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WSJ: Sprint looking at T-Mobile purchase

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I'd like to think that a merger would send Legere to Miami to pursue his true calling as a Miami Vice cast member, but I sense that he won't want to ride off. What if he stays and decides he wants to be COO/Heir Apparent?

 

I have a hard time seeing SoftBank keeping Legere on board post merger.  I don't see them as compatible.  It's not like Tmo is Legere's baby that he has nurtured for many years.  Legere will be happy to accept big piles of money and move on after the buyout.  I don't see him insisting to be a part of the new company in order to get this purchase worked out.

 

Robert

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Before people mention Robelus, remember all three Canadian carriers are in bed with each other.

 

That wouldn't be the case here.

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That would eventually become a anti competitive behemoth just like AT&T and Verizon. I thought you would be against this AJ.

 

Most people are against everything that isn't self serving.  Not saying AJ is self - serving but he makes no quim about how much he hates the incumbents and would prefer Sprint to dominate. 

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This!

His methods are working though you can't knock him for that. Don't hate the playa.

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The immediate histrionics from T-Mobile fanboys and the magenta loving tech press are downright annoying.  A few thoughts...

  1. Sprint-Nextel merger.  The negative allusions to an eight year old merger under different leadership are misplaced.  If any wireless operator has learned from the mistakes of a poorly executed, drawn out integration strategy, it is Sprint.  That learning will serve Sprint well in any future mergers.  Additionally, Sprint and Nextel were on different planets both spectrally and technologically.  Times have changed.  Sprint and T-Mobile are now more similar than many seem to realize.
  2. 600 MHz auction.  Sprint and T-Mobile do not want to bid against one another should the auction actually happen in 2015.  That would just inflate bidding and practically ensure that one or the other would come away empty handed in many markets, as there will not be enough spectrum to go around for four national operators plus regional operators.
  3. Site redundancy.  Running four national networks basically in parallel is a great deal for tower companies but a bad deal for wireless operators.  So many Sprint sites are redundant to T-Mobile sites and vice versa that major cost savings could be had by consolidating site locations.  Decommission redundant sites, add new spectrum to remaining sites, maintain similar coverage footprint with increased capacity for combined subscriber base.  Sprint knows this.
  4. 3GPP conversion.  For harmonization and economy of scale, Neal Gompa thinks that Sprint needs to go full 3GPP by adding W-CDMA for voice fallback until VoLTE becomes the de facto standard.  Some of us disagree with his sentiments against CDMA2000 as reactionary and premature.  Moreover, Sprint does not have sufficient PCS spectrum to deploy a W-CDMA 1900 carrier in many markets.  A combined Sprint-T-Mobile, however, would provide more than enough PCS spectrum for such a conversion/overlay.
  5. Legere elimination.  A merged Sprint-T-Mobile would send buffoonish CEO John Legere off into the sunset.  Enough said.

AJ

 

 

I somewhat agree with #4.  But isn't Sprint currently investing in nationwide 800 MHz CDMA?

 

I disagree with #5.  Legere is not only the best thing that's ever happened to T-Mobile but the best thing that has happened to this industry.  Regardless of how weird or UN-CEO like he might appear compared to the stuffy suits he's made a huge impact and the other 3 have responded with me-too rate plans and offerings. 

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That would eventually become a anti competitive behemoth just like AT&T and Verizon. I thought you would be against this AJ.

 

Three companies of equal size will not be happy just to sit there with their piece of the pie.  And SoftBank is not doing all this just to be as big as the other two.  It's about getting to number one.  And they will continue to compete to get there.  And I don't think VZW and AT&T will want to give up their positions easily.  This is not the end of the road for competition.  The duopoly is going to fight hard.  And they are scrappy.

 

I really don't fear competition will be hindered with three equal sized competitors.  I fear competition could be worse with 2 strong competitors and two weak ones fighting over scraps.

 

I'm coming around to the thought a little more.  I have much more confidence in SoftBank than the old Sprint to pull this off.  I have been with AT&T for 3 months, and I can tell you this grass is not greener over here.  They just mow their lawn slightly more often.  They also have sites that only run 100kbps at times.  They just have less of them.  But the worst part of it is I have a 4G icon lit when I see it!!!   :td:

 

Robert

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Them there KC people probably too rural for a high falutin' sort like Miami Vice, but if the Sprint HQ moves to Silicon Valley, who knows. :)

 

At all T-Mobile events, Legere takes the stage to the music of Jan Hammer.  This has been confirmed, right?

