T-Mobile's CFO says he expects there will be increased consolidation in the US mobile industry once the Trump administration takes office in 2017, even as more new and different entrants get into the wireless business.
T-Mobile US Inc. 's finance boss Braxton Carter was talking Monday morning at the 44th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. The CFO is definitely expecting to see less regulation and a lower corporate tax rate from President Trump. (See Cisco Execs on Trump: Cautiously Optimistic.)
"It's hard to imagine that there's not going to be more openness to consolidation," Carter told the financial analysts at the UBS event, although Trump said in October that he would attempt to block the proposed $4.5 billion AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) merger. So openness to M&A might very well depend on the nature of the companies that want to combine. (See AT&T to Buy Time Warner for $85.4B.)
Nonetheless, Carter is expecting that Trump will be a new broom in the mobile operator business in the US. "It's hard to imagine with the way the election has turned out... that this is not going to be more positive for my industry," he said.
Carter, however, stressed that change was coming to the mobile business whatever the election result, particularly with the cable companies looking at getting in on the action in 2017. In years to come, he suggested, "We'll sit back and just chuckle at the idea that there would only be 4 major players [in wireless, in the US]."
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Charter Communications Inc. have said they'll use the Verizon Wireless network to offer their customers own-brand 4G LTE wireless services. (See Cable's Chance to Get Mobile Right.)
Carter thinks this is just a first step and eventually cable companies will start to build -- or buy -- their own wireless infrastructure. "The only way you're going to get deep integration is by owning and controlling what you're doing."
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading