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Sprint and T-Mobile Aiming to Reach Merger Deal Next Week

Earlier this month, reports suggested Sprint and T-Mobile had once again resumed merger talks, and now it appears the two U.S. carriers may be close to inking a deal. According to Reuters, Sprint and T-Mobile have "made progress" negotiating merger terms and are aiming to complete deal talks as soon as next week. T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom and Sprint parent company SoftBank are said to be discussing an agreement that would "dictate how they exercise voting control over the combined company."This could allow Deutsche Telekom to consolidate the combined company on its books, even if it does not have a majority stake in the combined company, one of the sources added. Deutsche Telekom owns more than 63 percent of T-mobile, while SoftBank owns 84.7 percent of Sprint.Previous merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile failed after the two companies were unable to reach "mutually agreeable terms." Sprint parent company SoftBank was said to be unsatisfied with the deal because of ownership terms, with SoftBank concerned about losing control of the combined company after Deutsche Telekom requested a controlling stake. If T-Mobile and Sprint are able to establish a satisfactory deal, the combined company would have more than 100 million customers. Sources that spoke to Reuters said there is "no certainty" a deal will be reached, given the dissolution of the previous merger

Sprint and T-Mobile Revisit Merger Talks

Sprint and T-Mobile have once again entered into talks over a potential merger, reports The Wall Street Journal. The revitalization of the discussion comes just five months after the two companies officially called off plans for a merger following an inability to reach "mutually agreeable terms." At the time, Sprint parent company SoftBank was not satisfied with the deal because of ownership terms, with SoftBank concerned about losing control of the combined company after T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom requested a controlling stake. The current discussions are said to be in a preliminary stage, and it's not clear what terms the two companies are considering, nor if the current administration would allow the deal to go through. Talks between the two companies have fallen apart several times before, and the same could be true of this round of discussions. Should T-Mobile and Sprint be able to establish a satisfactory deal, the combined company would have close to 100 million customers, putting it ahead of AT&T and just behind Verizon. When the last deal fell through in November of 2017, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said it was best for Sprint to move forward on its own and that the company would be "accelerating significant investments" to ensure its continued growth. T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that a deal between T-Mobile and Sprint would need to "result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile's shareholders," and that T-Mobile would continue to disrupt the

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Detail Plans for 'Next-Generation Mobile Authentication Platform'

Last September, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile announced a team-up with the mission of developing a mobile authentication solution for both businesses and consumers. One of the main reasons the carriers created the "Mobile Authentication Taskforce" was to help users who have to manage "dozens of difficult-to-remember passwords" for numerous apps. Today at Mobile World Congress, the taskforce has revealed more details about its upcoming platform, and set a launch date for later in 2018. AT&T said the solution will create a cryptographically verified phone number and "unique profile" that's specific to the user's smartphone or tablet, strengthened by processing attributes such as a network verified mobile number, IP address, SIM card attributes, phone number tenure, phone account type, and more. The solution will only work with apps authorized by the taskforce, and at the consent of the user. The companies' combined resources will further analyze data and activity patterns on a mobile network to predict, "with a high degree of certainty," whether the user is who they say they are.Formed last year to develop a mobile authentication solution to help protect enterprises and consumers from identity theft, bank fraud, fraudulent purchases and data theft, the Mobile Authentication Taskforce has dedicated resources developing a highly secure and trusted multi-factor authentication platform powered by the carrier networks. The taskforce vision includes interoperability with GSMA's Mobile Connect technology. To confirm a user's identity and allow them entry into their

Many Sprint Customers Unable to Use Wi-Fi Calling on iOS 11.2 [Updated]

Sprint customers with an iPhone are widely reporting that Wi-Fi calling does not work after installing iOS 11.2 and carrier settings version 31.0. Hundreds of complaints have surfaced across the web, including the MacRumors discussion forums, Sprint and Apple Support Communities, Twitter, and Reddit, since the software update was released earlier this month. All models of the iPhone that support Wi-Fi calling appear to be affected, ranging from the iPhone 6 to iPhone 8 Plus, among others. It's unclear if the issue is due to iOS 11.2 or the updated carrier settings, which support features like Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile customers are not affected, suggesting this is a carrier-specific problem. Many affected customers have performed basic troubleshooting, such as resetting the iPhone's network settings or simply turning the device off and on again, but there doesn't appear to be a solution that works on iOS 11.2. As a temporary workaround, some users have downgraded to iOS 11.1.2 and found that Wi-Fi calling becomes functional again. MacRumors does not have an iPhone on the Sprint network in its possession, so we're unable to reproduce the issue. Sprint directed us towards Apple, which has not responded to multiple requests for comments over the past few days. Last week, a support representative on Sprint's website relayed that the carrier plans to apply a temporary fix across a limited number of Wi-Fi calling servers while evaluating a long-term solution to the apparent bug. After several days, however, Wi-Fi calling is only

