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Thread: Report: T-Mobile / Sprint "Finalizing," Plans For A Merger

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    The market is not in any way bigger than the Big-4. The Big-4 have a total of 413 million subscriber lines. The total of all the rest of the 65 tiny regional carriers is about 8 million. The non-Big4 carriers are 2 percent of the market. The subscriber count of many of the small regionals is unknown. I think it is reasonable to assume that they don't add up to much more. We could guess that they add up to another 8 million lines. That would still only be 4 percent of the total market.

    It is interesting to note that US Cellular has 5 million of the 8 million regional carrier lines. That is more than the rest of regional carriers combined.

    The market is controlled by the Big-4 and the market for cell handset service is saturated. Pretty much anyone who wants a cellphone has one. I see homeless people with cellphones and near minimum wage workers with smartphones. At this point, the Big-4 are just trying to lure high-profit postpaid subscribers from each other. Their budget subsidiaries and MVNOs are just part of their product lines.

    Sprint could have been a contender, but they made some unfortunate business decisions years ago that put them in a hole they will never get out of. They have not had a profitable year since 2006. They can't afford to build out to a nationwide network that they would need to continue as a competitor. I see no way for them to continue independently much longer. They have shopped their assets to anyone who would listen and all have declined to touch Sprint's toxic mess of debt except this recent rumor of some sort of merger with T-Mo. I'm betting that Sprint will have to agree to a price that is a whole lot less than they thought they were worth a few years ago.

    I expect that three national carriers will result is somewhat less competition and somewhat higher prices. It seems clear that the market cannot support four major carriers. There is not enough demand for new service to generate the profits needed to build and operate four overlapping nationwide networks.
    ^^What he said.

    Sprint cannot "compete" if they cannot survive.

    Let some entity buy them, even if the entity is Deutsche Telekom--and thereby 20% owned by the German government--rather than need another US taxpayer corporate bail out for for a wholly mismanaged company.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by high technology View Post
    Wow - that would be one heck of a network integration -- TMo on Bands 2, 4 and 12 and Sprint on 25, 26 and 41.

    Well, technically Band 25 is a superset of band 2 (it's got 5 MHZ extra on the top end), but that's probably the only really easily combined spectrum. Very few of the handsets will support each others bands -- even the iPhone which tends to be more universal has had many special versions for Sprint to include Bands 26 and 41 prior to the 6S. And there is the whole issue of the alternative modems in the iPhone 7, so our T-Mobile iPhone 7/7+ won't work on CDMA (and Sprint's network still doesn't do VoLTE), which makes it impossible to talk on the Sprint network at this time with T-Mo iPhone 7/7+.

    On the Sprint side it's probably even worse -- many of their handsets are more customized and don't support T-Mobile Bands. Either way, this is going to be a complicated network/handset integration that will take a long time to effect.
    Yeah, there are a lot of phones that wouldn't work too. But for the 20% (a number I'm making up) or so that have phones that do work on both networks, it could be a nice boost in capacity and/or coverage. I have an T-Mo iPhone 6s Plus and my wife has a Sprint 7 plus. I've used my phone on all 4 major networks and she's used hers on Sprint and T-Mobile. I'm sure there are lots of others with similar situations.

    That being said, I'm still against the idea of a merger.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenmule View Post
    ^^What he said.

    Sprint cannot "compete" if they cannot survive.

    Let some entity buy them, even if the entity is Deutsche Telekom--and thereby 20% owned by the German government--rather than need another US taxpayer corporate bail out for for a wholly mismanaged company.
    I disagree that the US taxpayer bailouts have ever been "needed"... from the handouts to the Big 3 auto companies (which ended up being used to pay Chrysler to build factories in China!) to the October 3 2008 bank bailout (billions... http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=8214818.... of which was used to pay bonuses to bank execs for running their banks badly). All of it a waste, really.

    Trump supposedly is opposed to this, but he is so wishy-washy on a lot of things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by high technology View Post
    .....On the Sprint side it's probably even worse -- many of their handsets are more customized and don't support T-Mobile Bands. Either way, this is going to be a complicated network/handset integration that will take a long time to effect.
    I frequently point out how carriers get Samsung to customize (cripple) their phones to work almost specifically on one network, with just enough compatibility to provide needed roaming capability. T-Mobile has Samsung block bands 25 & 26 on some of their phones. AT&T's Samsung phones generally won't support UMTS band-4, often used by T-Mobile. This is all done in the firmware. Now, if this merger takes place, T-Mobile will end up with a lot of new spectrum that many of their existing customers' handsets don't support, for no other reason that that T-Mobile didn't want their handsets to be able to use those bands. This crippling is one reason I'll never pay for a high-end Samsung handset, at least not as long as this policy continues.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by NotABiot View Post
    I disagree that the US taxpayer bailouts have ever been "needed"... from the handouts to the Big 3 auto companies (which ended up being used to pay Chrysler to build factories in China!) to the October 3 2008 bank bailout (billions... http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=8214818.... of which was used to pay bonuses to bank execs for running their banks badly). All of it a waste, really.

