Sprint Setting Up to Merge with T-Mo?

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!

  • Aceman

    Hmmm seems highly unlikely, but at least I might get more bars out of the deal.

    How can you mix GSM with CDMA??? It would have to be one or the other.

    Wouldnt AT&T & T-Mobile be a better mix? Wait nevermind…

  • Remon

    Why would confirmation of the rumor make you want to run out and buy an Evo? Wouldn't you worry that the WIMAX network might be abandoned in favor of a different 4G technology? I'm not really familiar with the industry, so I'm interested in your logic (which might give me an excuse to go buy an Evo).

    • Slade

      LTE is 4G technology. WiiMAX and LTE are both in the same league, the problem is that more people may favor LTE since most carriers are heading that direction.

  • mikeeeee

    as long as the phone side stays GSM i don't care who's name is on the phone. sprint or t-mo.

    • theweakend


  • Doni

    ClearWire the WiMax 4G provider said, they can move to LTE based 4G, it's only a software fix and that it's won't cost very much.

    This is coming from a company that is deep in 4G. I am sure they know what they are talking about.

  • Danny

    If this actually happens, I would imagine that they would keep both GSM and CDMA networks running for at least a couple of years while they decide which network they want to keep and then phase out the phones that work on the network they want to drop, possibly offering upgrade incentives as well to get everyone on either GSM or CDMA (whichever one they want to keep). Then I figure they would either dismantle or convert the towers (depending on redundancy) to support one standard once they finish switching all of their phones to that same standard. This would probably take at least two years in order to minimize the negative impact on customers, and leave them with a denser and more wide-spread network than either had to begin with.

    I very seriously doubt we'll see any GSM+CDMA phones if the merger happens. They'll have to decide on one or the other.

  • nice info, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • The merger might make sense from a business standpoint, but I fail to see how this benefits anyone (especially the consumer), considering the differences in their technologies (GSM versus CDMA). One of the benefits of GSM is the ability to carry hardware from one vendor to another, or to use your hardware anywhere else in the world (since we're the only country using CDMA to any extent). I had the great pleasure of traveling to Ireland recently, and loved that I could get a local SIM card, slip it into my unlocked Nexus One and call anywhere I needed.

    You can't do that with Sprint's current offerings.

    the only way i can see this making sense would be for Sprint to continue moving to LTE, and converting their infrastructure and consumer offerings to GSM. As someone else mentioned, perhaps the network conversion wouldn't be that difficult. But if they wanted to keep their current slate of phones, they would have to be redesigned.

    • Robert

      I also enjoy having SIM card and unlock phone when I travel abroad from time to time. Saves you money and gives you some freedom of not thinking how much phone call will cost .

      CDMA can have SIM card. I went for vacation to Indonesia/Bali and I was surprise to see that they use SIM cards for both CDMA and GSM. So CDMA not having SIM card is probably just a corporate decision.

  • wij

    hmm.. will they really merge?
    thanks for article…