T-Mobile wants California PUC to ease some requirements related to Sprint merger

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Getting approval for their merger from the California Public Utilities Commission was one of the last hurdles T-Mobile and Sprint had to clear for their deal to get done earlier this year. The CPUC did eventually green light the deal with several conditions attached, but now T-Mo wants some of those requirements to be eased up.

Today T-Mobile sent a letter to the CPUC asking it to relax three of the conditions tied to its merger approval, with the first being the requirement that T-Mo provide 5G speeds of at least 300Mbps to 93 percent of California’s population by the end of 2024. T-Mobile says that that should be pushed back to 2026.

In its letter, T-Mobile explains that that 2024 date was a proxy for a period ending 6 years after the merger closed. But the deal’s regulatory process began in 2018 and didn’t actually closed until 2020, so T-Mobile wants it pushed back 2 years.

T-Mo also says that the 300Mbps/2024 condition is “out of sync” with the other requirements. For example, one condition requires T-Mobile offer speeds of 100Mbps to at least 86 percent of California’s population by the end of 2023, then T-Mo is required to triple those speeds to 300Mbps for 93 percent of the population in just one year. Then T-Mobile is expected to have speeds of at least 100Mbps for 99 percent of California’s population by the end of 2026. T-Mo wants to move the 300Mbps requirement to year-end 2026 to “avoid anomalous results”.

Another change T-Mobile wants to make to the CPUC’s conditions is the requirement that within 3 years, the carrier add 1,000 new jobs in California compared to the number of T-Mobile and Sprint employees at the time of the CPUC’s approval. Instead, T-Mo wants the requirement to be that it will have the same number of employees 3 years after the merger’s closure than it did when it closed.

For this point, T-Mo argues that the CPUC “simply does not have the authority to require a wireless carrier to hire a particular number of employees in a given time period.” T-Mobile also says that this requirement is “particularly burdensome and unjustified” because of the coronavirus pandemic and the effects that it has had and will have on the economy.

The final condition that T-Mobile wants changed is related to network testing to confirm its conditions are being met. The original deal states that the network will be subject to tests created by CPUC staff or its contractors, but T-Mo says that it’s already subject to 2 different tests conducted or overseen by third-parties, including an FCC drive test, so a third test from the CPUC would be “burdensome” and “inefficient” and could result in inconsistent results.

Instead, T-Mobile believes that its compliance with the CPUC’s condition should be subject to the results of the FCC drive tests.

Neither the CPUC nor T-Mobile have issued official statements about T-Mo’s request. However, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union has come out swinging, saying that the new T-Mobile is “all talk, no action.”

We’ll have to wait and see how the CPUC responds to T-Mobile’s requests, but they’re sure to frustrate the opponents of the deal. While we wait to see how the situation plays out, you can read T-Mobile’s full letter at the CPUC link below.

 

UPDATE: T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert has responded to this CPUC letter, saying “We committed to the CPUC that in 3 years T-Mobile would have at least as many jobs in CA as we did when the merger closed”, not that T-Mo would increase jobs in California by at least 1,000.

 

Via: Engadget
Source: CPUC

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  • radioman

    Sorry TMobile, you agreed to the metrics to get the deal done. Now you sound like a kindergartner arguing with his mom to change the rules.

    • Will

      Lol

    • Shaun Michalak

      Don’t you mean “forcefully” or “blackmailed into” getting these things, to get it done?? Last I checked, it was CPUC saying, do this, or I will not agree to it putting everything in jeopardy in that state.. and that same attitude, if they did not have it, would have had the requirements already halfway done by now.. So they actually are the ones partly to blame.. Just think.. All that time that they were installing band 71 on the towers, they could have been installing band 41 at the same time.. Now they have to go back up the same towers for the second time, to install it, which is going to take even more time and resources, which is the situation that Cali put them in.. and on purpose too..

      My opinion.. If they do not want to give a little considering their contribution to T-Mobiles extra costs, and position that they are in.. Well, I say go ahead and give them what they want.. And then in the 3 years when they met that obligation, shut everything down and move the location to a state that is not being a prick.. It still fits the agreement since they only have to have that number of jobs and the extra 1000 in 3 years.. 3 years, 1 day, they can do whatever they want.. Oh yea, and the agreement to rate plans and prices.. that is only good for 5 years.. that includes all the “free” services that they agreed to give out, at no cost to the people..

      Just my opinion though.. My point is, being a prick and not giving a little leeway can hurt them as much as help them.. and 3 years will go by very fast..

    • g2a5b0e

      Considering how much longer than expected it took for the merger to close & then COVID, which no one expected at all, I completely disagree with you. It sounds to me like a completely fair ask on their part.

      • JG

        That accounts for the first point, sure. But not so much for the other two points.

        Neither the delay in approval nor the pandemic had any affect on CPUC’s legal authority to tell T-Mobile how many employees they have to add or cause the extra testing not to be redundant.

        IMHO, I’d have no problem approving the first point. But the other two… These should have been something T-Mobile brought up initially, before accepting the offer.

    • RLB63

      Like I stated above. There is a lot of store overlap. Stores WILL close. To keep the same # of employees will cost other states jobs. To INCREASE them by 1000 isn’t fair and is blackmail. Not only that but CA has a higher cost of living in many places. So would force higher costs on T-Mobile. So less savings they can pass on to the customer.

      1,000 employees at only $20,000 a year is $200,000,000 cost to the company PER year

  • Shaun Michalak

    Considering that T-Mobile could have come out of the gates running, with no limitations, it was their own actions that put the upgrades all in jeopardy.. With that being said, I see no reason why, since they already put them over a year behind in being able to do the upgrades, I see no reason why they can not give them the extra time..

    As for the number of Employees.. Well, California better think before they act stupid again.. Yes, they did agree to a certain number of employees.. But that agreement was only for a certain length of time.. Piss T-Mobile off, and they can, after that amount of time, pull every employee and location that is not needed from California’s location.. Call centers and all..

    • pda96

      I’m sure CA gives a sh!t.

      • Francisco Peña

        high taxes, overburdening social programs, people fleeing.. CA needs as many people on their tax rolls as they can.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Not just that.. Crazy as heck rules and regulations too.. I remember an article I read that they talked about how Cali was thinking about putting a certain item on their “cancer” causing list.. Even when they admitted, at the same time, that they were not sure if it was that item, or the item that was used with it, that “could” or “may” cause cancer.. I was thinking.. Are you kidding me.. You can not even say it is that item and you still are thinking about it?? or how about the rule that if you are self employed, that you can not move merchandise from Cali, to Cali, if you live in Cali.. But if you live in Nevada, and are moving stuff from Cali, to Cali, then that is fine.. This is the type of thing that people are probably fleeing from.. Overpriced everything and complete lack of competency in the government, on every level..

  • mikeZo6

    5G at 300Mbps or 100Mbps is horrible speeds anyway for 5G when Tmo claim 5G 1G
    Tmo should be at min 300Mbps with 5G NOW

    • RLB63

      The big issue is probably the % of the population. Not the over all speeds. The cities are easier to hit.

      That California wants them to focus on CA over the rest of the country isn’t fair either.

      Same with the number of employees. Since a lot of store overlap, they will have to lose employees. To INCREASE by 1,000 employees what state should lose employees?

  • Jay Holm

    Is there ever, ever going to be a headline about 2.5ghz Band 41 integration into T-Mobiles 5G network on this website??? It’s been nearly THREE FULL months since the merger closed!!!