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Thread: The final obstacle to the T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Begins Tomorrow

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haas_Dave View Post
    Most of Sprintís key demographic is barely covered by 5G or not even covered at all. At least T-Mobile can market its 5G with some level of certainty that its similar-demographic customers can access it.

    Boost being a major revenue stream for Sprint wonít get 5G anytime soon, regardless of merger result. That hurts marketing to Sprintís key demographic.
    The Sprint-branded 5G plan required is as expensive as Verizon and At&t, and obviously more expensive than T-Mobile as they offer 5G free regardless of plan. This removes any marketing advantage Sprint has anyway.
    Depends what you mean by key demographic. Sprint has a decent sized 5g network in their urban markets, they deliver much better speeds than what people are seeing compared to tmobiles 5g. To be honest tmobiles 5g has been taking a beating in the tech community, sprint has fared much better. They offer less coverage, but better performance than tmobile, and far more coverage and less performance than Verizon. Overall, its arguably the best implementation of a 5g service deployed right now. They just don't market it as such, which is a shame because they do have something there. Their spectrum portfolio is perfect for 5g. As far as boost, not sure what their plans are with offering it to boost, not sure it really matters to be honest. Most of the people signing up for boost, or even metro, likely don't overly care about having 5g. I don't think too many note 10 5g devices are flying off metro store shelves with that $1000 price tag. Metro, and boost attract their users by offering cheap, or free with port in devices. Until they can offer a 5g device at that price point, 5g really is a non issue for the prepaid brands. Their users just won't care. As far as boost being a key revenue stream, they account for around 8.4 million users at around $30 per users. So being a key revenue stream is debatable. Tmobile relies on metro as a revenue maker more than sprint relies on boost. Of sprints total revenue, over 4 billion came from postpaid, only around 800 million was from boost/virgin.

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    The final obstacle to the T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Begins Tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    Depends what you mean by key demographic. Sprint has a decent sized 5g network in their urban markets, they deliver much better speeds than what people are seeing compared to tmobiles 5g. To be honest tmobiles 5g has been taking a beating in the tech community, sprint has fared much better. They offer less coverage, but better performance than tmobile, and far more coverage and less performance than Verizon. Overall, its arguably the best implementation of a 5g service deployed right now. They just don't market it as such, which is a shame because they do have something there. Their spectrum portfolio is perfect for 5g. As far as boost, not sure what their plans are with offering it to boost, not sure it really matters to be honest. Most of the people signing up for boost, or even metro, likely don't overly care about having 5g. I don't think too many note 10 5g devices are flying off metro store shelves with that $1000 price tag. Metro, and boost attract their users by offering cheap, or free with port in devices. Until they can offer a 5g device at that price point, 5g really is a non issue for the prepaid brands. Their users just won't care. As far as boost being a key revenue stream, they account for around 8.4 million users at around $30 per users. So being a key revenue stream is debatable. Tmobile relies on metro as a revenue maker more than sprint relies on boost. Of sprints total revenue, over 4 billion came from postpaid, only around 800 million was from boost/virgin.
    A major argument in this case involves their key demographic being lower income consumers. That is why *the* claim by AGs in this lawsuit is that it will ruin options for service aimed towards lower income.

    For Sprint, marketing a 5G plan at ~$70/month plus $1000 phone lease vs. a cheaper phone lease and $35/month plan... no brainer which one wins out.
    I agree that Sprintís 5G network is actually good; I have tested out a few devices over the last year. However, if its main customers wonít pay to use it then obviously investment in expanding it will be slowed down.
    T-Mobile might be getting bashed by tech groups, but it will get more people into 5G than Sprint alone will just by having it available in more locations. They can always say that speeds will improve as time goes. If the merger goes through, that means T-Mobile has a fast track to doing so.

    T-Mobile may get a good amount of revenue more from Metro than Sprint does from Boost, but Sprint still gets a lot from prepaid. 1/5 of oneís revenue stream being from the prepaid division is huge. That said, Sprintís overall ARPU is still below anybody else in the top 5, and investors obviously donít like those numbers being low.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haas_Dave View Post
    A major argument in this case involves their key demographic being lower income consumers. That is why *the* claim by AGs in this lawsuit is that it will ruin options for service aimed towards lower income.

    For Sprint, marketing a 5G plan at ~$70/month plus $1000 phone lease vs. a cheaper phone lease and $35/month plan... no brainer which one wins out.
    I agree that Sprintís 5G network is actually good; I have tested out a few devices over the last year. However, if its main customers wonít pay to use it then obviously investment in expanding it will be slowed down.
    T-Mobile might be getting bashed by tech groups, but it will get more people into 5G than Sprint alone will just by having it available in more locations. They can always say that speeds will improve as time goes. If the merger goes through, that means T-Mobile has a fast track to doing so.

