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Thread: Sprint to acquire T-Mobile in 2014?

  1. #676
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    The 600mhz is a good point that I never thought about.

    Sprint and T-Mobile both know that unless they can acquire nationwide 600mhz licenses next year, they will remain second tier carriers under AT&T/Verizon for a very long time. The FCC has shown some interest in trying to assure that the smaller players get a significant chunk of 600mhz but I know AT&T has been lobbying against it. They stand to compete financially for it if they're together so maybe that will work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reuthermonkey View Post
    I still 100% believe that the talks between T-Mobile and Sprint have revolved around precisely this, and NOT an actual business merger.
    Softbank wouldn't be looking for financing if they just were after a network sharing agreement. For a network sharing agreement, you would just pay as you go.

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    I love how all the tech journalists are acting like this is the first time Legere has talked about consolidation and OMG he's changing his tune!

    He's been making statements like this all along.

    Example: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100695045

    With what Legere and co. have been doing with T-Mobile, I fervently hope that they will be the ones in charge, should this actually come to fruition. Regardless of what name they take, if the spirit of the uncarrier remains intact, I'm willing to give it a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    Softbank wouldn't be looking for financing if they just were after a network sharing agreement. For a network sharing agreement, you would just pay as you go.
    To acquire spectrum they might, however. In the 700mhz auction Verizon spent almost $10bil alone. ATT spent another $9bil. That was in 2008 valuations. Low-band spectrum valuations have only gone up since then, and that's not money which Sprint or T-Mobile has on hand.

    If Sprint and T-Mobile want to buy 600mhz spectrum, then they'd each need to secure financing for that spectrum. If they both feel like they can't afford to both purchase *and* deploy spectrum, then securing joint financing for joint auction bids for joint deployment would seem pretty plausible to me...

    I'm not saying it's that cut-and-dry. I'm just saying that based upon T-Mobile and Sprint's actions, there may actually have multiple options available to them. If they want to merge together and deal with the FCC/DoJ/FTC, that's an option. However, if they want to operate independently while securing low frequency spectrum, while also sharing the burden of the costs of purchasing and deploying on that spectrum, then their actions seem to match that being a possibility as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reuthermonkey View Post
    If Sprint and T-Mobile want to buy 600mhz spectrum, then they'd each need to secure financing for that spectrum. If they both feel like they can't afford to both purchase *and* deploy spectrum, then securing joint financing for joint auction bids for joint deployment would seem pretty plausible to me...
    Even if they're going to bid as one entity with dual T-Mobile and Sprint ownership then I'm sure that the FCC will have to approve the joint purchase since they will have to form a holding company/LLC to manage and deploy the spectrum.

    I'm not saying it's that cut-and-dry. I'm just saying that based upon T-Mobile and Sprint's actions, there may actually have multiple options available to them. If they want to merge together and deal with the FCC/DoJ/FTC, that's an option. However, if they want to operate independently while securing low frequency spectrum, while also sharing the burden of the costs of purchasing and deploying on that spectrum, then their actions seem to match that being a possibility as well.
    It will be up to the FCC and other agencies involved to ultimately determine or signal to decide if a Sprint and T-Mobile combination makes sense. If they're sending signals that this idea isn't likely to be approved then both Sprint and T-Mobile will have to peruse alternative arrangements like you described, however current speculation is that SoftBank wants both Sprint and T-Mobile and is using Sprint as a vehicle to fold the T-Mobile network and customer base into.

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  7. #682
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    Quote Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post
    Even if they're going to bid as one entity with dual T-Mobile and Sprint ownership then I'm sure that the FCC will have to approve the joint purchase since they will have to form a holding company/LLC to manage and deploy the spectrum.
    I 100% agree. It's well known that the FCC is being lobbied by all 4 national networks on the topic of how to best handle the 600mhz auction. It's possible that these are all steps to prove the viability of it being a reasonable option for the FCC to consider.

    As far as the FCC is concerned right now, they have 2 jobs when it comes to spectrum licensing.
    1) ensure that spectrum is being put to the best use possible
    2) maximize on licensing fees for that spectrum to raise funds.

    The fact of the matter is, if you want to guarantee that #2 gets met, then ATT and VZW will ALWAYS win the spectrum they desire. Deepest pockets wins. Fortunately for consumers, ATT and VZW have not demonstrated effectiveness at #1, however.

    Sprint and T-Mobile cannot both afford to spend $10bil on nationwide licenses in addition to another $3-6bil in deployment costs for their respective networks (a combined cost of ~$32bil). So how does the FCC fairly allow Sprint and T-Mobile to secure low frequency spectrum without being called out for "preferring" certain carriers, while at the same time maximizing possible revenues?