 

;)

 

AJ

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At all T-Mobile events, Legere takes the stage to the music of Jan Hammer. This has been confirmed, right?

 

 

"You Belong To The City" should be T-Mobile's theme song. :)

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I just hope the sprint leadership goes away and is replaced by T-Mobile's. Tmobile has better advertising, stores, customer support, better plan to attract customers, speed in major cities, etc. This latest problem with sprint sims has me peeved that they want to lose customers by not providing sims.

 

FWIW, I personally, have not had a single bad Sprint customer service experience in my 6+ years of being a customer. I had some good experiences with T-Mobile in store, but bad ones on the phone.

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That would eventually become a anti competitive behemoth just like AT&T and Verizon. I thought you would be against this AJ.

 

You are jumping to conclusions.  I have not made a statement for or against the rumored acquisition.  But what I do take issue with is people who automatically oppose the idea simply because they love magenta.

 

Additionally, I challenge you to show how Sprint-T-Mobile would be or become an "anti competitive behemoth."  It would still be smaller in subscribership than both VZW and AT&T.  It would not have any Baby Bell monopoly territories.  And it would lack the quarter century of Cellular 850 MHz spectrum and network deployment bought up by the Twin Bells.

 

AJ

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"You Belong To The City" should be T-Mobile's theme song. :)

 

Consider it done.  The H is O...

 

 

AJ

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Not saying AJ is self - serving but he makes no quim about how much he hates the incumbents and would prefer Sprint to dominate. 

 

Oh good, I am glad that "GinaDee," my spokeswoman, is here to articulate clearly my views on various technical and regulatory matters.

 

AJ

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You are jumping to conclusions.  I have not made a statement for or against the rumored acquisition.  But what I do take issue with is people who automatically oppose the idea simply because they love magenta.

 

Additionally, I challenge you to show how Sprint-T-Mobile would be or become an "anti competitive behemoth."  It would still be smaller in subscribership than both VZW and AT&T.  It would not have any Baby Bell monopoly territories.  And it would lack the quarter century of Cellular 850 MHz spectrum and network deployment bought up by the Twin Bells.

 

AJ

Because Sprint already really doesn't do anything without the big two moving first. T-mobile does its own thing. I takes Sprint more time to do anything. Ex. HD voice, 1x and lte 800 deployment, 1900 deployment, Wimax deployment, they take forever to fix broken tower(not saying other carriers don't but they have more customers and cash flow which drives them to do it faster). The last 3 years all I have heard from Sprint is Unlimited and that's it. T-mobile has no contracts, the global roaming, the lower bills, and unlimited data but T-mobile does not make a fuss about it because they are more than just unlimited data now. I know you hate the T-mobile CEO and everything but he shakes up the industry like no other. Sprint doesn't Sprint like there name suggests. I like where Sprint is headed though and just wish they would work on one thing at a time instead of doing things like this all the time without finishing the task at hand. Even if Sprint did already pay in full for Network Vision I really think it would once again slow down deployment especially if they decide to start merging spectrum. Also I can't imagine Sprint and T-mobile getting alot of 600mhz if they already would have 800, 1700, 1900, 2100, 2600. I'm not afraid of change but this is a toss up situation. It could end badly or really good but I would rather not take the risk. Also if Sprint goes after tmobile and gets rejected Sprint could be handing over money to T-mobile which is something that is not good considering that they are already in debt.

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Because Sprint already really doesn't do anything without the big two moving first.

 

I appreciate the thoughts.  However, you did not really address the assignment.  You just described some perceived shortcomings of Sprint.  But that is not an "anti competitive behemoth."  No, an "anti competitive behemoth" uses acquisition and regulation to ensure its own success and thwart effective competition.

 

AJ

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I appreciate the thoughts.  However, you did not really address the assignment.  You just described some perceived shortcomings of Sprint.  But that is not an "anti competitive behemoth."  No, an "anti competitive behemoth" uses acquisition and regulation to ensure its own success and thwart effective competition.

