5G and Beyond

T-Mobile CFO on Sprint: Interesting, but We Have Options

Speculation about a merger with Sprint is an "interesting conversation," T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter noted during the recent Barclays Capital conference, but stressed that the "uncarrier" has "many other options available to us."

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) was understandably a topic of interest during the conference. Rumors of a potential merger between T-Mobile and its next-largest rival have re-emerged since the Trump administration, with its anticipated regulatory light touch, was elected. (See T-Mobile, Sprint Restart Merger Talks – Report.)

The CFO described some of the press reports as "crazy" with "crazy" ideas about price structuring.

The CFO held that combining the companies would be mainly about bringing together the operator's networks. "There is a prize out there which is really combining the two networks," Carter said. Suggesting that a merged company could be helpful for building a 5G network, although he also later hinted that T-Mobile would be spending on millimeter wave auctions too, whenever they actually happen. (See Sprint Plans 2.5GHz-Based 5G Launch in 2019.)

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On the flip side, Carter hinted that melding the financial structures of Sprint and T-Mobile could be challenging. "There are many other options that are attractive to us."

In particular, Carter wanted to stress the idea that the US wireless market would not be limited to just four major players in the near future, with cable companies (e.g, Charter Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)) and Internet giants also in the mix.

"We have multiple strategic options and we're not in a position to do anything that doesn't super-charge our value," Carter stressed.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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