    T-Mobile may get a good amount of revenue more from Metro than Sprint does from Boost, but Sprint still gets a lot from prepaid. 1/5 of oneís revenue stream being from the prepaid division is huge. That said, Sprintís overall ARPU is still below anybody else in the top 5, and investors obviously donít like those numbers being low.
    I don't disagree, but, by servicing lower income customers this also includes those with less than prime credit ratings. It's no secret both sprint and even tmobile tend to be more forgiving when it comes to credit scores in the 400 and 500's than Verizon and at&t are. Does this stay the same post merger?

    As far as tmobiles 5g, I agree, it's fine for a start and people shouldn't be calling it a failure based on low speeds right now. It is phase 1 of their 5g rollout, and they did a great job getting it in as many areas as they have. I also think them allowing their prepaid services and even mvno's access to it at no additional charge is a great move as well. Hopefully, either way the merger ends up, this stays the same as they build it out more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    Depends what you mean by key demographic. Sprint has a decent sized 5g network in their urban markets, they deliver much better speeds than what people are seeing compared to tmobiles 5g. To be honest tmobiles 5g has been taking a beating in the tech community, sprint has fared much better. They offer less coverage, but better performance than tmobile, and far more coverage and less performance than Verizon. Overall, its arguably the best implementation of a 5g service deployed right now. They just don't market it as such, which is a shame because they do have something there. Their spectrum portfolio is perfect for 5g. As far as boost, not sure what their plans are with offering it to boost, not sure it really matters to be honest. Most of the people signing up for boost, or even metro, likely don't overly care about having 5g. I don't think too many note 10 5g devices are flying off metro store shelves with that $1000 price tag. Metro, and boost attract their users by offering cheap, or free with port in devices. Until they can offer a 5g device at that price point, 5g really is a non issue for the prepaid brands. Their users just won't care. As far as boost being a key revenue stream, they account for around 8.4 million users at around $30 per users. So being a key revenue stream is debatable. Tmobile relies on metro as a revenue maker more than sprint relies on boost. Of sprints total revenue, over 4 billion came from postpaid, only around 800 million was from boost/virgin.
    You're just illustrating Sprint's typical problem. In this case, they're building a 5G network that supposedly works well by the few people spending enough money for a device to use it. But the problem for Sprint is they don't have a way to monetize the investment made in such a network. Most of their customers aren't going to pay more for this performance. And their 5G isn't going to cause many customers to switch from the other carriers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    You're just illustrating Sprint's typical problem. In this case, they're building a 5G network that supposedly works well by the few people spending enough money for a device to use it. But the problem for Sprint is they don't have a way to monetize the investment made in such a network. Most of their customers aren't going to pay more for this performance. And their 5G isn't going to cause many customers to switch from the other carriers.
    To be fair, all 4 carriers have this issue with 5g. For a while the return on the network investment just won't be there for them.

    I'm not gonna debate sprint has major marketing issues. To me, this is the number 1 issue with sprint, I'm not going to debate there are not positives to the merger. I fully see the positives to both companies the merger brings. But, the merger choice isn't mine, it isnt anyone here. There may be a yes verdict, there may be a no verdict. Either way, I think both companies have opportunities to grow and be profitable in the future if marketed right. Tmobile has proven, that clever marketing will beat a superior network any day of the week. If the merger fails, sprint needs to invest heavily into a top notch marketing team asap.
    Last edited by hofonewb9; 01-23-2020 at 03:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    To be fair, all 4 carriers have this issue with 5g. For a while the return on the network investment just won't be there for them.

    I'm not gonna debate sprint has major marketing issues. To me, this is the number 1 issue with sprint, I'm not going to debate there are not positives to the merger. I fully see the positives to both companies the merger brings. But, the merger choice isn't mine, it isnt anyone here. There may be a yes verdict, there may be a no verdict. Either way, I think both companies have opportunities to grow and be profitable in the future if marketed right. Tmobile has proven, that clever marketing will beat a superior network any day of the week. If the merger fails, sprint needs to invest heavily into a top notch marketing team asap.
    Top marketing will only go so far. I do not think a bankruptcy will help Sprint either since they will most likely be barred from spending money on upgrades. They might be better suited to slowly sell off their Spectrum or have a Soft Bank shell company secure their assets with a lien so that way they can bankrupt the Sprint brand and use the assets they secured to open another wireless company.

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    Quote Originally Posted by techguru30 View Post
    Top marketing will only go so far. I do not think a bankruptcy will help Sprint either since they will most likely be barred from spending money on upgrades. They might be better suited to slowly sell off their Spectrum or have a Soft Bank shell company secure their assets with a lien so that way they can bankrupt the Sprint brand and use the assets they secured to open another wireless company.
    They already have a SoftBank shell company securing their assets. A few years ago when they used their spectrum licenses as collateral for a loan, that loaning agency was a SoftBank entity. This is why I donít think son will take them through a bankruptcy. Likely most of their debt,is owed to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    They already have a SoftBank shell company securing their assets. A few years ago when they used their spectrum licenses as collateral for a loan, that loaning agency was a SoftBank entity. This is why I don’t think son will take them through a bankruptcy. Likely most of their debt,is owed to him.
    That makes him/Softbank a secured creditor who will get paid first. When Softbank shut off the water spigot to Sprint 3-4 years ago they started getting financing from unsecured high interest junk bonds. They won't be able to continue that if the merger is denied.

