United States Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said this week that he would recommend approval of the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint (via Bloomberg). The news comes after T-Mobile and Sprint announced changes to their $26.5 billion merger agreement, including the sale of the prepaid brand Boost Mobile, a three-year buildout of their 5G network, and a pledge not to raise prices while the network is being built.

sprinttmobile
Under the new plan, the companies will sell off Sprint's Boost Mobile brand, but keep Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile's Metro brand. If Sprint and T-Mobile had kept all three, they would have owned the largest chunk of the prepaid cellular market in the United States, totaling about 42 percent of the market.

“Two of the FCC’s top priorities are closing the digital divide in rural America and advancing United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity,” Pai said in a statement Monday. “The commitments made today by T-Mobile and Sprint would substantially advance each of these critical objectives.”

If completed, the new combined company would ditch the Sprint name and be called T-Mobile, and current T-Mobile CEO John Legere would serve as the Chief Executive Officer. Sprint and T-Mobile have said the new company will be a "force for positive change" in the U.S. wireless, video, and broadband industries, supercharging T-Mobile's Un-carrier strategy and allowing it to "lead in the 5G era."

Although Pai's approval is a big step, the merger still needs to be approved by the full FCC board and the Department of Justice. In April, Sprint and T-Mobile announced a deadline extension for the merger to July 29, 2019.

Top Rated Comments

DonutHands Avatar
25 months ago
That's not increasing competition though. There are now going to be less cellular providers.
It's almost comical to call Sprint a competing cellular provider. This merger gives T-Mobile/Sprint a fighting chance in the marketplace.

I don't know what will happen moving forward, but T-Mobile and Sprint have in recent memory been making changes for the good of the consumer with Verizon and AT&T only making changes to somewhat match what T-Mobile has done.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
25 months ago
Sounds good to me. We're moving from having two top tier companies (AT&T vs Verizon) with two secondary companies (Sprint vs T-Mobile) to having three top tier companies (AT&T vs Verizon vs T-Mobile). The whole mess of cheaper options are still there, and the increased competition at the top should help to cause AT&T and Verizon to offer cheaper and better plans.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RobNYC Avatar
25 months ago
Sounds good to me. We're moving from having two top tier companies (AT&T vs Verizon) with two secondary companies (Sprint vs T-Mobile) to having three top tier companies (AT&T vs Verizon vs T-Mobile). The whole mess of cheaper options are still there, and the increased competition at the top should help to cause AT&T and Verizon to offer cheaper and better plans.
That's not increasing competition though. There are now going to be less cellular providers.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Guda.FL Avatar
25 months ago
That's not increasing competition though. There are now going to be less cellular providers.
I had sprint on my work line. I would not put them in a “carrier” competitor category. Abysmal.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Breaking Good Avatar
25 months ago
For both company customers, be ready for price increase. For the both company employees, be prepared for restructuring effect. Any duplication functions and divisions will be streamlined, which generally would lead lay off unfortunately. I wish the best for both companies customers and employees.
As part of the agreement they've agreed not to raise prices for three years. After that it is anyone's guess.

I just hope they don't seel Boost off to American Movil. That would not help the discount wireless industry.

The issue with the employees is bad. But it is better for them to do it now the unemployment rate is so low rather than to have to do it in the next economic downturn.
[doublepost=1558365914][/doublepost]
It's almost comical to call Sprint a competing cellular provider. This merger gives T-Mobile/Sprint a fighting chance in the marketplace.
I'm very happy with my Sprint service. But I agree 100% with what you said above. Sprint just doesn't have the subscriber base necessary to build out a nationwide network by itself.

I live in a heavily populated area. (I think I hav five Apple Retail Stores within 45 minutes of me.) So I have great Sprint coverage. But I realize that many others are not in a similar situation. There are others who may only have one option because of where they live.

I am not going to say that this will end well for everyone. There is no way I can do that. But having three carriers that can compete head-to-head on a 5G buildout beats having just two.

Now, I would like to see the FCC mandate certain coverage requirements for 5G buildout. I would like to see something like you have to guarantee that you can cover, 95% of the U.S. population with either 5G or 4G cellular service and set minumum download and upload speeds for each.

The airwaves are owned by the people of the United States and they should be managed for the greatest benefit of the people of the United States, not just for a few or three mega-corporations. And no, I don't hold out hope that the current FCC Chairman has that in mind.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HailstormX Avatar
25 months ago
Of course he would...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
fortnite apple featured

Epic's Case Against Apple in Australia Might Be Over

Friday April 9, 2021 12:21 pm PDT by
Epic Games and Apple are involved in a highly public lawsuit in the United States, but Epic has also sued Apple in other countries, including Australia, in an attempt to boost its chances of getting a favorable ruling. Things aren't quite going Epic's way, however, as the justice overseeing the case today decided that he's going to let the two companies battle it out in the United States. ...
Apple TV Ray Light Teal Film

Apple Wants to Draw Subscribers to Apple TV+ With More Feature Films

Friday April 9, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
Apple is ramping up its efforts to produce feature films, according to a new report from The Information. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+. Apple has been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for Apple TV+,...