A DT Bid for Sprint?

11:15 AM -- If there is anything to a report that Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) might be mulling a bid for Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) it would suggest that the German giant is simply bargain hunting and hasn't been watching the problems that the third-ranked U.S. cellular operator has faced over the last couple of years.

The Wall Street Journal says that DT's deliberations were at "a preliminary stage and management may very well turn away," according to the people it quoted. Deustche Telekom runs the fourth-ranked U.S. operator in the U.S., T-Mobile US Inc. .

T-Mobile runs a GSM-based network in the U.S.; it is just starting to deploy 3G technology in New York. (See T-Mobile 3G Next Week.) Sprint is running CDMA along with Nextel's older iDEN network and plotting a proto-4G network with WiMax soon. (See XOHM May Launch This Summer.)

Sprint has had problems integrating CDMA with iDEN while keeping the high-paying Nextel customer base since the $36 billion merger in 2005. It is also now behind on its initial schedule for rolling out the Xohm WiMax service. (See 2007 Top Ten: Sprint Shockas.)

So there's a really a simple question about the prospects of a T-Mobile-Sprint merger. If Sprint Nextel can't easily wrangle two networks and deploy a third, how would combining that with T-Mobile's nationwide GSM network be done effectively? It seems like a tall order.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:41:30 PM
re: A DT Bid for Sprint? WSJ is separately reporting, as of this afternoon, that Nextel co-founder Morgan O'Brien is trying to buy back the Nextel half of Sprint-Nextel, aiming to build a nationwide network for public safety communications.
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