• FCC Approves T-Mobile-Sprint Merger



    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Incís (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 Sprintís 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. L33's Avatar
      L33 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hagar View Post
      "Sprint on Monday reported losing nearly 300,000 phone subscribers in the latest quarter alongside profit losses and revenue declines"


      Yep. Sprint will be totally fine without the merger

      Attachment 164377
      Duh. Softbank will continue pouring millions into them to keep them afloat. Its the only logical choice when operating a failing business, keep putting more money into said failing business.
    1. daleraver's Avatar
      daleraver -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
      Simple. The companies have different "visions" for what 5G will become and are implementing those visions. Apples and oranges. Different races. Someone who's a second behind at the start of a sprint has lost the race. A second behind at the start of a marathon puts you in the leading pack. The difference between a sprint and a marathon is where the finish line is set. They're not significantly behind anyone, except in the perception of some people who think the race is a sprint. They are fully engaged in deploying their 5G plan. T-Mobile has been deploying 5G-capable base stations for the last, what? (year and a half?). They've deployed mm-Wave 5G in certain metro markets; they have 5G-ready low-band base stations and they're selling at least one 5G phone. What they do need is Sprint's band-41 spectrum. Without it they'll have to rob Peter to pay Paul in their mid-band spectrum.

      P.S. I believe that everyone is entitled to his opinion, so if you have a different option, that's fine. I won't demand that you justify yours.
      Well stated.

      Has everyone seen this? It comes across to me as it's a done deal.

      https://newtmobile.com/

      Did the fat lady sing already?
    1. anthonyjones's Avatar
      anthonyjones -
      Quote Originally Posted by daleraver View Post
      Well stated.

      Has everyone seen this? It comes across to me as it's a done deal.

      https://newtmobile.com/

      Did the fat lady sing already?
      Some are speculating that tmobiles Thursday announcement is that the states have dropped the case.

      T-Mobile seems confident the deal will close that's for sure
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      Quote Originally Posted by L33 View Post
      Duh. Softbank will continue pouring millions into them to keep them afloat. Its the only logical choice when operating a failing business, keep putting more money into said failing business.
      Softbank doesn’t own Sprint they just have controlling stock in Sprint. They can’t buy any more Sprint stock but they can break up Sprint and sell it off piece by piece as Sprint goers out of business since they will never turn a profit with their current equipment. SoftBank is much deeper debt than Sprint. SoftBank has already said they aren’t going to bail out any of the companies they own stock in.

      Really Sprint experienced a net loss of $274 million this quarter that is going to lose over a billion dollars this years. Also, Sprint is facking billions of dollars in fines from the FCC over the in federal subsidies for 885,000 Lifeline subscribers fraud where the fine is about $4K per incident.
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      DT/ T-Mobile urged to renegotiate to lower its $26.5 B offer on Sprint since the Sprint is falling apart and bleeding customers plus the value of 2.5Ghz will decline if the C- Band spectrum is auctioned. Sprint’s losing subscribers, its churn is approaching 2%, and its wireless service revenue is in decline. Or, as the analysts stated: “Sprint is a mess and deserves a lower price.” while many believe the merger is all about T-Mobile getting hold of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum, it’s likely that Sprint’s spectrum would be available for lease or purchase if the deal were to fail. Plus, alternative spectrum options are looking better, according to LightShed, pointing to positive developments around the C-band.

      https://www.fiercewireless.com/wirel...le-sprint-deal
    1. Jack Hagar's Avatar
      Jack Hagar -
      Quote Originally Posted by L33 View Post
      Duh. Softbank will continue pouring millions into them to keep them afloat. Its the only logical choice when operating a failing business, keep putting more money into said failing business.
      I doubt it. if the deal is somehow quashed. I see Softbank cutting off Sprint. I see job cuts, new plans that offer less and cost more. I see Sprint selling 2.5 GHz spectrum to T-Mobile( or anyone else that's willing to pay for it ). If Sprint survives it will just be larger version of US Cellular. Maybe serving the top 30 markets( if that ) and no where else.
    1. Jack Hagar's Avatar
      Jack Hagar -
      Quote Originally Posted by daleraver View Post
      Well stated.

      Has everyone seen this? It comes across to me as it's a done deal.

      https://newtmobile.com/

      Did the fat lady sing already?
      That site has been up for awhile and I don't like the disingenuous stuff the says about Verizon when they say $1.5 trillion for Verizon to cover the US with mmwave as if Verizon doesn't have plans to use low and mid-band for 5G also. I guess by this time next year when Verizon rolls out low/mid band 5G Legere will have a different talking point to make up. Legere's smarminess really turns me off to T-Mobile.

      That being said I hope the merger is approved and T-Mobile finally has the size it needs to motivate at&t and Verizon to make more than modest changes. T-Mobile could make some too. Seriously since when is 600 kbps hotspot "3G" speeds? I didn't buy that when Verizon start spewing that BS. Hey why not have "3G" speeds in the UPPER portion of 3G like 3 Mbps? That would be uncarrier. Maybe boost that minimum video quality from 1.5 Mbps to say 2.5 Mbps, another way to be uncarrier. For the record Verizon's 480p video speed is 1.9 Mbps
    1. mogelijk's Avatar
      mogelijk -
      Quote Originally Posted by anthonyjones View Post
      Some are speculating that tmobiles Thursday announcement is that the states have dropped the case.

