• FCC Approves T-Mobile-Sprint Merger



    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc’s (TMUS.O) proposed $26.5 billion tie-up with Sprint Corp (S.N) won formal approval from the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday in a vote split along party lines, two sources told Reuters.

    Chairman Ajit Pai and two Republican commissioners voted to approve the deal while two Democratic commissioners voted against it, the sources said.

    The text of the approval order is not expected to be released until later in the month.

    The deal to combine the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers, which has been fighting for government approval since April 2018, still faces a lawsuit brought by a group of state attorneys general, headed by New York.

    The lawsuit against Sprint and its parent company Softbank Group Corp and T-Mobile and its parent Deutsche Telekom AG argues the deal will lead to higher prices for consumers. A trial date has been set for Dec. 9.

    The U.S. Justice Department approved the deal in July.

    Under the Justice Department deal, the companies would divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television company Dish Network Corp (DISH.O), and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. That deal is worth about $5 billion.
    Source: Reuters

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    This article was originally published in forum thread: FCC Approves T-Mobile-Sprint Merger started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 116 Comments
    1. elecconnec's Avatar
      elecconnec -
      Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
      Colorado is dropping their lawsuit against the T-Mobile/Sprint merger. Colorado is evidence that the states are not really objecting to the merger, more that the lawsuits are trying to get things from the merger. In Colorado's case, they are dropping it after Dish has promised to build their new wireless headquarters in the state.

      I suspect we'll see more lawsuits dropped by states over the coming days.
      As I said in the Colorado thread, it's not about "getting things" as much as getting guarantees to insure that the potentially anti-consumer parts of the merger (price increases from lessened competition and job losses) don't happen.

      No one is anti-merger just for anti-merger's sake- we're anti-merger because of the potential anti-consumer fallout. If New T-Mo guarantees satisfactory remedies for that fallout, there's little left to object to.






      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
    1. mogelijk's Avatar
      mogelijk -
      Quote Originally Posted by elecconnec View Post
      As I said in the Colorado thread, it's not about "getting things" as much as getting guarantees to insure that the potentially anti-consumer parts of the merger (price increases from lessened competition and job losses) don't happen.

      No one is anti-merger just for anti-merger's sake- we're anti-merger because of the potential anti-consumer fallout. If New T-Mo guarantees satisfactory remedies for that fallout, there's little left to object to.






      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
      Yes, I'm sure it was merely being "pro-consumer" that made them hold out until Dish promised them their wireless HQ would be built in Colorado. Though perhaps you can explain, how does an HQ help Colorado consumers? Sure, it will allegedly bring a few new jobs to Colorado but how does that help the average poor person afford their wireless bill?
    1. elecconnec's Avatar
      elecconnec -
      Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
      Yes, I'm sure it was merely being "pro-consumer" that made them hold out until Dish promised them their wireless HQ would be built in Colorado. Though perhaps you can explain, how does an HQ help Colorado consumers? Sure, it will allegedly bring a few new jobs to Colorado but how does that help the average poor person afford their wireless bill?
      Again, the anti-merger crowd is concerned primarily with two things: wireless costs and jobs. The Colorado deal at least tried to address both- jobs via a DISH wireless HQ (DISH already provides hundreds of jobs here between their satellite TV HQ in Littleton and a nearby distribution center that sends their satellite equipment to dealers and installers throughout the region), and costs via the same rate plan deal as Mississippi- $15/month for unlimited talk, text and 2GB data, and $25 for UT&T and 5GB data, guaranteed to all residents for at least 5 years post-merger.





      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
    1. jameny5's Avatar
      jameny5 -
      I do not know why two of the worst carriers would want to link up. I had Sprint and Boost for many years. I have personal knowledge of how bad the service was. I also had T-Mobile-to-go Prepaid. It had the worst indoor and inbuilding coverage. You had to go outside and stand on the sidewalk to talk to someone. It would ring inside but you couldn't talk to anybody. I go on www.consumeraffairs.com from time to time. I read all these comments about how T-Mobile has done all sorts of things with their promos, contract buy outs and customer phone repairs and given very bad customer service. All that puts a sour taste in my mouth. They are getting rid of Sprint to carry on with their shady business practices? US Attorney General's stay firm. Do not break the blockage of this bad merger. Fight them in court tooth and nail. Use this evidence as a weapon against approval!
    1. Tim-of-NC's Avatar
      Tim-of-NC -
      Quote Originally Posted by jameny5 View Post
      I do not know why two of the worst carriers would want to link up. I had Sprint and Boost for many years. I have personal knowledge of how bad the service was. I also had T-Mobile-to-go Prepaid. It had the worst indoor and inbuilding coverage. You had to go outside and stand on the sidewalk to talk to someone. It would ring inside but you couldn't talk to anybody. I go on www.consumeraffairs.com from time to time. I read all these comments about how T-Mobile has done all sorts of things with their promos, contract buy outs and customer phone repairs and given very bad customer service. All that puts a sour taste in my mouth. They are getting rid of Sprint to carry on with their shady business practices? US Attorney General's stay firm. Do not break the blockage of this bad merger. Fight them in court tooth and nail. Use this evidence as a weapon against approval!
      It’s funny you mention consumer affairs when T-Mobile has a overall higher rating than Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

      If you want to talk about shady business practices what about when AT&T tried blocking FaceTime over cellular or Verizon trying to force customers off their old unlimited plans.

      They all have their share of “shady” business practices.


      Sent from my iPhone 11
    1. elecconnec's Avatar
      elecconnec -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tim-of-NC View Post
      It’s funny you mention consumer affairs when T-Mobile has a overall higher rating than Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

      If you want to talk about shady business practices what about when AT&T tried blocking FaceTime over cellular or Verizon trying to force customers off their old unlimited plans.
      Which is exactly why some of us are against this. T-Mo has high marks with consumers because they are a perfect example of the old addage "number two (or in this case, number three!) tries harder..."

      When T-Mo merges with Sprint, they will become the thing they supposedly despise (one of the large carriers that abuse their power over consumers), they lose the incentive to continually win our loyalty. T-Mo has demonstrably poorer coverage than the big two, but has inspired a fierce loyalty among their customers because T-Mo has had to beat the big two in other ways, namely price and customer service.





      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      Quote Originally Posted by elecconnec View Post
      Which is exactly why some of us are against this. T-Mo has high marks with consumers because they are a perfect example of the old addage "number two (or in this case, number three!) tries harder..."

      When T-Mo merges with Sprint, they will become the thing they supposedly despise (one of the large carriers that abuse their power over consumers), they lose the incentive to continually win our loyalty. T-Mo has demonstrably poorer coverage than the big two, but has inspired a fierce loyalty among their customers because T-Mo has had to beat the big two in other ways, namely price and customer service.





      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
      T-Mobile will still be the #3 Network regardless of the merger with Sprint. I am for the merger sine the extra spectrum they get with Sprint will allow a wireless ISP so I can call Comcast and tell them they are fired as my ISP.
    1. hwertz's Avatar
      hwertz -
      Quote Originally Posted by jameny5 View Post
      I do not know why two of the worst carriers would want to link up. I had Sprint and Boost for many years. I have personal knowledge of how bad the service was. I also had T-Mobile-to-go Prepaid. It had the worst indoor and inbuilding coverage. You had to go outside and stand on the sidewalk to talk to someone. It would ring inside but you couldn't talk to anybody.
      Agreed regarding sprint; t-mo would primarily be using sprint's spectrum, mostly using sprint sites in areas sprint covers that t-mo doesn't (if there are any.).

      T-Mo? Locally iwireless (who t-mobile bought) had a sparsely built 1900 and 2100 aws network, and it's just like you say; service goes out indoors, outside the city there's dead spots due to low site density. But! They've got all this 600 and 700mhz spectrum now, same sites that are sparse on 1900 should provide plenty of coverage on 600m



      Sent from my BBB100-3 using HoFo mobile app
    1. elecconnec's Avatar
      elecconnec -
      Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
      T-Mobile will still be the #3 Network regardless of the merger with Sprint. I am for the merger sine the extra spectrum they get with Sprint will allow a wireless ISP so I can call Comcast and tell them they are fired as my ISP.
      I'm skeptical about T-Mo's wireless ISP offering. Cool idea in theory, but I suspect the reality will be a lot like T-Mo's "game changing" TV service- overpriced and underwhelming. Nothing against T-Mo, but putting the 5G hype aside, there's very little the wireless version of anything can do that the wired version can't do better.

      The biggest advantage of wireless ISPs, IMO, is that the added competition might help drive the cost of "real" ISPs down a little.


      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
    1. DRC72's Avatar
      DRC72 -
      Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
      T-Mobile will still be the #3 Network regardless of the merger with Sprint. I am for the merger sine the extra spectrum they get with Sprint will allow a wireless ISP so I can call Comcast and tell them they are fired as my ISP.
      You make it sound like Comcast will be upset when you “FIRE” them. More than likely they could care less, and will probably tell you to go pound sand anyways since your not a high revenue customer. And no I have no love for Comcast.
    1. hwertz's Avatar
      hwertz -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRC72 View Post
      You make it sound like Comcast will be upset when you “FIRE” them. More than likely they could care less, and will probably tell you to go pound sand anyways since your not a high revenue customer. And no I have no love for Comcast.
      Comcast won't care if one person dumps them. But, if plenty of people come to the same decision, then Comcast's customer count and revenues will start dropping off and they most certainly will care.
    1. bobdevnul's Avatar
      bobdevnul -
      Quote Originally Posted by jameny5 View Post
      I do not know why two of the worst carriers would want to link up. I had Sprint and Boost for many years. I have personal knowledge of how bad the service was. I also had T-Mobile-to-go Prepaid. It had the worst indoor and inbuilding coverage. You had to go outside and stand on the sidewalk to talk to someone. It would ring inside but you couldn't talk to anybody. I go on www.consumeraffairs.com from time to time. I read all these comments about how T-Mobile has done all sorts of things with their promos, contract buy outs and customer phone repairs and given very bad customer service. All that puts a sour taste in my mouth. They are getting rid of Sprint to carry on with their shady business practices? US Attorney General's stay firm. Do not break the blockage of this bad merger. Fight them in court tooth and nail. Use this evidence as a weapon against approval!
      It's called business. Sprint has had only one profitable year in the last decade. Sprint has no future to continue operation. Sprint has spectrum and customers, along with some retail locations, cell sites, and employees that T-Mobile wants. T-Mobile needs the spectrum in particular to become a credible nationwide service.

