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back to article T-Mobile daddy mulls US merger

Deutsche Telekom - owner of international wireless carrier T-Mobile - is mulling a multi-billion-dollar bid for Sprint Nextel, the third largest carrier in the US. According to sources speaking with The Daily Telegraph, the German telecom giant has pulled in Deutsche Bank to explore a possible deal for Sprint, a company with a …

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Grenade

How is this news?

How is this news? I remember hearing about this when Sprint was really in the tank. Now that a bevy of semi attractive devices and plans are showing up on Sprint (thus raising it's potential value) NOW DT wants to explore its options?

Buy low, sell high, folks. That's business.

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Silver badge

How much is still iDEN?

The argument about iDEN gets trotted up again and again but four years on, how many cells are iDEN only? Actually the only real question is whether the networks overlap a lot or not. As for the price - does anyone remember what the Telekom paid for Voicestream back in those heady days? USD 10 milliard sounds like a bargain in comparison.

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Joke

Goddam Commies...

...taking over the utilities for their socialized purposes. Wake up 'merica before it is too late!

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Gold badge

This'll harm competition

This'll seriously harm competition in the US. At the national level, we have AT&T (GSM/UMTS) and Verizon Wireless (CDMA/EVDO) as kind of "tier 1" providers -- they are expensive as all hell, but provide nationwide coverage (Verizon moreso though). Sprint (CDMA) and T-Mobile (GSM) are lower cost but have much more limited coverage, relying much more heavily on roaming for coverage. (The iDen portion of Sprint, Nextel, is kind of a wild-card.. it really doesn't fit in well with Sprint as a whole, it's a totally seperate network, and there is not even push-to-talk working between iDen and CDMA phones yet last I heard. iDen *was* considered to be on it's way out, but last I heard it was actually making Sprint money while the CDMA part was not even close...) Then there's "everyone else" -- regional and local providers, MetroPCS, Cricket ,etc. (MetroPCS, Cricket, cover just a few cities but have cheap unlimited phone service). A merger of Sprint and T-Mobile reduces it to 2 high-cost carriers, 1 lower-cost carrier and "everyone else".

Hopefully if they do merge they ditch Sprint's customer support -- I've talked to several people who liked the service, liked the phone, LOVED the cheap plans, but as soon as they had to call in just couldn't get anything done, even if it was just some minor billing problem.. they'd get more and more frustrated until they switched to another carrier.

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Joke

Re: Goddam Commies

I'll take the stinkin' Reds over Sprint any day!

P.S. thanks, that made me laugh

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Possibly the end of CDMA as we know it?

If DT absorbs Sprint, it would spell the end of CDMA in the Americas by 2015. With Verizon (also at present a CDMA carrier) moving to LTE, Sprint would be the last hold-out (investing in WiMAX instead of LTE). DT would certainly push Sprint to LTE, providing North America the final piece in the puzzle to get a unified standard like the rest of the world.

Good or bad? Remains to be seen. WiMAX was going to be the "AMD" to the "Intel" of LTE - a competing technology that is getting the GSM (and Verizon) carriers off their duff to actually *DO* something to improve their miserable 3G services. If all the American carriers are on the same technology, there's no incentive to do something to improve service: a move by one is immediately countered by the others, yielding no incentive or benefit to be "first"; whereas a different competing technology can jump ahead of the incumbents and claim customers before the new technology can be moved out.

We'll see if AT&T will let this go through anti-trust without a scream...

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Low Prices?

If this purchase happens, will T-Mobile US continue their low prices or will they raise them to ATT levels when they enter the "duopoly" club?

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Go

re: low prices

You mean what would happen to Sprint's low prices. Sprint just started a $69/mo unlimited mobile to mobile(regardless of carrier), unlimited data, Blackberry services, GPS, TV, NFL TV.

Sprint's coverage is similar to T-mobile's. I've had both and am about to head back to Sprint.

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Go

Competition?

I'm not sure it would be anticompetitive - it's too simplistic to say that it's four national carriers being condensed down to three. Currently, pricing on AT&T and Verizon is higher than in many other countries because, in effect, their competition is too weak. A hypothetical third player with a truly national footprint could give the duopoly a run for their money in the way that Sprint and T-Mobile cannot. Second, yes the only way you could imagine this would work would be not dissimilar to the AT&T mess earlier in this decade - largely "sandboxed" legacy networks dual-mode with LTE. That shouldn't be impossible - such phones will need to be produced for Verizon anyway, making a similar transition, and while the frequencies are non-standard, T-Mobile already gets carriers to make WCDMA phones for it and other manufacturers will supply WCDMA-LTE phones for the rest of the world's carriers. It's messy and expensive but quite obviously possible: how this saves T-Mobile money is the question. Verizon - Sprint seems to make more sense but antitrust would be a nightmare.

As to WiMax (CDMA) - LTE (GSM) competition, I think that's a red herring, not least because LTE and WiMax aren't competing standards in the same way CDMA and GSM are. There's also little evidence that the GSM standard has stifled competition and US carriers have been notably slower to adopt newer GSM-family technologies than other parts of the world, despite the spur of apparent competition between standards. What GSM standardisation has done is lower costs, and barriers to entry. In the PC world, the real competition hasn't been Mac - Windows, but between different PC vendors using in effect the same technology, but mobile telephony is a much more open field even than this - Ericsson, Nokia, Siemens etc.

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Hmm.

Other than the awful Sprint Picture Messaging system I'm pretty happy with Sprint. Sprint Picture Messaging sucks donkey. Maybe T-Mobile could fix that for us?

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