Light Reading

What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?

Dan Jones
5/1/2013
50%
50%
Repost This

Now that T-Mobile USA has succeeded in combining with MetroPCS, what could the next mega-mobile merger in the U.S. be? Well obviously, Sprint has to bring its three-way with SoftBank Mobile and Dish Network Corp. to a happy ending while completing the total take-over of Clearwire LLC next. That's no small order in itself! Verizon Communications Inc., meanwhile, could pay Vodafone Group plc tens of billions to have complete control of its wireless arm. What happens after that, however, is a little bit murkier. One long-term prospect is that Sprint could merge with T-Mobile. Sprint's CEO Dan Hesse didn't rule that out when asked about it in 2012. I don't see that happening any time soon, though. Sprint and T-Mobile each face their own separate network integration challenges ahead with their current or planned partners and those are always more tricky in practice than on paper. Adding another massive network to the mix could stall the whole process. It's even less likely that AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless could meld with either Sprint or T-Mobile. The failure of the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger in 2011 indicates that the government doesn't presently want to make the U.S. wireless scene any more of a duopoly than it already is. I certainly expect them to span up more small regional carriers though to lock up more 4G bandwidth. The hunt for spectrum is an un-ending process and the big two hold the whip-hand there. One outside possibility is that Google could get into the wireless service provider game. There has certainly been speculation on that in the past. I don't really see the point of Google buying a pure-play wireless carrier. They have got what they needed -- a platform for mobile search revenues -- through the ascendancy of the Android operating system in that area. I could see Google using its money trying to develop alternative high-speed wireless technologies such as white spaces in the future, much like the search giant is trying to push high-speed fiber in the U.S. Whether that's a build or buy situation is not obvious to me at this point. Perhaps you have some thoughts on what's coming next for mobile M&A in the USA? — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
brianm0122@gmail.com
50%
50%
brianm0122@gmail.com,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/4/2013 | 7:05:25 PM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
Everyone here sees the Dish/sprint/clearwire/sofbank as an either/or deal. It could be that Dish is happy with Clearwire, or even just a portion of it. They need some sort of infrastructure to base their network on, and it is possible that Sprint could scrape up a package of towers/spectrum/network from their Clear/sprint/Nextel networks. There is plenty of overlap between the networks in many parts of the country.

The Sprint and Nextel networks pretty much overlapped across the county. If Sprint took the Nextel network, tossed in some Clear/sprint spectrum, towers, Switches, data centers, etc, Dish, could have the start of a very comprehensive network. Add their own spectrum, and maybe some combination of Leap/US cellular/Cspire/others, they could cobble together very nearly nationwide. They are very well-funded, and Charlie Ergen thinks big. What do you think?
Asael Delgado
50%
50%
Asael Delgado,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/13/2013 | 4:19:19 PM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
PERFECT! I could not of said it better myself!
lanbrown
50%
50%
lanbrown,
User Rank: Moderator
5/11/2013 | 1:45:55 AM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
But the big players don't want "those" customers. You are talking low margin customers and those low margin customers would then have access to a much faster network. Their data usage would go up , making those slim margins even slimmer.

Sure the carriers would like the spectrum, but not at that cost. if the Leap/Cricket network is just congested in areas, your net spectrum add is a negative. When users are seeing dial-up speeds, the network is at 100%. if someone could buy Leap/Cricket and just shut the network down, then the spectrum makes sense. The next issue, Leap/Cricket and MetroPCS for the most part are using 5MHz channels whereas the big players are using 10MHz. That doesn't really help the big players unless that spectrum falls right next to what they currently have.

Maybe the answer is that the big players all put money into the hat to buy certain areas to get spectrum that suits them and whatever is leftover they sell?
DanJonesLRMobile
50%
50%
DanJonesLRMobile,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/10/2013 | 3:03:50 PM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
Leap would make sense as additional spectrum for an existing network not as a standalone network.
lanbrown
50%
50%
lanbrown,
User Rank: Moderator
5/10/2013 | 5:19:53 AM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
Leap has the slowest network out there though. In some areas it could take an hour for a text message or data speeds were that of dial-up. So if someone bought them, what do they get? They get low paying customers and moving them to your network is just going allow them to use more of their unlimited data. I cannot see Verizon interested in them at all. Sprint/Dish/Clear/Soft will all be busy. If Dish doesn't get Sprint, then maybe they will be interested.
brianm0122@gmail.com
50%
50%
brianm0122@gmail.com,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/7/2013 | 9:25:12 PM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
I think Sprint fights off Dish for Clear, and DISH has to look around for another carrier to form a core of a nationwide network. U.S. Cellular, Cspire, leap are all candidates.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/7/2013 | 1:44:44 AM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
I think T-Mobile will attempt to take out Leap and US Cellular whose spectrum assets align with the MetroPCS assets and largely fill the hole in the MetroPCS national spectrum map puzzle. They pretty much have to wait until they swallow MetroPCS which will be a bit of a challenge but will also be a practice run for other CDMA carriers, something that Verizon has done a few times in the opposite direction..
Matthew Prendergast
50%
50%
Matthew Prendergast,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/6/2013 | 1:46:04 PM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
I see softbank and sprint merging just fine. Dish will be mad but will merge with T-mobile, since T-mobile loves advertising there T-mobile tv apps.If Dish and t-mobile do not merge then I think that would leave dish and google to join forces, forcing t-mobile to scoop up regional carriers or until centurylink comes to its senses and buys t-mobile and stops relying on verizon for wireless. There is an offshoot though that after vodafone sells its half to verizon, they will buy t-mobile just to compete in the US markets. Doubtful but possible.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/6/2013 | 1:40:12 PM
re: What's the Next Mega-Mobile Merger in the US?
What about Leap Wireless? It's going to have a real tough time competing, especially now that T-Mobile owns MetroPCS. It's a candidate for acquisition.
More Blogs from Jonestown
Cisco may not be in the 4G macro RAN but its investment in Altiostar is edging it closer than ever before.
AT&T Small Cells chief Gordon Mansfield is "skeptical" about the "small cells as a service" concept that MSOs have been talking up.
If Facebook buys a drone maker, it could be looking for a way to connect hard-to-network places around the globe.
Ready for the next level of big-data collection? Say "hi" to Google's 3D mapping "Project Tango" smartphone.
If, like me, you were wondering what the hell "fronthaul" is... well, this is the simplest explanation I could pull together.
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed