Reports that US mobile carriers T-Mobile and MetroPCS are headed for a merger may be premature if rival carrier Sprint Nextel is close to making a counter-bid, as sources claim. On Wednesday, fourth-place US carrier T-Mobile and its smaller rival MetroPCS jointly announced that their boards had approved a merger that would …
How can Sprint afford a merger...
...when they can't even seem to hire enough people to support their current customer base? Sprint used to be a great carrier, but has made so many unbelievably bad decisions the last few years, I'm surprised they're still number 3. They've lost their early dominance in data rates, gone chasing after technologies bound for the scrap heap (wiMax), saddled themselves with the profit-munching iPhone, and let their once-great support slip away to be replaced by script-monkeys.
As has been widely reported MetroPCS LTE is complementary to T-Mobile's technology: it gives T-Mobile a leg up in LTE in metropolitan areas and the CDMA switch in 2014/15 has already been announced when the spectrum can be repurposed.
Sprint has a large WiMax (also called 4G) user base and WiMax and LTE are less compatible than the various flavours of UMTS based on CDMA and GSM for which SoC already exist. In any case for the network the costs are largely related to upgrading base stations and not handsets as that costs is passed on to the customer. Does anyone know if Sprint still have any of Nextel's completely incompatible iDEN stuff in the network?
T-Mobile's deal is debt free and as the listing will be of MetroPCS lets Deutsche Telekom easily sell equity without losing control. The numbers are clearly on the side of the T-Mobile deal but when has that ever mattered to the telecoms or it-business? Sprint could pursue a bid strategy in an attempt to jack up the price and thus wound a competitor but that would only really benefit the AT&T and Verizon duopoly. If Sprint is looking for a partner it should be looking for one with a nice dowry to help pay down the debt and build out the network. How about tying up with Telmex?
$150M too costly?
Sprint mulled spending $8B on MetroPCS, yet someone thinks a $150M penalty would scuttle the deal? Not
as a NEXTEL refugee we looked at Sprint and then switched to T-Mobil. Sprint basically bought up NEXTEL -- and then wrecked it. The NEXTEL phones were better and so was the old iDEN net.
Why would Sprint want to merge with T-Mobile/MetroPCS? MetroPCS network will be phased out and Sprint's network isn't compatible with T-Mobile's. Sure, LTE would work between them, but that won't get SPRINT as much LTE Network roll out as quickly as they might think. Plus, where is the money going to come from for such a merger? I don't think that is going to happen.
LTE would work between them?
T-Mobile's LTE is on HSPA+. MetroPCS uses WCDMA (IIRC). Sprint is WiMAX. All of which are very different technologies. The only carriers in the US that use the same LTE technology are AT&T and T-Mobile, both of which are on HSPA+.
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