Small cells

T-Mobile Talks Up Its Quad Play Opportunity & Network Savings by Buying Sprint

As you might guess, T-Mobile's first-quarter earnings numbers weren't the primary focus of the operator's call on Tuesday afternoon, as financial analysts dug for more details -- and numbers -- on the just-announced $26.5 billion deal to buy Sprint.

T-Mobile US Inc. provided a little more insight on the call. CEO John Legere, CFO Braxton Carter, president and COO Mike Sievert, and CTO Neville Ray laid out a few more details Tuesday:

  • T-Mobile expects an $8 billion benefit to the combined company if the deal passes regulatory oversight. This is a savings due to the "newCo" not spending capex in areas they would have needed to cover otherwise.

  • Likewise, CTO Ray says that -- along with 35,000 cell sites that will be decommissioned -- 15,000 will never need to be built out.

  • T-Mobile intends to add stores in rural areas; it hasn't said how many yet, but it will cut stores and combine stores in areas where both companies have stores.

  • With the promise of a 450-Mbit/s 5G network nationwide, T-Mobile will try to sell mobile broadband and TV -- or "Quad-Play" as it was called on the call -- into US residences. "That's way higher than people can get in their homes today, COO Sievert said of the promised 450-Mbit/s downloads.

T-Mobile expects to make money off its new roaming deal with Sprint. CTO Ray said that it would support LTE data downloads in areas where Sprint users don't currently get coverage.

As might be expected, T-Mobile was adamant about things being "business as usual" if, and until, the deal closes in the first half of 2019. "We will continue to be an aggressive disruptor... It's in our DNA," Legere promised.

Revenue for the quarter was $10.46 billion, up 8.87% year-on-year. Net income of $671 million was down 2.5%, compared to last year.

T-Mobile brought in 1.4 million net adds for the quarter. COO Sievert talked up the popularity up of the Apple Watch, and other connected devices and car services on its network.

He described the Apple Watch as "a nice, surprise hit."

T-Mobile shares were up $0.37 (0.62%) to $59.80 in after-hours trading.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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