    Trump supposedly is opposed to this, but he is so wishy-washy on a lot of things.
    You and I agree. Perhaps I used a poor choice of words.

    Corporate executives with MBAs from Ivy League and other elite universities are many magnitudes better at justifying welfare than anyone else.

    Only the Malthusians are better at crying chicken little than the CEOs of publicly traded companies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    I frequently point out how carriers get Samsung to customize (cripple) their phones to work almost specifically on one network, with just enough compatibility to provide needed roaming capability. T-Mobile has Samsung block bands 25 & 26 on some of their phones. AT&T's Samsung phones generally won't support UMTS band-4, often used by T-Mobile. This is all done in the firmware. Now, if this merger takes place, T-Mobile will end up with a lot of new spectrum that many of their existing customers' handsets don't support, for no other reason that that T-Mobile didn't want their handsets to be able to use those bands. This crippling is one reason I'll never pay for a high-end Samsung handset, at least not as long as this policy continues.
    It seems like the hackers and rooters are successfully unlocking LTE bands everyday.

    If they can do it, then among Samsung, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Qualcomm, one of those can enable the lte bands to communicate; better yet, unlock the phone.

    An unlocked S7 edge works on all USA carriers. The carrier chooses to inhibit VoLTE and VoWiFi.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenmule View Post
    Only the Malthusians are better at crying chicken little than the CEOs of publicly traded companies.
    And in 2008, they successfully sold the idea that the economy would be destroyed unless Congress coughed up money to pay for billions of dollars of reward for the executives that caused the economic problems.

    smh.

    Similarly, the false idea was sold that the Big 3 would vanish without the massive taxpayer handout to them, as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    I frequently point out how carriers get Samsung to customize (cripple) their phones to work almost specifically on one network, with just enough compatibility to provide needed roaming capability. T-Mobile has Samsung block bands 25 & 26 on some of their phones. AT&T's Samsung phones generally won't support UMTS band-4, often used by T-Mobile. This is all done in the firmware. Now, if this merger takes place, T-Mobile will end up with a lot of new spectrum that many of their existing customers' handsets don't support, for no other reason that that T-Mobile didn't want their handsets to be able to use those bands. This crippling is one reason I'll never pay for a high-end Samsung handset, at least not as long as this policy continues.
    I have an AT&T Samsung S7 Active. I got it unlocked, and it didn't really work well in T-Mobile at all. I think this is an example of what you describe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NotABiot View Post
    I have an AT&T Samsung S7 Active. I got it unlocked, and it didn't really work well in T-Mobile at all. I think this is an example of what you describe.
    Yes, exactly. Had you gotten an iPhone 6s, Nexus 6P, Moto 5G or one of several other phones you wouldn't face those limitations. You may also be able to flash a T-Mobile version of the firmware on that phone and have all the T-Mobile features. The issue is that the phones are unnecessarily crippled in the firmware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Yes, exactly. Had you gotten an iPhone 6s, Nexus 6P, Moto 5G or one of several other phones you wouldn't face those limitations. You may also be able to flash a T-Mobile version of the firmware on that phone and have all the T-Mobile features. The issue is that the phones are unnecessarily crippled in the firmware.
    After trying the Axon 7, which has a terrible unstable radio, I went with the Moto 5G.

    The camera isn't great on the Moto...so I'm currently looking at getting the LG v30 next year.

    But the Moto works great on T-Mobile, and it got me through a European trip and it's worked well otherwise so far.

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    I think we're trying to figure which phones could run on both Sprint and T-mobile and what would need to be done to get it to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by techfranz View Post
    I think we're trying to figure which phones could run on both Sprint and T-mobile and what would need to be done to get it to work.
    The topic was a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. This slid into how the respective spectrum holdings would be utilized and then issues relating to customers' ability to use their existing phones or be forced to replace them. Yeah. I think we're still within the white lines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    The topic was a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. This slid into how the respective spectrum holdings would be utilized and then issues relating to customers' ability to use their existing phones or be forced to replace them. Yeah. I think we're still within the white lines.
    I was talking about the political and economic stuff.

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    But how does this make sense? T-Mobile and Sprint aren't the same, GSM/CDMA...
    Wouldn't this be a setback?

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