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back to article Look behind you, T-Mobile US: Sprint wants to GOBBLE you – allegedly

Mobile network Sprint is rumored to be considering a bid for rival T-Mobile US. Such an acquisition, suggested by sources talking to The Wall Street Journal, would further consolidate the already shrinking field of wireless carriers in America. Should a deal go through, Sprint would become the third player in a national market …

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Anonymous Coward

It should be denied just on the fact that when AT&T wanted to buy T-Mobile Sprint was there saying it would hurt competition and that four players were better than having three. So sorry Sprint, four players are better than three.

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AT&T's acquisition wasn't denied specifically because 4 is better than 3 (although that was a consideration) but because there were more significant worries such as being the sole gsm carrier, their refusal of many of the compromises requested re spectrum divesting etc.

AT&T didn't want tmo for any other reason than they wanted to screw customers which is why it didn't get through. It wasn't about being stronger, it was simply about killing competition.

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Combining GSM and CDMA?

I wonder if phones can switch between the two? Or are people going to use the "former Sprint network" or the "former T-mobile network" depending on what type of phone they have, and the only one getting an advantage from the combination are the upper management who will get to fire a lot of redundant staff and claim a bonus for saving money?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Combining GSM and CDMA?

Exactly! This is a DISASTER waiting to happen, another AOL Time Warner done for the convenience of looking good to Wall Street,.

Sprint has been in a pitched battle for market share for years...and losing. Sprint's has been struggling for consistent profits for quite a while yet purchased / merged with Clearwire...and now they wish to spend an additional $21B on a non-compatible, GSM-carrier competitor? This entire project smacks of the typically overwrought, stupidly MBA planned, quick for for Wall Street "growth by acquisition" strategy that has doomed many other companies - growth by collection of competition, rather than growth by good products and market targeting.

Sprint is in a heated battle for market share. How to fix it? Sprint, are you listening? GIVE CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT - A BETTER PHONE SELECTION AND GREATER 4G COVERAGE.

Swallowing T-Mobile will NOT help, the are on an incompatible system. So does this help your existing customer base? NOT ONE SQUAT. So, therefore, you will offer NOTHING new to new or switching customers on the Sprint nameplate, and what will you offer GSM / T-Mobile current and prospective customers? What does your merger grant you in terms of a better market presence...excepting for size?

NOTHING, THAT'S WHAT.

Another group of managers that should be FIRED for their apparent, abhorrent STUPIDITY.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Combining GSM and CDMA?

Both are moving towards LTE, so it would be a longterm user-base migration. Given that it took how long for Nextel to be "absorbed" shows that they can move at a snails pace. So even if the phones were only GSM/LTE or CDMA/LTE compatible in the future the GSM and CDMA networks will be turned off anyway and just the LTE will remain. So, there would be no requirement to do a quick change to get the customers on one network or the other.

Oh and quite a few phones can support GSM, CDMA and LTE it is just that the carriers have it neutered via software. The fact is, a DSP is used to handle what the coding is, the important part is the RF portion and the frequencies that are supported. Most of the tower equipment moved to DSP years ago and the base stations are software upgradeable and the pre-3G sites were software upgradeable to 3G and many supported, IS-95 (CDMA) 1xRTT (CDMA), EV-DO (CDMA), GSM, UMTS and even WiMax among a few others. The DSP does the work and changes can be pushed out. Phones have moved to the same setup. Even the early 3G chips from Ti, when 3G was enhanced all Ti did was change the software as the DSP had enough processing power to handle the revision and thus faster speeds.

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Re: Combining GSM and CDMA?

Like sprint will allow you to use those phones, they won't because they will force you to buy their branded phones which they will never unlock. You will never be allowed to use an unlocked phone on sprint. Ever. Even if the dropped CrapDMA they will force you to use their phones and say its a "programming" issue

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Paris Hilton

Re: Combining GSM and CDMA?

Sprint already has provided CDMA-GSM combined phones which work just fine. So has Verizon, so I do not see this being a problem. Far less so than the Sprint/Nextel-PCS/iDEN merger which was largely a disaster.

I definitely agree that Sprint's own words on the T-Mobile/AT&T merger should be used against it to prevent this. If you want anti-trust then what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

In terms of customer service, I hear a lot of horror stories about every company. AT&T, while sometimes doing stupid things in practice, has always taken great care of me. For my customers and family, I have had to work with all of the others and the experiences were all very good.

I do have to consider Sprint's operational practices which are polar opposite of T-Mobile. Sprint is more hostile toward unlocked phones than Cingular or AT&T ever could have dreamed of being. As well, roaming in a service area is a frequent and annoying thing (ffs, who ROAMS in 2013??) I have friends on Sprint who I can pretty much forget calling if we get separated at an event or even in the same store.

