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Thread: PCMag: Should Sprint and T-Mobile Merge? Our Network Results Say Yes, But We Say No

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    PCMag: Should Sprint and T-Mobile Merge? Our Network Results Say Yes, But We Say No

    AT&T: 2008, 2012-2014, 2016-Present
    T-Mobile: 2011-2012, 2015, 2017-2019
    Verizon: 2010 via Straight Talk for 2 months, 2018
    Sprint: Couldn't pay me to use them

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    Maybe PCmag should have followed the money at Sprint.... Someone explain how a company that has over $58 Billion in debt stays in business when they lost over $2.1 Billion in just 90 days (12/31/18-03/31/2019)?

    Sprint should file Chapter 11 or 7 before they lose even more money each quarter.

    From Sprint's Financials March 31, 2019

    Net Income Applicable To Common Shares -$2,174,000,000

    Net Tangible Assets -$21,760,000,000

    Total Liabilities $58,474,000,000
    Last edited by shilohcane; 06-20-2019 at 02:18 PM.

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    The article misses on a lot of points, but makes a few - specifically on coverage/capacity.
    1. Sprint literally has nowhere to go but either merge with someone (T-Mobile, Dish, someone else) or go bust. Once Verizon sunsets its legacy network, Sprint will have to find a new rural roaming partner(s) - or people will flee in droves (outside the city).

    2. Comparing an AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile to Canada's Bell/Telus/Rogers is a farce. Canada has laws on foreign investment/ownership in telecomm. This has kept outside companies from competing in Canada. Also, in Canada, the 3 companies are not truly operated as such. Bell/Telus (Bellus) do not have a complete coast to coast network .. but share infra in parts where only one has a setup: https://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/cancellsites.html.

    3. Carriers have to look to the future - not the past. Long term replacement of 'wired' internet, IoT, video, autonomous vehicles, etc. T-Mobile 'could' use the spectrum.

    Biggest issue they never answered: What will happen to Sprint _IF_ it doesn't merge ?
    AT&T... your world, throttled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post

    Biggest issue they never answered: What will happen to Sprint _IF_ it doesn't merge ?
    Sprint has a Stock Market Cap of just over $30 Billion with a debt of over $58 Billion and lost over $2 Billion in just 90 days. The only answer without a merge is Chapter 7 liquidation under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Then the banks end up with Sprint's spectrum which they will sell to the highest bidder subject to FCC approval. Then there were only three networks. Really Sprint should go for Chapter 11 today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
    Sprint has a Stock Market Cap of just over $30 Billion with a debt of over $58 Billion and lost over $2 Billion in just 90 days. The only answer without a merge is Chapter 7 liquidation under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Then the banks end up with Sprint's spectrum which they will sell to the highest bidder subject to FCC approval. Then there were only three networks. Really Sprint should go for Chapter 11 today.
    Sprint has a market cap of $30 billion at a stock price of $7.40. Sprint's stock price is expected to drop to $2-$3 if the merger is blocked. That would leave them with a market cap of $10.2 billion. Is it any wonder why Softbank wants to do the merger stock swap where the deal values Sprint at ~$7 a share?

    Some of your other numbers are not to my recollection. I thought Sprint's debt was in the $35 billion range and they lost ~$2 billion for their FY 2018 year that ended in March 2019, not 90 days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by formercanuck View Post
    The article misses on a lot of points, but makes a few - specifically on coverage/capacity.
    1. Sprint literally has nowhere to go but either merge with someone (T-Mobile, Dish, someone else) or go bust. Once Verizon sunsets its legacy network, Sprint will have to find a new rural roaming partner(s) - or people will flee in droves (outside the city).
    Roaming alone can't solve all of Sprint's issues, but this one is way over-hyped. For one, they could make a new roaming deal and stay on with Verizon, assuming that their current deal is specifically tied to CDMA/1x and terminates when the network is shut down. They could also turn on more AT&T roaming, as they already have an agreement there. Or, they could lose roaming and only have coverage where T-Mobile and USCC provide them with Extended coverage. Many of Sprint's customers rarely use out of market roaming, and are urban/suburban centric. Most of the rest would be fine with T-Mobile and USCC's coverage. Limited roaming on AT&T or Verizon that's throttled can fill in the rest, pretty much like it does now.