Sprint Announces Unlimited Freedom Customers Will Get Free Access to Hulu Starting This Friday

Sprint and Hulu today announced a partnership that will bundle the Limited Commercials tier of the streaming TV service into Sprint's Unlimited Freedom cellular plan. This means that new and existing Sprint customers who sign up for Unlimited Freedom beginning Friday, November 17 will be able to watch Hulu with Limited Commercials at no extra cost. In addition, the companies said that sometime "soon" Sprint Unlimited customers will also get to upgrade to Hulu's sports and news-centric live TV plan. Because Hulu with Live TV costs far more than the Limited Commercials plan ($40/month versus $8/month), an added cost for the bundled-in service is likely. “How people watch their favorite shows, listen to the latest music, and play the most popular games is changing all the time,” said Roger Solé, chief marketing officer. “We’re excited to provide Sprint customers the best in entertainment through our unique partnership with Hulu.” Tim Connolly, senior vice president and head of distribution and partnerships at Hulu, added, “We know people love watching TV on their mobile devices, so we’re making it easier than ever for Sprint customers to enjoy their favorite shows and movies on Hulu. This exciting partnership with Sprint gives TV fans nationwide a powerful, seamless entertainment experience that they can take with them, whenever and wherever they want.” Sprint Unlimited Freedom offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $25/month per line and the addition of a fifth line is free on every plan, amounting to $100/month for a family of five people. This discounted offer

T-Mobile and Sprint Officially Call Off Merger

T-Mobile and Sprint today announced that plans for a merger have officially ended after the two companies were unable to find "mutually agreeable terms." Rumors last week suggested the merger might be called off because Sprint parent company SoftBank was having doubts about the deal over the ownership terms. SoftBank was concerned about "losing control" of the combined company, as T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom wanted a controlling stake. The two companies allegedly attempted to save the merger by negotiating new terms after Deutsche Telekom submitted a revised offer, but an agreement was not able to be reached. In a statement, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that while a deal with Sprint was "compelling," it would have needed to offer "significant benefits" for both consumers and shareholders."The prospect of combining with Sprint has been compelling for a variety of reasons, including the potential to create significant benefits for consumers and value for shareholders. However, we have been clear all along that a deal with anyone will have to result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile's shareholders compared to our outstanding stand-alone performance and track record. Going forward, T-Mobile will continue disrupting this industry and bringing our proven Un-carrier strategy to more customers and new categories - ultimately redefining the mobile Internet as we know it. We've been out-growing this industry for the last 15 quarters, delivering outstanding value for shareholders, and driving significant change across wireless. We won't stop now."Sprint

Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Might Be Over Amid Fight for Control of Combined Company [Updated]

Sprint parent company SoftBank may call off a planned merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, report Nikkei and Reuters. SoftBank's board of directors is said to be having doubts about the deal due to a failure to reach an agreement about the ownership of the combined T-Mobile/Sprint entity. SoftBank is worried about "losing control" of the combined company, according to sources that spoke to Reuters. Rumors suggest SoftBank could approach T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom as soon as Tuesday to end the talks. Deutsche Telekom wanted a controlling stake in the combined company, which SoftBank's board has ultimately decided not to agree to. T-Mobile is still attempting to keep the deal going, but Deutsche Telekom does not plan to budge on demands for control. A T-Mobile and Sprint merger deal has been in the works since February of 2017, and as recently as September, the deal was said to be close to done as SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom worked out the final details. T-Mobile CEO John Legere was set to lead the combined company. Should the deal ultimately fall through, it will be the second time Sprint and T-Mobile have failed to reach an agreement. Sprint parent company SoftBank attempted to purchase T-Mobile in a 2013 deal worth more than $20 billion, but SoftBank abandoned its plans in 2014 amid regulatory scrutiny. Even if the deal progresses and SoftBank does not end the merger, it's still unclear if it will gain regulatory approval this time around. In 2014, U.S. antitrust regulators said having four national carriers was important to maintaining a

Sprint Announces $350 Discount for iPhone X on Sprint Flex With Trade-in [Updated]