I think the Sprint merger with T-Mobile would be an opportunity to completely scrap its old way of doing business under the guise of merger-related policy changes. It eases the blow to the higher-ups.

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It's a New Morning!

I think you have a good point - the US cell market does need a good shakeup and T-Mobile has done that recently by scrapping the old "captive customers" attitude - with the result that the are gaining customers. If the two companies were to merge and the T-Mobile attitude came out on top, then the AT&T/Verizon duopoly could be given a run for the money.

T-Mobile have great service in the metro areas but once you get out into the countryside you lose service a lot of the time - this is their weak spot and something that a merger with Sprint could improve.

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Re: Combining GSM and CDMA?

Not at all. Sprints network vision project should be able to handle this without much problem. TMO is already refarming hspa spectrum to LTE and this would basically just expand Sprints triband lte to quadband lte. Keeping legacy voice cdma and gsm around would have a pretty low spectrum cost and volte would make this go away in the long run.

It would be a multi year project but sprint is already basically rebuilding its network from scratch and doing it with an eye on flexibility. It won't be easy but it's far from a disaster. TMO is already doing the reverse with metro pcs.

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Just got free of Sprint for T-mo

This prospect does not appeal.

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That... would suck

T-Mobile is the only non "business as usual" carrier in the US that treats customers like more than just cattle. Everybody else is "rape the customer with subsidies and no other choice by never offering anything not branded up the ass"

This would actually get me off my butt and make me write snail mail to the DOJ & FCC.

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Re: That... would suck

Bloody hell if T Mobile are the best carrier in the US (in terms of customer service) the others must be really crap.

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Re: That... would suck

I'm on TMO and have been following their plans with interest (not far off switching back to sprint when they get lte here). It's pretty obvious that Legere has been buffing tmo for a sale. A lot of what he has been marketing is not sustainable in the long term. The whole hey stream video all day long is not realistic, especially as they gain subs (without enough cash to buy big in the 600MHz auction AND build it out quickly) and people naturally shift towards smartphones, average data use is going through the roof and they don't have the spectrum to deliver in the long run.

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Linux

there goes the neighbourhood...;-)

Well as a T-mobile customer in the US and Three customer in the UK, this is bit troubling.

I first got T-mobile as an alternative to AT&T (the reassembled borg). On venturing to the local Mall and enquiring about PAYG, the sales rep. said, and I quote "Oh , all the europeans get the PAYG plans, as they switch cards when abroad". Well since Europe has GSM...

I will not repeat what the ATT store said when I wanted my number ported....

But the US is a big place. Coverage for GSM vs CDMA can be variable, and CDMA phones at least "appear" to be better in some of the remote places out here....

But Virgin Mobile PAYG is on Sprint (I believe), and they now even have cheap androids.

But it could simply be that ATT and Verizon have got so big.... I don't know, but ATT and Verizon have a large non-wireless business portfolio...

P.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd prefer that T-Mobile buy up Sprint.

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Linux

Keep T-mobile separate to keep the others honest

Verizon offers excellent customer care if you need it and are willing to pussy for it, plus one of THE BEST voice coverage areas in the US.

For price, though, I go with a "PAYG", as you say, Verizon-network virtual carrier... PAGEPLUS CELLULAR who also have awesome support located in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

My new love is REPUBLIC WIRELESS, a new ish virtual carrier based on Sprints network but defaults to WiFi. How's that for no roaming fees when calling home from abroad? $100 cost for the PHONE and $19 USD/mo (less than $24 with taxes and fees where I live). Slightly more got the Moto X.

Yes, they're both CDMA, but here in the states it's really not a problem, especially if you are the kind of person without a passport....

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Facepalm

damn Swype

If you're willing to PAY for it, Verizon is fine.

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AT&T and Verizon 'donate\lobby' somewhere in the region of 15-20 million a year. Sprint is closer to 2-3 million, tmo about 1/3rd of that. I can't see this being allowed :)

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FAIL

Just a small deposit to start the process

Sprint is dying because their network remains slow as dialup even after applying all the 4G buzzwords. Somehow upgrading went well for other telcos. It also doesn't help they sold a lot of Sprint-branded defective phones on contracts and told their customers that they're SOL. (Thanks for that defective Galaxy S2, Sprint)

I don't think the US Government would allow Sprint to kill the best candidate to challenge Verizon and AT&T. Despite this, I'm sure T-Mobile wouldn't mind starting the paperwork for a small, non-refundable, $4 billion deposit.

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