    Spectrum caps have been proposed. While that might ensure #1 gets met, it guarantees #2 is not met, since some of that spectrum is effectively sold for however much Sprint and T-Mobile see fit to spend - within reason.

    So, if T-Mobile and Sprint offer - as a compromise to ATT/VZW and the FCC - that if they are allowed to bid jointly with the expectation that any joint bids mandate joint deployment and operation, then the FCC can finally meet both requirements. Without spectrum caps, Sprint/TMO, ATT, and VZW all must bid at "fair market value", which maximizes revenues. Additionally, network-sharing by its very nature is inherently the most efficient use of radio spectrum. And lastly, if Sprint and TMO still cannot secure low-frequency spectrum with joint bidding while operating as separate entities, then that confirms to the DoJ/FCC that the United States market may indeed not be able to truly "support" 4 wireless carriers, and consolidation is the only solution.
    Last edited by reuthermonkey; 01-28-2014 at 09:34 PM.

  8. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by reuthermonkey View Post
    I still 100% believe that the talks between T-Mobile and Sprint have revolved around precisely this, and NOT an actual business merger.

    By joining together on the 600mhz spectrum auction and then running a network-sharing agreement, they both benefit from lower CAPEX, quicker deployments, and better coverage than either of them alone would be able to do in the short term.

    And for those asking, a network-sharing agreement would not go against anything John Legere has said recently with regards to Sprint and competition.
    I would not be opposed to this. Especially if its T-Mobile in charge of deployment. A joint venture isn't bad, just being absorbed entirely by sprint is a bad decision

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    Sprint had been making allies with tier 2 carriers for a joint bid and all access lte roaming agreements. Last I heard it was still in the discussion stages but a common enemy unites them so it's probably a given. Not sure if tmobile is past of said consortium though.

    Sent from my Nexus 5

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    Looks like they might being trying to keep tmo name


    The paper adds SoftBank and T-Mobile USA parent Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY, DTEGF) have been talking about a deal, but are still "working through remaining issues" such as the size of the deal's breakup fee (Son reportedly is pushing for a small one) and whether Sprint or T-Mobile's brand would be retained.
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  11. #686
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilotimz View Post
    Sprint had been making allies with tier 2 carriers for a joint bid and all access lte roaming agreements. Last I heard it was still in the discussion stages but a common enemy unites them so it's probably a given. Not sure if tmobile is past of said consortium though.

    Sent from my Nexus 5
    Is the consortium called the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)?
    T-Mobile has been a observer/non-voting member/associate ever since it was called Rural Cellular Association (RCA).
    What happened to LTE roaming between C Spire and Sprint?
    I thought they had selected or deployed their own roaming hub for use and tested it out.

  12. #687
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    Quote Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post
    Is the consortium called the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)?
    T-Mobile has been a observer/non-voting member/associate ever since it was called Rural Cellular Association (RCA).
    What happened to LTE roaming between C Spire and Sprint?
    I thought they had selected or deployed their own roaming hub for use and tested it out.
    Not positive if it is but it's something under wraps and not (well) known by the public. High level discussions have been going on for a while iirc between multiple entities. For sure between sprint, USCC, cspire, and other small operators not aligned with big red or blue empire. No word on tmobile though.

    Cspire and sprint has a lte agreement I'm sure. Sprint has 3 inbound lte agreements and 2 outbound.



    Sent from my Nexus 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antenna View Post
    I would not be opposed to this. Especially if its T-Mobile in charge of deployment. A joint venture isn't bad, just being absorbed entirely by sprint is a bad decision
    Anything that either restricts TMUS ' latitude to function as a competitive and independent free agent, or leaves US without four actively competing nationwide carriers holding ample spectrum "is a bad decision."


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  14. #689
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC_Mits View Post
    Anything that either restricts TMUS ' latitude to function as a competitive and independent free agent, or leaves US without four actively competing nationwide carriers holding ample spectrum "is a bad decision."


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    The problem is we don't have four nationwide carriers. We have two nationwide carriers (Verizon and AT&T) and two urban ones (Sprint and T-Mobile).
    Have you read the forum rules lately?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fraydog View Post
    The problem is we don't have four nationwide carriers. We have two nationwide carriers (Verizon and AT&T) and two urban ones (Sprint and T-Mobile).
    Indeed. Put T-Mobile and Sprint together and you still don't equal 1/3 of either of the big 2, territory-wise. T-Mo and Sprint both cover the same urban areas and the same little strings of interstate highways and neither covers the north-central third of the country from Minnesota to Washington. Because of these facts, a merger would not help expand overall coverage for the combined company at all, just more coverage in the same existing areas. Maybe that's what they're going for.

    Even Fierce Wireless has come out thinking a buyout is a ridiculous idea, with some very good reasons: http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/...dea/2014-01-29
    Last edited by ggore; 01-30-2014 at 09:33 AM.

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