Earlier in the month, Sprint launched an iPhone 8 discount program that brought the total price of the smartphone down by $350 through discounting the cost of monthly leases. Today the carrier has revealed a similar promotion will be coming to Apple's iPhone X, just a few days before pre-orders for the device begin on October 27. Like the iPhone 8 deal, there are a few stipulations to come with Sprint's discount. First, to get the 64GB iPhone X at $22.22/month (down from $41.67/month) you'll have to sign up for the Sprint Flex leasing program, and you'll need to trade in an eligible smartphone. The Apple devices currently eligible range from the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to this year's iPhone 8 and 8 Plus; various Android smartphones are also accepted. Both existing and new Sprint customers will be able to take advantage of the deal. Under Sprint's deal, you'll be paying about $400 for the 64GB iPhone X over the course of the 18-month lease. Afterwards you can trade in the device to Sprint for a new lease and continue the program (which you can do after 12 monthly payments with iPhone Forever), or choose to keep the iPhone X. If you do, Sprint's $22.22/month discount will no longer be applied for the remaining monthly payments and the price will again rise to $41.67/month. With the 18-month discount and 6-month regular price, the 64GB iPhone X would come out to about $650 total, down from $999. Additionally, Sprint announced that it will offer a "best price guarantee" for the iPhone X, so if you see a nationally advertised lower price within 14 days of your Sprint

T-Mobile and Sprint 'Close' to Finalizing Merger Deal, John Legere Said to Lead Combined Company

T-Mobile and Sprint are said to be "close to agreeing" to terms regarding a deal that would merge the third and fourth largest United States wireless carriers together. People close to the deal told Reuters that Sprint parent company SoftBank would own 40 to 50 percent of the combined company, while T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom will gain the majority stake. The terms of the deal are expected to be finalized by the end of October, "though talks may still fall through," the two sources said. Previously, U.S. antitrust officials told Sprint that a merger with another wireless carrier would face intense scrutiny because having four major carriers in the U.S. was important to maintaining a competitive market. During those talks a few years ago the situation of the companies was reversed -- since T-Mobile had yet to gain in popularity -- with Sprint seeking to acquire T-Mobile for more than $20 billion. Now, those concerns are said to come into play again with regulatory scrutiny expected to face any deal between Sprint and T-Mobile "over concerns that the U.S. wireless market is becoming too concentrated." T-Mobile US Inc is close to agreeing tentative terms on a deal to merge with peer Sprint Corp, people familiar with the matter said, a major breakthrough in efforts to merge the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers. Once terms are finalized, due diligence by the two companies will follow and a deal is expected by the end of October, though talks may still fall through, the sources said. If the merger happens, the resulting company would

Sprint Offering Free iPhone 8 Lease With iPhone 7 Trade In

Sprint today announced that well-qualified customers can lease an iPhone 8 with 64GB of storage for $0 per month after bill credits with the trade in of an eligible smartphone, including the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Galaxy S8. With the trade in, Sprint will waive the regular $29.17 charge for 18 months. After at least 12 lease payments, all of which are covered by the promotion, customers can trade in the iPhone 8 and upgrade to a new iPhone. The limited time offer appears to be available to both new and existing customers who activate at least one new line of service. Sprint is also offering 50 percent off the 18-month lease of an iPhone 8 to customers who trade in an older smartphone, such as an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, Galaxy S7, or Google Pixel. Until October 31, 2018, Sprint's unlimited talk, text, and data plan costs $50 per month for the first line, and $40 per month for the second line, with up to three additional lines for free with AutoPay and paperless billing. "Unlimited" has some caveats, including a max of 1080p for streaming video, 1.5 Mbps for streaming music, and 8 Mbps for games. After 23GB of usage in a billing cycle, data deprioritization applies during times of congestion. Sprint will waive its $30 activation fee for customers who order online or by phone. There may be additional taxes and

Apple Watch Series 3: LTE Plan Prices on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Bell, EE, and Deutsche Telekom

Apple Watch Series 3 is available with built-in cellular capabilities, allowing you to make phone calls, send and receive text messages, stream music, get directions with Apple Maps, use Siri, and more without a paired iPhone. The freedom comes at a cost, however, as Apple Watch Series 3 models with cellular are priced $70 higher than those with Wi-Fi and GPS only. Also, to access LTE, the watch must be added to your phone bill as an additional monthly charge. Here's a breakdown of how much participating carriers plan to charge. Some carriers have yet to announce their plans. Verizon Verizon said it allow customers to add an Apple Watch to an eligible plan for $10 per month. Verizon will reportedly waive its $30 activation fee, and is offering the first three months of service for free. The watch and iPhone share the same phone number via Verizon's NumberShare feature. AT&T AT&T has announced that customers can add an Apple Watch to an eligible plan for $10 per month. AT&T is offering a $25 activation fee credit, and a $30 service credit for adding an Apple Watch, within three bills. The watch and iPhone share the same phone number via AT&T's NumberSync feature. T-Mobile T-Mobile has announced that customers can add an Apple Watch to a plan for $10 per month with AutoPay. T-Mobile will reportedly waive its $25 new SIM card kit fee, and is offering the first three months of service for free. The watch and iPhone share the same phone number via T-Mobile's DIGITS feature. Sprint Sprint has announced that customers can add an Apple Watch to an