 

AJ

Oh sorry. Basically I see Sprint taking a monkey see money do approach. Play it safe if you will.

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A Sprint T-Mobile combo could just raise their prices to line up with the big two and we all lose as consumers.

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Three companies of equal size will not be happy just to sit there with their piece of the pie. And SoftBank is not doing all this just to be as big as the other two. It's about getting to number one. And they will continue to compete to get there. And I don't think VZW and AT&T will want to give up their positions easily. This is not the end of the road for competition. The duopoly is going to fight hard. And they are scrappy.

 

I really don't fear competition will be hindered with three equal sized competitors. I fear competition could be worse with 2 strong competitors and two weak ones fighting over scraps.

 

I'm coming around to the thought a little more. I have much more confidence in SoftBank than the old Sprint to pull this off. I have been with AT&T for 3 months, and I can tell you this grass is not greener over here. They just mow their lawn slightly more often. They also have sites that only run 100kbps at times. They just have less of them. But the worst part of it is I have a 4G icon lit when I see it!!! :td:

 

Robert

I'm coming around to this conclusion as well. I think of it is done correctly, this could be the best thing for competition. The duopoly isn't going to stop fighting to remain number one. A SoftBank/Sprint/Clear/T-Mobile could actually give them a run for their money and could actually come out on-top of them in the long run. This is, by definition, competition. Right now, there is very little REAL competition in the market. T-Mobile's cage rattling probably isn't sustainable in the long-run and won't do much in the big picture.

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In Europe, there are not 4 carriers that span the whole EU.  Each country typically has one national carriers, one or two large European carriers and perhaps a small local carrier.  We count the locals when we tout European open markets, but when we talk about in the U.S., we only discuss the big national ones.  We need to be fair and include the USCC's, Cincy Bells, CSpires et all in our conversations.  

 

Most European countries do not have 4 large continent wide carriers in each country.  They just don't.  There are much smaller carriers in that mix.  And we need to do more more the smaller carriers in this country...like access to LTE roaming from their competitors at reasonable rates and guaranteed availability to the device ecosystem.  Three national carriers and an even playing field for the locals would ensure a very vibrant US carrier competition.  I could see even spectrum divestiture to smaller local wireless companies as part of this approval.

 

I'm still not for this.  But I think it could be done responsibly.  And if it can be done so responsibly, there is no reason for the government to block it.  The government does not to exist to impose its will upon companies.  It exists to make sure the best solution can be had for the public good.  And there is a route to do that here, if SoftBank and Tmo can agree on all the terms that would likely get handed down to make this work.

 

Robert

With the deepest of respect that is not entirely correct re European carriers. There are 3 to 4 nation wide carriers in each country, some with network sharing. Many of these carriers span many European (and global) countries, but roaming is often expensive and with lte bands increasingly complicated and sometimes they don't use the same name. Companies such as Vodafone, Orange (EE\O2 or whatever they are called these days) and Tmobile (may be a mvno in some of the countries they serve) do span multiple countries and with the EU whupping on them it is increasingly cheaper to just use your phone and contract sim as you travel, barriers between countries are generally artificial and in place to drive up consumer bills but are being removed.

 

Originally there were country specific carriers but it kind of went all Bell and we ended up with big carriers with networks in each country. Most smaller country specific ones died, cellnet in the UK springs to mind. There is "three" which only has networks in a handful of global countries. Most other carriers I can think of are MVNO's.

 

Apologies if I misunderstood you post, 15 years ago you would have been correct but daddy got the check book out and there were lots of mergers and acquisitions, although go on holiday and use your phone and they do their best to make like they are different providers and it is not as easy as cheap as going to the next state :) They want to protect their right to charge different prices in different countries for the same product (not saying this is wrong) and they roaming rates this as a way of doing that (stopping you buying an orange france phone and plan for better rates and bringing it home). 

 

Source: 30 years living, working and travelling in Europe.  

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Dish will join the party next. Mark my word

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In Europe, there are not 4 carriers that span the whole EU. Each country typically has one national carriers, one or two large European carriers and perhaps a small local carrier. We count the locals when we tout European open markets, but when we talk about in the U.S., we only discuss the big national ones. We need to be fair and include the USCC's, Cincy Bells, CSpires et all in our conversations.

