Even though T-Mobile openly bashes Sprint on a regular basis, it knows that it’s probably going to wind up merging with them anyway. Reuters reports that T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter said this week that a merger with Sprint is “is not a question of if” but “is a question of when.” In his remarks Carter said that the government either needed to let T-Mobile merge with Sprint or it needed to come up with a fairer way of distributing spectrum so that all the prime real estate doesn’t get gobbled up by Verizon and AT&T in spectrum auctions. More →
The two leading wireless carriers in the United States built up huge smartphone user bases while luring customers in with unlimited data plans. The writing was on the wall years ago, however, and as mobile data usage exploded, Verizon Wireless and AT&T both dumped their unlimited plans in favor of tiered data offerings that slam users with overage charges if they use too much data in a billing period. Sprint and T-Mobile continue to use unlimited data plans as a point of differentiation with their larger rivals but as one analysis pointed out this week, the days of unlimited data at Sprint and T-Mobile are numbered. More →
SoftBank CEO and Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son really, really does not like to lose. Son’s iconic quote came when he was asked why he would ever want to buy up Sprint and he said that “I am a man, and every man wants to be number one, not number two or number three.” As a new profile in The Wall Street Journal makes clear, Son hasn’t lost any of his desire to win in the United States even as Sprint has consistently remained the wireless world’s biggest loser. More →
It figures: Just when we were starting to see one good reason for Sprint to acquire T-Mobile, the whole transaction has been put on ice. Bloomberg News reports that Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Höttges doesn’t see any sale of T-Mobile to Sprint happening anytime soon, which seems to indicate that Sprint and DT have been unsuccessful in their efforts to win over U.S. regulators. This news comes just as Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son had started to go on a public relations charm offensive aimed at winning over a skeptical public about the potential benefits of a merger between the two carriers. If the two companies decide to put the merger on hold, it will be interesting to see whether Sprint adopts some of the more aggressive tactics that have helped T-Mobile win over lots of customers for the past few quarters.
I’ve long been a skeptic about Sprint and T-Mobile merging, mostly because Sprint mergers have been the kisses of death for once-promising wireless carriers such as Virgin Mobile and Nextel. However, looking at the comprehensive study of U.S. wireless carriers released by RootMetrics this week, one thing has become painfully clear: Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile has the network to compete with either Verizon or AT&T over the long haul. More →
SoftBank CEO and Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son knows that he has a lot of work to do convincing a skeptical public that his company should be allowed to gobble up T-Mobile, the so-called “Uncarrier” that has been making major waves in the wireless industry over the past year. The Wall Street Journal reports that Son now plans to go on a charm offensive to win over the American public on his proposed Sprint-T-Mobile merger and he’s going to do it in part by taking a page from T-Mobile CEO John Legere and bashing Verizon and AT&T. More →
The wiretapping business can be quite expensive for the U.S. Government, and a lucrative deal for carriers that have to comply to court-ordered surveillance operations and help government spy agencies gather information through wiretaps on selected targets. But it turns out the government is not happy with one particular carrier, which has allegedly overcharged for wiretaps, CNET reports. According to a complaint filed against Sprint in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Monday, the carrier got $21 million in wiretaps payments more than it should have from agencies including the FBI and the DEA. More →
Congratulations, Sprint customers — you have access to Wi-Fi calling… but only if you own the Galaxy S4 mini or the Galaxy Mega. Engadget brings us word that Sprint will enable Wi-Fi calling in the coming weeks for both the S4 mini and the Mega, which will hopefully be the first of many devices to get this feature added. Wi-Fi calling essentially lets you have unlimited calling as long as you can hook up to a Wi-Fi network, which is why some carriers have been reluctant to allow it since it could cut into their voice service revenues. Of course, T-Mobile has had Wi-Fi calling available in some capacity for years so Sprint isn’t exactly breaking new ground here. All the same, it’s a nice feature to have.
One of the biggest mysteries in the American wireless industry is why Sprint’s LTE network is still so slow compared to its competition despite the fact that Sprint has considerably more spectrum than its rivals. GigaOM asked Sprint CEO Dan Hesse about why his network is still so far behind the competition and he gave the standard CEO response: It’s complicated. More →
If you don’t like the thought of Sprint buying up T-Mobile then the last two days have brought some welcome news. Not only is Sprint reportedly rethinking its decision to buy T-Mobile but Reuters reports that T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom is also getting cold feet about selling off the “Uncarrier.” Essentially, unnamed sources are telling Reuters that Deutsche Telekom execs are nervous about U.S. regulatory agencies killing off the merger just as they killed off its last attempt to unload T-Mobile onto AT&T. Although Deutsche Telekom doesn’t think T-Mobile has much potential for long-term profitability, it’s apparently no longer as eager to get rid of its American subsidiary as it once was because T-Mobile has had so much success recently in adding customers faster than any other carrier in the U.S. For fans of T-Mobile who want to see it stay independent, this should come as a happy development.
While T-Mobile has clearly gotten into AT&T’s head, many analysts expected that Sprint would be the company that had the most to fear from T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” initiatives. However, Sprint’s fourth-quarter earnings report shows that the carrier surprisingly added 58,000 postpaid subscribers in Q4 even though the consensus expectation was for a net loss somewhere in the neighborhood of 365,000. Sprint also posted a net loss of $0.26 per share, which was better than the consensus expectation of a $0.32 loss per share, while also posting better-than-expected revenu of $9.14 billion. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Sprint’s never-ending attempt to acquire T-Mobile has run into some headwinds lately. Two weeks ago, unnamed sources in the Department of Justice told the Wall Street Journal that having four major national carriers was important for healthy competition, and last week Sprint’s chairman met with the FCC to try to convince it that consolidation will help it compete with Verizon and AT&T. However, it looks like the pushback that Sprint is getting from regulators is giving the carrier second thoughts about the wisdom of merging with T-Mobile. More →