T-Mobile Offered Fastest LTE Speeds in the First Half of 2017

T-Mobile was the carrier with the fastest mobile network in the United States during the first half of 2017, according to a new U.S. Market Report for Mobile Broadband shared this morning by Ookla. The carrier scored a 23.17 using Ookla's new "Speed Score" metric that combines low-end, median, and top-end performance for both upload and download speeds. Ookla says this is a comprehensive metric combining all factors that "matter to a good network experience" into a single score. Coming in after T-Mobile was Verizon, with a Speed Score of 21.13, while AT&T came in third with a score of 20.05 and Sprint brought up the rear with a score of 15.39. According to Ookla, T-Mobile's "tightly-spaced cell site grid" and smaller subscriber base gave it an edge over Verizon and AT&T, both of whom are dealing with higher traffic loads since their unlimited plans were introduced last year. While Verizon has managed to deliver "consistent and reliable performance" across its network despite the unlimited plans, the rollout of AT&T's unlimited plans resulted in a "notable drop in performance." Sprint, unsurprisingly, had the slowest mobile network with a Speed Score of 15.39, despite improvements made over the course of the last year. From June of 2016 to June of 2017, Sprint LTE speeds improved by 23.7 percent, but the carrier still can't match the big three.T-Mobile comes out on top for overall speeds and acceptable speeds at a national level and provides the fastest service in 40% of the largest cities in the U.S. Verizon Wireless has the fastest service in many of the

Sprint Launches New 'Sprint Flex' and 'Sprint Deals' Smartphone Purchase Options

Sprint today announced the launch of two new smartphone upgrade programs, Sprint Flex and Sprint Deals. Sprint Flex, as the name suggests, is designed to give users more options for upgrading their phones, including on an annual basis. With Sprint Flex, customers can choose an iPhone for a low monthly price and begin making payments. Through Sprint's existing iPhone Forever and Galaxy Forever programs, customers can then opt to upgrade on an annual basis, trading in their devices each year. After 18 months, though, customers can choose to return their devices for a new one, own the device by making a single payment, or own the device by making six additional monthly payments. Sprint has a chart outlining the program: Sprint Deals, the other new program Sprint is introducing, will let customers purchase a smartphone without a credit check. Sprint Deals is limited to older devices like the iPhone 6s, but offers $25 to $30 down and payments of $5 to $10 a month. Customers who apply for and receive credit with Sprint, can take advantage of Sprint Flex on a postpaid plan: - For entry-level devices, customers pay $5 per month with $25 down. - For higher-end devices, customers pay $10 per month with $30 down. Customers who prefer to bypass a credit check with Sprint, can get an instant discount on the same "value menu" of smartphones, on a Sprint Forward prepaid plan: - For entry-level devices, customers get 50 percent off the suggested retail price. - For higher-end devices, customers pay 25 percent off the suggested retail price.Sprint is also currently

Jay-Z's Album '4:44' Rumored to Arrive on Apple Music After One Week of Tidal Exclusivity

Soon after Jay-Z's newest album, "4:44," launched as an exclusive on his own streaming service Tidal, sources speaking to Billboard this weekend have said that 4:44 will be coming to Apple Music and iTunes later this week. Tidal and Sprint are believed to have a one week exclusivity window on 4:44, so it's predicted that the album will launch on Apple Music next Friday, July 7. A rumor last year stated that Apple was in talks to purchase Tidal, but Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine eventually denied those reports by saying, "We're really running our own race. We're not looking to acquire any streaming services." For a brief period of time earlier this year, Jay-Z even removed all of his albums from Apple Music and Spotify, although most eventually reappeared on Apple Music a few days later. A track on 4:44, called "Smile," references the Apple Music and Tidal feud by specifically calling out Jimmy Iovine (via Business Insider). F*** a slice of the apple pie, want my own cake Chargin' my own fate Respect Jimmy Iovine But he gotta respect the Elohim as a whole new regime The ongoing rivalry between the two competing music services is said to be negatively affecting the music industry as a whole, according to Kanye West who tweeted about the two companies last summer. Later in 2016, West blamed the fight between Apple Music and Tidal as the main factor behind the reason why there won't be a sequel to Watch The Throne, his 2011 collaboration with Jay-Z. Kanye's album "The Life of Pablo" began as a Tidal exclusive as well, before it eventually streamed on Apple