      T-Mobile seems confident the deal will close that's for sure
      I don't believe Thursday will have anything to do with the merger, per se, since T-Mobile announced a week ago (Oct 30) that the merger finalizing is delayed until 2020. I do believe, though, that T-Mobile believes the merger is "done" just that they are having to wait to finalize it; that the state lawsuits are more of a nuisance rather than something that will stop the merger.
    1. mogelijk's Avatar
      mogelijk -
      Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
      Verizon and AT&T are already competing for corporate and government 5G customers that want the low latency needed for many IOT applications. Low latency is one of the major advantages of 5G. The other advantage over 5G is the capacity increase you can get due to the higher data rates. But to a user, they'll see little difference in 50 Mb/s or 1000 Mb/s unless they're transferring a huge amount of data like long videos or lots of high-resolution photos.

      For T-Mobile, I think the goal is to be able to sell home internet service via 5G to compete against Comcast and other ISPs that have fiber or coax infrastructure.

      Yes, Verizon and AT&T are way ahead of T-Mobile in terms of 5G deployment, I don't know where anyone could have gotten the idea that they are "weeks" behind, or why they would say that kind of thing when they know it to be untrue.

      I would probably not buy a new non-5G mobile phone at this time, I would wait for 2020 when the 5G iPhone is likely to come out, and the next generation of 5G Android phones appear. Remember, even though 5G phones are of little use in the U.S. right now, if you keep your phone for three to four years you probably don't want to buy a non-5G model at this time.
      From what I've read, you are better off not buying a 5G phone this year. The issue is that the current 5G phones apparently have a separate radio for 5G, so they use quite a bit more battery running the second radio. The other issue is, of course, the limited availability of 5G, particularly inside buildings in areas where it has been deployed. So, unless a person needs that extra speed, the recommendation is to wait to buy a 5G phone until they get the 5G radio integrated.
    1. Jack Hagar's Avatar
      Jack Hagar -
      Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
      From what I've read, you are better off not buying a 5G phone this year. The issue is that the current 5G phones apparently have a separate radio for 5G, so they use quite a bit more battery running the second radio. The other issue is, of course, the limited availability of 5G, particularly inside buildings in areas where it has been deployed. So, unless a person needs that extra speed, the recommendation is to wait to buy a 5G phone until they get the 5G radio integrated.
      Well another main reason is that current 5G phones only support 5G bands in 28 GHz and 39 GHz. No low-band or mid band or even the 24 GHz T-Mobile recently won at auction.
    1. CanadianAngela's Avatar
      CanadianAngela -
      Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
      Softbank doesnít own Sprint they just have controlling stock in Sprint. They canít buy any more Sprint stock but they can break up Sprint and sell it off piece by piece as Sprint goers out of business since they will never turn a profit with their current equipment.
      Or they could sell Sprint to a buyer where the sale would not result in a reduction of the number of national carriers.
    1. daleraver's Avatar
      daleraver -
      True, but that might result in a company like Dish buying it, and how do you think that might play out?
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
      Or they could sell Sprint to a buyer where the sale would not result in a reduction of the number of national carriers.
      Really and who would buy Sprint? Since SoftBank shopped Sprint around to Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Carlos Slim, DISH, Comcast and Charter for years and only T-Mobile was interested. Sprint was in better shape two and three years ago. The only reason Sprint makes finical sense to T-Mobile is they already have the transmission equipment on towers that can be build out quickly plus the extra customers. Any other non-Network that buys Sprint would have to pour $50 billion into upgrading their equipment to 5G in the next few years. Top that off with Sprint is facing billions of dollars in Government fines for Lifeline fraud and no other company would want Sprint. Sprint is a dumpster fire.

      Sprint is worth more in a break up sale including selling their customers and spectrum. Sprint could also just sell their spectrum and become a large MVNO. The one thing for sure is Sprint bleeding $270+ Million dollars a quarter that is more that $40 Billion dollars in debt won’t be in business very long. Sprint is bleeding customers that is only going to speed up their complete shutdown and bankrupt sale.
    1. bobdevnul's Avatar
      bobdevnul -
      Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
      Really and who would buy Sprint? Since SoftBank shopped Sprint around to Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Carlos Slim, DISH, Comcast and Charter for years and only T-Mobile was interested. Sprint was in better shape two and three years ago. The only reason Sprint makes finical sense to T-Mobile is they already have the transmission equipment on towers that can be build out quickly plus the extra customers. Any other non-Network that buys Sprint would have to pour $50 billion into upgrading their equipment to 5G in the next few years. Top that off with Sprint is facing billions of dollars in Government fines for Lifeline fraud and no other company would want Sprint. Sprint is a dumpster fire.