      Verizon and AT&T grew to what they are by buying up various smaller and failing carriers. Why is that not ok for T-Mobile?

      If Sprint had a plausible path to continue on their own, it would be a different story.

      I know from personal experience that Verizon customer service can be atrocious. T-Mo is not alone there.
    1. DRNewcomb's Avatar
      DRNewcomb -
      Quote Originally Posted by elecconnec View Post
      I'm skeptical about T-Mo's wireless ISP offering. .....
      Keep in mind that T-Mobile is going to inherent Sprint's contractual requirement to provide low-cost, unlimited, unthrottled wireless Internet service to low-income individuals and non-profit organizations.
    1. DRC72's Avatar
      DRC72 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
      Comcast won't care if one person dumps them. But, if plenty of people come to the same decision, then Comcast's customer count and revenues will start dropping off and they most certainly will care.
      I doubt they’ll lose much. They take care of their high revenue business customers.
    1. elecconnec's Avatar
      elecconnec -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
      Keep in mind that T-Mobile is going to inherent Sprint's contractual requirement to provide low-cost, unlimited, unthrottled wireless Internet service to low-income individuals and non-profit organizations.
      That's cool, and I have no doubt that T-Mo can provide an affordable base level of wireless internet to those who require it. Some people get by just fine using LTE as their primary internet source today, and this will certainly be an improvement over that.

      What I'm skeptical of, is that they'll have the capacity to provide a service that's competitive in quality and cost to an incumbent, traditional wired ISP. "5G" is all well and good for device-to-tower speeds, but T-Mo still needs sufficient backhaul capacity to provide an effective alternative to the Comcasts, and Coxes of the world.

      I just don't think the same wireless companies that currently threaten to "deprioritize" us if we dare use more than a few dozen GBs of data a month will suddenly be prepared to compete with ISPs that deliver hundreds of Gigs a month per user just because the air interface got a little faster...

      5G fixed broadband will be ideal for the places beyond the reach of conventional ISPs; those currently served by far inferior WISPs or satellite, of course, and I suspect that'll be the primary type of user for the near term.



      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
    1. punishedsnake's Avatar
      punishedsnake -
      Yay now to take advantage of sprints spectrum

      Sent from my GM1915 using Tapatalk
    1. Jack Hagar's Avatar
      Jack Hagar -
      Quote Originally Posted by elecconnec View Post
      As I said in the Colorado thread, it's not about "getting things" as much as getting guarantees to insure that the potentially anti-consumer parts of the merger (price increases from lessened competition and job losses) don't happen.

      No one is anti-merger just for anti-merger's sake- we're anti-merger because of the potential anti-consumer fallout. If New T-Mo guarantees satisfactory remedies for that fallout, there's little left to object to.






      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
      If the merger is denied there will be job losses and price increases anyway. Sprint will cut jobs and offer new pans that offer less and cost more.
    1. formercanuck's Avatar
      formercanuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
      Comcast won't care if one person dumps them. But, if plenty of people come to the same decision, then Comcast's customer count and revenues will start dropping off and they most certainly will care.
      Exactly. I used the TMobile Home Internet, and in my location... It is competitive on price and speed. It is less expensive than At&t and Spectrum. At&t $50 for 50 plus tax/fees for 12months, Spectrum 69.99 for 200Mbps or TMobile $50 for ~150Mbps.

      Sent from my LM-G710 using HoFo mobile app
    1. jameny5's Avatar
      jameny5 -
      I can agree to your comment that it is business to a certain extent. What needs to be done is more investigation to the enormous amounts of customer complaints I have listed. T-Mobile also had a page and app on Facebook too. It''s customers barraged them with numerous complaints similar to what I have read on www.consumeraffairs.com. Are we suppose to throw this under the rug and let this shady company continue to do the same to 55 million new customers as well as their current ones? Take all the time to answer. If they are doing this currently - Why would they not do it under a new company or merged company? Obviously, They are profitting from this shady stuff some kind of way.
    1. wco81's Avatar
      wco81 -
      How much will prices go up?
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