    No merger is followed by bankruptcy and auctioning off assets to pay back Softbank - the creditor. What would make no sense to him would be a bankruptcy and reorganization because he doesn't want the debt to disappear he wants it paid off. No white knight is coming outside of this possible merger because the debt is too high and no one else gains synergies like Tmo does.

    They could stay in business by becoming an MVNO with no spectrum and maybe Dish can afford to buy that because without the merger or some significant movement on them using their spectrum this year they're going to lose it. Dish's endless series of RFP's are not the equivalent of building out a network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hofonewb9 View Post
    Except tmobile didn't get 600 or 700 from at&t. They got band 4. If you want to argue something different we can. Sprint right now holds more low band than tmobile did right after the at&t merger failed.


    Softbank also has privately said they would pay off sprints debt. So people generally will believe the argument that best supports their own opinion.

    Still pushing that old line that SoftBank world pay off Sprintís debt. SoftBank has public stated as I posted many pages ago in this thread that SoftBank wonít bail out Sprintís debt. Not to mention that Sprint has new charges of Government Phone fraud for low income people that could result in billions of dollars in new fines. Nobody else wanted Sprint except for T-Mobile two years ago and I donít see anyone new that wants to pay Sprintís debt including SoftBank. SoftBank doesnít own Sprint they are just the majority stockholder that isnít required to cover Sprintís debt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    That makes him/Softbank a secured creditor who will get paid first. When Softbank shut off the water spigot to Sprint 3-4 years ago they started getting financing from unsecured high interest junk bonds. They won't be able to continue that if the merger is denied.

    No merger is followed by bankruptcy and auctioning off assets to pay back Softbank - the creditor.
    No one believes that "No Merger" will result in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They would begin auctioning off of assets long before that occurred. It's much more likely that another company would purchase Sprint, but at much less of a premium that T-Mobile offered. T-Mobile desperately wants the Sprint spectrum and Sprint's customer base but everyone agrees that the merger would be anti-competitive.

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    At this point I don’t see the merger getting approved. T-Mobile should take that $26B they were going to spend on Sprint and out bid AT&T and Verizon in the June CBRS spectrum auction. At the very least run up the cost of that CBRS in that auction to make AT&T and Verizon over pay for that spectrum by double or triple the value. It will be fun watching AT&T and Verizon customers to see their monthly bill go up 30% a month to pay for that spectrum. T-Mobile can always buy Sprint’s spectrum at a good price. Sprint can’t pay this debt to the banks as SoftBank abandons Sprint that is a endless money pit doomed to failure as they downsize from a national network to a regional network like US Cellular is today.

    BTW, Killing the merger will prevent DISH from ever being successfully as a cell network. Just more spectrum for sale. Sprint is hemorrhaging customers and faces FCC fraud charges. Sprint has already said to the Judge they will downsize without a merger so the end result is just three national networks is almost a guarantee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    No one believes that "No Merger" will result in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They would begin auctioning off of assets long before that occurred. It's much more likely that another company would purchase Sprint, but at much less of a premium that T-Mobile offered. T-Mobile desperately wants the Sprint spectrum and Sprint's customer base but everyone agrees that the merger would be anti-competitive.
    Really who is going to buy Sprint with over $44B in debt plus facing FCC fraud charges that could add billions in additional debt? Two years ago SoftBank shopped Sprint to anyone they could but only T-Mobile showed any interest in buying Sprint. Today Sprint has hemorrhages customers and has more debt today and less customers than two years ago when they started this merger attempt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    No one believes that "No Merger" will result in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They would begin auctioning off of assets long before that occurred. It's much more likely that another company would purchase Sprint, but at much less of a premium that T-Mobile offered. T-Mobile desperately wants the Sprint spectrum and Sprint's customer base but everyone agrees that the merger would be anti-competitive.
    Everyone doesn't agree that the merger would be anti-competitive. This is a false statement. Saying that "no one believes that "No Merger" will result in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. " is equally as false. It is the height of arrogance to think that everyone has the same opinion that you do. It is also arrogant to think that you speak for everyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    No one believes that "No Merger" will result in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They would begin auctioning off of assets long before that occurred. It's much more likely that another company would purchase Sprint, but at much less of a premium that T-Mobile offered. T-Mobile desperately wants the Sprint spectrum and Sprint's customer base but everyone agrees that the merger would be anti-competitive.
    Not everyone agrees that the merger would be anti-competitive. It is significantly more complicated than that.

    The competitive landscape would change if the merger is allowed, but the question before the court is if the change would cause unacceptable harm that outweighs the benefits of allowing T-mo to compete more effectively with the Big-2.

    As far as Sprint assets go, they have already sold a lot of them with lease-back agreements. They have eaten their seed corn. What once were assets are now lease payment expenses.

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    Funny how there there has been so much discussion here about the merger, but almost nothing in the Sprint forum. Those are the ones about to get their cookies crumbled either way it get's decided!

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