We aren’t for sure, but reports are coming in that Sprint is considering altering it’s 4G rollout strategy in a way that could allow them to merge with T-Mo in the near future. In the article from eweek.com, it sources a Financial Times quote from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse about Sprint rolling out LTE (long term evolution) technology alongside their current WiMax infrastructure.
“We have spectrum resources where we could add LTE if we choose to do that, on top of the WiMax network,” Hesse told FT. “The beauty of having a lot of spectrum is we have a lot of flexibility.”
So you are probably saying, “So what? This says nothing about T-Mo!” Actually, it says quite a bit.
Remember way back in 2008, when Sprint was on the auction block, with its stock in the toilet and a couple of potential suitors wanting to buy it out? Deutsche Telekom was one of those suitors, and which carrier does DT own? T-Mobile USA. The reason that the merger did not take place back then? Because Sprint‘s WiMax infrastructure would be at odds with T-Mo’s plan to eventually move to LTE technology.
See where this is going? If Sprint is seriously going to be laying out the coin for LTE upgrades to their network, that could make a merger more appealing to T-Mo, as they and Sprint are #3 and #4 respectively as far as customer base in the U.S. With the technology barrier gone that kept DT from making the move last time, this could be a no brainer for them. If the two could merge, they could become something to be reckoned with as far as the “Big 3” would be concerned.
Rumors like these seem to pop up once or twice every few years, and this one is no different. We are a long way off from seeing T-Mo merge with Sprint/Nextel, but if it was happening tomorrow, I would run out and get me an EVO, you can COUNT on it. More info later as it comes in, stay tuned!