactly. Sprint is straight trash

  • Ty Christensen

    T-Mobile sucks in rural areas here in Utah whereas Sprint is much better, I’ve been with T-Mobile for 16 years since it was Voicestream and the coverage of course has improved significantly over time but I would be OK with the merger, it would most likely mean better service for me when I’m in rural areas.

    • fentonr

      I don’t think there is really any chance Tmo would keep most of Sprint’s network. Why bother integrating them when you can shut one down and reform the spectrum same as they did with Metro PCS? Better end result that way.

      That means though that for people with only Sprint coverage it would be a year or more before they were running on Tmo’s network, and Tmo already has spectrum to cover the entire country that they intend to deploy after the last auction. I don’t see the benefit to the merger.

  • superg05

    i was worried about this getting approved but i just remembered who hates John Legere so it could be harder than some think can you guess?

    • dtam

      I remember their twitter war

      • Romdude

        But did you also remember the part that he was willing to take 2nd behind Legere if there was a merger?

        • dtam

          Not the tweet war with sprint, but the one with the guy with the guy with the nuclear codes

        • fentonr

          That doesn’t really matter though, he doesn’t really have any say in it. Influence? Some what, but it isn’t up to him.

  • Audio

    no do not want

  • fentonr

    I don’t like the idea of Tmo and Sprint merging, I think it’s just needless baggage for Tmo that will slow them down. That said, I do want to see the merger happen because I’m sick of reading about Tmo being bought out/sold/merged and that won’t stop until it happens.

    • Reagan1

      I’m more of a fan of a Tmo/Dish merger, but at this point just get this merger $hit over with already. This has been going on forever it seems like. Then again, how about a Tmo/Sprint marriage and then scoop up Dish a little later to fight AT&T/DirectTV.

  • Sharti24

    Why dont current customers like the idea of a merger? But…..Prices will go up. Not if youre already a tmobile customer. “if you like your plan you can keep your plan” haha Jk but for real, better coverage and more spectrum? I dont see whats not to like

    • dm33

      Prices will go up. Thats whats not to like. Tmobile already has the highest prepaid price.

  • Polish Announce Table

    T-Mobile and Sprint are anti-midwest states. Midwestists!

  • bk_89

    I think they should merge. It would slightly improve coverage especially here in Shentel land in the Virginia/West Virginia markets where Sprint covers pretty well. What I would like to know also is that if this merger was to go through will it be similar to when nTelos Wireless and Sprint merged and even though they were both still separate companies at the time they had native coverage in the same spots. Anywhere where a nTelos tower existed, there was also native Sprint service. After Shentel (affiliated with Sprint) purchased nTelos they put up several new towers shortly after and converted all there stores to Sprint.

  • Right! If this site had moderators, I’d wish I was one of them and would ban him, because all he’s doing is insulting people for having a different experience and opinion, which is normal for all wireless carriers.

    • Sharti24

      I think he got his account deleted lol

    • Yeah he’s banned

      • thepanttherlady

        Thank you. Been a little MIA recently as my mom passed away. :(

        • Tony Chen

          sorry to hear condolences to you ill pray for you

      • thepanttherlady

        As an aside, this isn’t the first time he’s been banned from this site. Not sure who lifted that ban this time.

        • Sharti24

          He goes by the name “Drewski” as well

        • thepanttherlady

          Yep, that’s what he was originally banned under. He’s already posted under 2 other accounts within the last 30 minutes. Got them as well. :)

  • Drew Mikolajczyk

    Am a T-Mobile customer and this is how I envision it going down:
    1) they will shutter CDMA but keep the LTE bands making the network bands 2,4,12,25,26,41,66,and 71..
    A)make a virtually ALL LTE network
    B) T-Mo will do the same as they recently did to transition their own legacy non-LTE customers (let customers trade in their non-LTE phones for any phone in the store for $100 flat)
    2) merge a bunch of technologies T-Mo will bring VoLTE to Sprint users (which sprint said wasn’t a priority) and their 4×4 MIMO 256 QAM…and adopt Sprint’s implementation of RCS universal profile (that T-Mo was planning to launch by year end) as well as Sprint’s beam forming and some of their CA tech

    With a combination of the 2 and their respective Tech…they’d have coverage to rival Verizon & AT&T and would have screaming fast speeds. Band 66 already can theoretically deliver up to 300Mbps DL speeds…slap beam forming and CA on top of that? Forget about it…

    As far as phones go…figure the popularity of iPhone and Samsung devices…those flagship phones already support all the LTE bands, CA, VoLTE….a very high number of users wouldn’t even have to change phones.

    I don’t see prices going up… It’s all about building subscriber base..think they would just stick with the T-Mobile One plan…and keep their low post paid user churn numbers..

    That would fit with the GSMA’s future network plans which all the major carriers have signed onto as partners and plan to have implemented by 2020…

    Additionally T-Mo is supposed to ink a deal with US Cellular for roaming as soon as they can get VoLTE on US cellular worked out..

    • Sharti24

      In other words a network mess

      • Drew Mikolajczyk

        Not at all..the GSMA’s future networks program (previously known as network 2020) that all the major US networks have signed on to back and follow, calls for the move to an all LTE, all VoLTE network with RCS universal profile replacing SMS…by the year 2020..
        Merging T-Mo and Sprint and the tech that both have deployed pretty much puts them there with double the LTE bands available to their user base than Verizon and AT&T have alone…

        As far as users go the last several versions of iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, pixels, Nexus, essential, LG flagships…already support ALL those LTE bands to varying degrees (older models may not have band 66 or band 71) so a majority of phones won’t have to be immediately switched out..
        Nationwide coverage would improve dramatically, user base #s would rival the competition..
        The simplicity of only having the T-Mo ONE plan would keep plans and billing simplified…yes price would go up for some sprint customers on certain promo plans (but they’d be getting so much more as well… simultaneous Voice and Data use (that their users have been bitching about as a side effect of VoLTE (which Sprint felt wasn’t a priority), international usage, unlimited data (with double the data cap before possibly being throttled)…T-Mo would get RCS…beamforming.. which would improve CA and speeds..

        How is that a mess?

        • Sharti24

          Running Lte on 8 bands at once? Thats why

        • Drew Mikolajczyk

          That’s not a mess at all..and it’s not like it would be connected to them all at once..with CA maybe a combination of 3…

        • SirStephenH

          3-way for now but manufacturers are already pushing out equipment that can do 5-way.

        • SirStephenH

          4 is a subset of 66 so it can likely and eventually will be dropped in favor of 66. That brings it down to 7 bands, 2 more bands than they use now. 5g is coming up soon and T-Mobile would likely dedicate a band or two to that, putting T-Mobile back at 5 bands.

  • SirStephenH

    That map means less than squat. It shows nothing about their actual coverage.

  • Norman Harris

    I actually look forward to this merger. I’m a T-Mobile customer and I love my simple choice grandfathered plan. Sprint also has some OK plans and it has numerous MVNO’s. If Spritn and T-Mobile merge, T-Mobile will have access to LTE Band 26 at 850 mhz and it can build out massively, in addition to buidling on its new 600 mhz spectrum. Now we get superb coverage without having to pay Verizon/AT&T prices. It is tricky, I have to hope T-Mobile would not kill off its lower cost plans and its impressively low cost MVNO’s such as MetroPCS . The Sprint MVNO’s , if they don’t die, will become more attractive as Boost Mobile has some great price plans, I simply cannot stand the proprietary nature of Sprint devices which are nearly always band locked to their carrier even if ICCID{SIM} unlocked.