 

Most European countries do not have 4 large continent wide carriers in each country. They just don't. There are much smaller carriers in that mix. And we need to do more more the smaller carriers in this country...like access to LTE roaming from their competitors at reasonable rates and guaranteed availability to the device ecosystem. Three national carriers and an even playing field for the locals would ensure a very vibrant US carrier competition. I could see even spectrum divestiture to smaller local wireless companies as part of this approval.

 

I'm still not for this. But I think it could be done responsibly. And if it can be done so responsibly, there is no reason for the government to block it. The government does not to exist to impose its will upon companies. It exists to make sure the best solution can be had for the public good. And there is a route to do that here, if SoftBank and Tmo can agree on all the terms that would likely get handed down to make this work.

 

Robert

Well my statement was that industrialize nations tend to have four major carriers. France: orange sfr Bouygues and free mobile, uk: EE voda o2 3 Spain: movestar voda orange yoig Italy TIM voda wind 3 and it keeps going, almost all western European countries have 4 major carriers. Luxembourg has two. If your going to through in regional carriers in to them mix to argue that the US will still be competitive after a sprint tmobile merger, the thing you have to remember is regional carriers generally serve areas that don't have all of the national carriers competing in them. Japan has 4 also.

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Split vzw in 2 and let tmo and sprint merge, job done ;)

 

I used to think I wanted this and a lot of people on here whose opinion I respect said it would be a train wreck. I think LTE will make any merger easier in the long run (like 5 to 10 years long) and there is some sense in being able to consolidate overlapping towers and then expand coverage. 

 

I don't think it is a question of are we better with two huge companies and two slightly smaller ones rather it is a question of will we be best served letting Sprint and Tmo carry on by themselves. My take on this is that Sprint doesn't need tmo, it has a good plan and it can execute on it and in a few years will be taking on vzw and at&t pound for pound. However, tmobiles parent company does want tmo usa gone, so I think there is some logic in if the price is right maybe it could help sprint in the long run. It would all depend how quickly they could realize any benefits (lower operating costs allowing expanded coverage etc). Tmo has a fair bit of mid dial frequency, it would also be one less company to big against in the 600mhz auction (as mentioned by others) so there is some value in a deal, if deutsche telekom wants it sold for a low price maybe theres sense in a deal.

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I hope the feds block this.

 

I like Sprint.

 

I like competition more.

 

Tmobile has been the only compny competing in ways that benefit the customer. 

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I think a lot of people are over reacting. This can be a great thing for sprint, they can possibly gain spectrum and customers for slightly more than what they would have to pay for spectrum alone.  I dont see this merger being completed by say.. april 2014?!

Some people seem to feel like it would knock sprint off its current path. So lets say the merger is approved by june... its gonna take awhile to decommission towers, etc, etc.. we prolly wouldnt really see anything until mid to late 2015....It wouldnt just happen overnight.. nextel was smaller than tmo people wise and look how long it took until they finally shut it down. .. Not saying it would take THAT long again but it isnt gonna be some chaos this coming summer. 

take the best of sprint and tmo put it together .... sprint spark and fall back to "regular" lte or hspa+? how would sprint people lose on out on that?  with unlimited data????? 

There are pros and cons of course but 2-3/4 years down the road ..... wow!

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I somewhat agree with #4. But isn't Sprint currently investing in nationwide 800 MHz CDMA?

 

I disagree with #5. Legere is not only the best thing that's ever happened to T-Mobile but the best thing that has happened to this industry. Regardless of how weird or UN-CEO like he might appear compared to the stuffy suits he's made a huge impact and the other 3 have responded with me-too rate plans and offerings.

Legere is an interesting figure. He and the people he is surrounded with are very smart and he should have an acting career when this is all done. Unfortunately his act, business decisions that he, and the stockholders and owners made were not about the long term health of T-Mobile, it was to make waves and bring quarterly numbers to attract a buyer and pay out the highest price possible. DT also would be able to end it's T-Mobile chapter not looking like a complete fool.

 

I really hate the fact T-Mobile will be swallowed up by someone, but better Sprint then AT&T, Verizon, or Dish.

 

And Sprint needs desperately a successful large acquisition so people shut up about Nextel and the horror that happened afterwards. :-)

 

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk

 

 

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