      Sprint is worth more in a break up sale including selling their customers and spectrum. Sprint could also just sell their spectrum and become a large MVNO. The one thing for sure is Sprint bleeding $270+ Million dollars a quarter that is more that $40 Billion dollars in debt wonít be in business very long. Sprint is bleeding customers that is only going to speed up their complete shutdown and bankrupt sale.
      If the T-Mo/Sprint deal is quashed, Sprint's stock price is expected to drop to about $2. At that price the cost to buy Sprint is more like $10 billion. At that price (rather than $26 billion) someone other than T-Mo might be interested - telcos need not apply.

      Buying Sprint for $10 billion just gets a low-band spectrum-starved, patchy-coverage carrier incapable of making a profit. The buyer would need to believe that pouring tens of billions more into the investment would be profitable over a period of years. I don't see this happening.

      I don't think the current deal will be blocked by the handful of states opposing anyway. They are just being pests looking for concessions and promises. If a few states actually stopped T-Sprint from operating in their states, how do you think that would go over with the citizens of the state?
    1. shilohcane's Avatar
      shilohcane -
      Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
      If the T-Mo/Sprint deal is quashed, Sprint's stock price is expected to drop to about $2. At that price the cost to buy Sprint is more like $10 billion. At that price (rather than $26 billion) someone other than T-Mo might be interested - telcos need not apply.

      Buying Sprint for $10 billion just gets a low-band spectrum-starved, patchy-coverage carrier incapable of making a profit. The buyer would need to believe that pouring tens of billions more into the investment would be profitable over a period of years. I don't see this happening.

      I don't think the current deal will be blocked by the handful of states opposing anyway. They are just being pests looking for concessions and promises. If a few states actually stopped T-Sprint from operating in their states, how do you think that would go over with the citizens of the state?
      So who is going to pay the banks that loaned of over $40 Billion where Sprint used their spectrum and other Sprint assets as collateral to cover their loan in case Sprint defaults on their load. If the loan defaults the bank not Sprint owns that spectrum and other assets. SoftBank has already said they don’t own Sprint and are just a controlling stock investor. Sprint’s spectrum alone is worth far more than $10B in a break up and bankrupt sale. Sprint is on track to lose over a Billion dollars a year. Anyone buying Sprint better have deep pockets since they aren’t going to show a profit for years even if they invest billions and billions into upgrading their obsolete CDMA network.
    1. mogelijk's Avatar
      mogelijk -
      Quote Originally Posted by shilohcane View Post
      So who is going to pay the banks that loaned of over $40 Billion where Sprint used their spectrum and other Sprint assets as collateral to cover their loan in case Sprint defaults on their load. If the loan defaults the bank not Sprint owns that spectrum and other assets. SoftBank has already said they donít own Sprint and are just a controlling stock investor. Sprintís spectrum alone is worth far more than $10B in a break up and bankrupt sale. Sprint is on track to lose over a Billion dollars a year. Anyone buying Sprint better have deep pockets since they arenít going to show a profit for years even if they invest billions and billions into upgrading their obsolete CDMA network.
      The problem is they don't "own" their spectrum, they license the use of the spectrum from the government. As such, if Sprint goes into bankruptcy, the government likely revokes Sprints licenses (since they will no longer be abiding by the terms of the licensing agreement) and the government holds new auctions to determine who can buy the licenses.
    1. jet1000's Avatar
      jet1000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by L33 View Post
      Duh. Softbank will continue pouring millions into them to keep them afloat. Its the only logical choice when operating a failing business, keep putting more money into said failing business.
      The only logical choice? Funny how I see many owners of failing businesses that choose some form of bankruptcy or closure. Apparently there are other choices.
    1. Jack Hagar's Avatar
      Jack Hagar -
      Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
      If the T-Mo/Sprint deal is quashed, Sprint's stock price is expected to drop to about $2. At that price the cost to buy Sprint is more like $10 billion. At that price (rather than $26 billion) someone other than T-Mo might be interested - telcos need not apply.

      Buying Sprint for $10 billion just gets a low-band spectrum-starved, patchy-coverage carrier incapable of making a profit. The buyer would need to believe that pouring tens of billions more into the investment would be profitable over a period of years. I don't see this happening.

      I don't think the current deal will be blocked by the handful of states opposing anyway. They are just being pests looking for concessions and promises. If a few states actually stopped T-Sprint from operating in their states, how do you think that would go over with the citizens of the state?
      You're assuming Softbank is willing to sell Sprint for $10 bil. Say my car is worth $12,000 but I want $20K you can show all the proof that it's only worth $12K but if I want $20K then I want $20K. No one will buy it but maybe I don't care unless I get what I want.
    1. Jack Hagar's Avatar
      Jack Hagar -
      Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
      The problem is they don't "own" their spectrum, they license the use of the spectrum from the government. As such, if Sprint goes into bankruptcy, the government likely revokes Sprints licenses (since they will no longer be abiding by the terms of the licensing agreement) and the government holds new auctions to determine who can buy the licenses.
      Oh you mean like at&t and Verizon who would love to get part of that 2.5 GHz band?
    1. Jack Hagar's Avatar
      Jack Hagar -
      Quote Originally Posted by daleraver View Post
      True, but that might result in a company like Dish buying it, and how do you think that might play out?
      Dish is barely clinging to life itself and is loaded with debt.
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