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Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
12/27/2013 | 9:17:15 AM
Merger madness
Wow, Masayoshi Son is not messing around. I still don't see this passing regulatory approval in the US, but it'll still be fun to watch and hear the rhetoric both sides throw around.
DOShea
DOShea
12/27/2013 | 10:33:27 AM
Re: Merger madness
If Softbank is really trying to make it happen, did it just realize it can't challenge the top two in the US with Sprint alone, or was a T-Mobile bid always part of the plan? I agree that it's tough to see this going past the rhetoric stage, yet the rumors and reports persist.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
12/27/2013 | 10:36:33 AM
Re: Merger madness
I get the impression that Son thinks he's above regulation and past rulings. Reports say he was enouraged by the allowance of an airline merger recently, but I also think that he just has a lot of money and drive for M&A. Sprint wouldn't have attempted acquiring T-Mobile on its own, I don't think, but Softbank has the guts.
DOShea
DOShea
12/27/2013 | 10:52:45 AM
Re: Merger madness
But network integration issues still must be a daunting factor, right? I know that has come up on our message boards before as an obvious hurdle for a deal like this.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
12/27/2013 | 10:55:17 AM
Re: Merger madness
Oh yes, something Sprint knows well from its Nextel days.

What have the reports said about T-Mobile's involvement in the deal? I haven't seen much. Is it on board, or is it more akin to Dish's attempted buyout of Sprint, where Sprint just sort of said 'whatever, we'll think about it'?
MarkC73
MarkC73
12/27/2013 | 2:24:50 PM
Re: Merger madness
I understand the need to grow via acquisition.  So many subjective bad thoughts and feelings jump at me that it's hard to be objective.  I've really haven't have the chance to meet too many Sprint Technical folks nor use their LTE service, so I'll reserve comment as the past is the past.

As far as T-mobile, the technical folks I got to talk to and my experience as a customer has pretty much all been positive.  I do view T-mobile as a value network, but that fits my consumer profile.  Now I don't know what their margins have been since the ATT merger collapse, I've got the pdf open and the pink is burning my retinas but seems like they are executing pretty well, however any company issued doc will make it seem that way.

T-mobile, in my opinion, like a lot of people do, still has back office issues, as well as they need to focus on LTE and beyond, (and hurrying up in building out to my area).

So I guess, the influx of capital could be a good thing if they keep up their value niche and integrate well.

I also understand that my bias can be locally influenced and that as a pretty stationary user (traveling out of state less than 10% of the time) the point is emphasized.  In other words, I get that I am a demographic and not the country.

Maybe someone with Sprint LTE service can chime in on how they've been doing with their newest projects?
DanJones
DanJones
12/27/2013 | 3:09:57 PM
Re: Merger madness
As it stands Sprint have 1900MHz LTE rolled out in some markets, 800MHz starting now and some old Clearwire basestations running 2.5GHz. Stephen Bye said they're going to that into a layered network system via the "Spark" upgrades over the next few years.
DanJones
DanJones
12/27/2013 | 5:06:15 PM
Re: Merger madness
Mention of Dish is a good point. I wonder what Charlie thinks of all this?
milan03
milan03
12/27/2013 | 11:25:37 AM
Re: Merger madness
You're abolutely right. I don't even know where do they start.

I would assume keeping two separate networks while adding UMTS in the PCS on Sprint's existing sites. Many people don't realize that most if not all Sprint's phones that came out in the last year or so are capable of 850/1900Mhz UMTS/GSM operation. Also adding AWS to Sprint's sites should follow so both sets of subscribers can start benefiting from that layer. Old Nextel ESMR stays as the main 1x layer and LTE.

On T-Mobile side they would at least have to start adding TDD B41 radios and some PCS G since there may see redundancy in coverage on PCS G.

Ultimately, in a few years they all meet up at the 3GPP LTE/VoLTE, with UMTS 1900 fallback.
KBode
KBode
12/28/2013 | 11:41:30 AM
Re: Merger madness
"I get the impression that Son thinks he's above regulation and past rulings."

I tend to agree and I simply don't see how this gets approved. Especially after Sprint just got done spending countless hours and millions lobbying to preach about the value of maintaining four distinct competitors in the field. A Dish acquisition still seems more likely, even if everything that seems to come out of Ergen's mouth seems intangible of late.

Who knows though, I'm not sure Wheeler isn't the type to think a T-Mobile and Sprint merger is a good idea.
DanJones
DanJones
12/29/2013 | 7:22:04 PM
Re: Merger madness
So, we could stay that Son has risen above regulations
Ray@LR
[email protected]
12/29/2013 | 12:25:56 PM
Strategic integration
Even if a merger was allowed, which business strategy would prevail? 'Uncarrier' seems to be working for T-Mob.
DanJones
DanJones
12/29/2013 | 7:07:13 PM
Re: Strategic integration
that's a tricky one, remember Hesse has signed a 5 year contract as Sprint CEO for instance.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
12/30/2013 | 12:00:14 PM
Re: Strategic integration
Excellent question, because unlimited + uncarrier would be a really hard to beat combo, but probably also not a sustainable one.
Phil_Britt
Phil_Britt
12/30/2013 | 2:49:08 PM
All up to the FCC
Unless the philosophy has changed greatly at the FCC, and I don't know that it has, this could well go the way of the T-Mobile/AT&T merger.

The FCC may be a little more likely to approve this merger because of Sprint's size. By adding T-Mobile, Sprint would be more competitive with Verizon and AT&T, rather than becoming the dominant player, as woud have happened in a combination of T-Mobile with either of the other two.
DanJones
DanJones
12/30/2013 | 4:43:48 PM
Re: All up to the FCC
Yes, if this comes to pass it will be interesting to see how Wheeler and the other FCC brooms react.
DanJones
DanJones
12/30/2013 | 5:02:22 PM
Re: All up to the FCC/DoJ
Wait, didn'the DoJ have as much to do with the AT&T T-Mobile collapse as the FCC though?
Phil_Britt
Phil_Britt
12/30/2013 | 5:11:47 PM
Re: All up to the FCC/DoJ
Think they both had a hand in it. DoJ did finally let American/U.S. Air merger go through. Not a monopoly, but darn close as far as air travelers are concerned. So DoJ may not be as big of a hurdle, but think FCC will be.
DanJones
DanJones
12/31/2013 | 12:58:58 PM
Re: All up to the FCC/DoJ
Yep, which seems to be what has encouraged Son & crew to think they can get to T-Mobile. I still don't see it, myself.


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