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    PCMag: Should Sprint and T-Mobile Merge? Our Network Results Say Yes, But We Say No

    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    Roaming alone can't solve all of Sprint's issues, but this one is way over-hyped. For one, they could make a new roaming deal and stay on with Verizon, assuming that their current deal is specifically tied to CDMA/1x and terminates when the network is shut down. They could also turn on more AT&T roaming, as they already have an agreement there. Or, they could lose roaming and only have coverage where T-Mobile and USCC provide them with Extended coverage. Many of Sprint's customers rarely use out of market roaming, and are urban/suburban centric. Most of the rest would be fine with T-Mobile and USCC's coverage. Limited roaming on AT&T or Verizon that's throttled can fill in the rest, pretty much like it does now.
    So originally Sprint Roaming on Verizon was great. Then Sprint kept putting more and more roaming caps on plans. Then Verizon raised the roaming rates and Sprint partnered instead with AT&T in a few areas.

    I hear the T-Mobile Data Roaming is a good experience. Sprint’s roaming needs to be more like the old way with less strings attached. 200mb of data roaming around on Verizon won’t work.

    I am really hoping Sprint & T-Mobile just merge.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by techfranz View Post
    So originally Sprint Roaming on Verizon was great. Then Sprint kept putting more and more roaming caps on plans. Then Verizon raised the roaming rates and Sprint partnered instead with AT&T in a few areas.

    I hear the T-Mobile Data Roaming is a good experience. Sprint’s roaming needs to be more like the old way with less strings attached. 200mb of data roaming around on Verizon won’t work.

    I am really hoping Sprint & T-Mobile just merge.
    Agreed. I'd assume a new Verizon roaming deal would be limited to 200MB or something like that, unlike the current one that basically doesn't have working data. And that's assuming that Sprint's existing roaming deal has language that ties it to CDMA/1x only, and doesn't continue after CDMA is gone. It could just throttle to 144kbps which would be FAR more useful than CDMA/1x.

    The T-Mobile roaming is great, it's full speed, and their network is pretty good. It's just awkward switching back and forth as Sprint usually stops working before T-Mobile or USCC or whatever kicks in, so there's a dead zone in-between.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    Agreed. I'd assume a new Verizon roaming deal would be limited to 200MB or something like that, unlike the current one that basically doesn't have working data. And that's assuming that Sprint's existing roaming deal has language that ties it to CDMA/1x only, and doesn't continue after CDMA is gone. It could just throttle to 144kbps which would be FAR more useful than CDMA/1x.

    The T-Mobile roaming is great, it's full speed, and their network is pretty good. It's just awkward switching back and forth as Sprint usually stops working before T-Mobile or USCC or whatever kicks in, so there's a dead zone in-between.
    Sprint has VoLTE working on about two thirds of their network. I have not heard if Sprint VoLTE works to roam on Verizon VoLTE. I assume it has been designed to, but may not be turned on yet. I expect Verizon would still want those sweet, sweet roaming fees from Sprint even after Vz flips the CDMA switch off.

    If T-Mo becomes the owner of Sprint they may not want to pay Vz for roaming for long.

    Data has become the top priority in peoples thinking. That is because voice calls and texts have become a given and we don't think about them. If forced to think about it, most people would grudgingly admit that, yeah, calls and texts are still the first priority for coverage and data can wait. JMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Sprint has VoLTE working on about two thirds of their network. I have not heard if Sprint VoLTE works to roam on Verizon VoLTE. I assume it has been designed to, but may not be turned on yet. I expect Verizon would still want those sweet, sweet roaming fees from Sprint even after Vz flips the CDMA switch off.
    Sprint is going to have to roam on T-Mobile VoLTE if they aren't already, since Verizon CDMA is going away to use for voice when using T-Mobile LTE for data. As CDMA disappears, more VoLTE cross-roaming is going to have to happen. USCC has to roam on VoLTE as well post-Verizon CDMA, or else they get cut back to Sprint's coverage for roaming, which would be a disaster.

    I would agree with that logic, although they are obviously charging sky-high prices, since Sprint has pushed as much of their roaming onto AT&T as possible, and has drastically expanded Extended to T-Mobile to avoid AT&T/Verizon roaming in the first place. What's nuts is how they charge many times more for roaming than for MVNOs. The rates should be the same, and all the carriers should just roam on each other. They're pretty much all running VoLTE now, it should just be one big happy roaming world, even if data is throttled.

    Data has become the top priority in peoples thinking. That is because voice calls and texts have become a given and we don't think about them. If forced to think about it, most people would grudgingly admit that, yeah, calls and texts are still the first priority for coverage and data can wait. JMHO.
    Data is what's important. If I want to contact someone and I only have data, I could message them through an app, but I can't get data through a voice connection. Also, 911 works whenever the phone can connect to any network. I don't know how the FCC will address that on VoLTE though... We're getting into a weird world of roaming. I've seen Verizon phones on emergency-only on AT&T (HSPA+), while Sprint has data only, no voice, and I would assume 911 would work there too. I don't know what an AT&T phone would do if only Verizon is available, i.e. if it's able to connect to VoLTE for emergency only.

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