New Jay Z Album '4:44' Will Be Sprint-Tidal Exclusive

Rapper Jay Z has confirmed that his new album, 4:44, will be released on June 30 and will be available exclusively to Sprint customers and existing Tidal subscribers (via Variety). The album is the first major project between the streaming music service and Sprint, which acquired 33 percent of the company in January in a deal reportedly worth $200 million. Tidal has recently been promoting 4:44 with videos on YouTube featuring actors Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danny Glover, suggesting video content could accompany the album. Based on the performance of previous Tidal-only releases, how long the album remains an exclusive could have a big effect on its chart success. Beyonce's album Lemonade reportedly suffered because of its exclusivity to Tidal, which claims as many as 3 million subscribers. That contrasts with Spotify's claimed 50 million paying subscribers, with Apple Music now on 27 million subscribers, as revealed earlier this month at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple was rumored to be interested in buying Tidal last year as a way to bolster Apple Music, but the company later denied the reports and said it wasn't looking to acquire any existing streaming services. The rivalry between Apple Music and Tidal has been criticized for their promotion of exclusive artist deals, which Kanye West said was negatively affecting the music industry. As part of the Sprint-Tidal deal, Sprint customers are eligible to receive a free six-month Tidal trial subscription to the streaming

Sprint Offering Free Year of Unlimited Service to Switchers

Sprint today announced that customers of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or any other postpaid carrier who bring their eligible iPhone or Android-based smartphone to Sprint will receive one free year of unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data. The offer is available for up to five lines per new account opened. The term "unlimited" has some limitations, including a max of 1080p for streaming video, 1.5 Mbps for streaming music, and 8 Mbps for games. Data de-prioritization applies during times of congestion, and customers that exceed 23GB of data in any billing cycle may be throttled until the next billing cycle. Unlimited talk includes long distance calls within the United States and Sprint Global Roaming, which includes 2G data and text messaging in over 165 countries for no charge, plus calling for $0.20 per minute. 10GB of high-speed data per line is included to use toward Personal Hotspot, VPN, and Peer-2-Peer usage. Eligible smartphones must be unlocked and compatible with Sprint's network and SIM card, including the following iPhone models. An asterisk indicates only the Verizon model of that particular iPhone works on Sprint due to CDMA compatibility. Tablets and Personal Hotspot devices are ineligible. iPhone 5c* iPhone 5s* iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus iPhone 6s iPhone 6s Plus iPhone 7* iPhone 7 Plus* iPhone SE As to be expected, the offer has some fine print, but there really are no significant catches or anything that should be considered a deal breaker. New customers only: The offer is not available to customers that already have an active Sprint

Sprint Partners With Qualcomm and SoftBank to Launch Wide-Scale 5G Network By End of 2019

Sprint today announced plans to develop and deploy a wide-scale 2.5GHz 5G network in partnership with Qualcomm and SoftBank, with the intent to provide the service and products compatible with it to customers in "late 2019." Sprint's 5G network is said to use the New Radio standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, a group of telecommunications organizations that oversee the development and maintenance of major communication networks. Otherwise, Sprint's press release today is notably sparse on details. Qualcomm Technologies, SoftBank and Sprint have jointly agreed to develop technologies for 5G, including the 3GPP New Radio (NR) standard in Band 41 (2.5GHz) for accelerated wide-scale 5G deployments. The companies plan to provide commercial services and devices in late 2019. Additional details will be provided by the companies. Like previous advances in network technology, 5G will grant users faster data speeds and lower latency on smartphones and other cellular-enabled devices. Other companies -- including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile -- have announced plans and tests for 5G networks, but the advanced technology isn't expected to become a reality until after 3GPP establishes the initial standards for 5G. After the standards are developed (which will be a focus of 3GPP's work in the second half of 2017), and after carriers finish testing and launch support for the advanced 5G network infrastructure, it'll take some additional time for Apple to create and debut an iPhone that could connect to 5G. For these reasons, widespread commercial

Sprint Announces 'Magic Box' to Improve LTE Data Download and Upload Speeds By 200%

Sprint today announced the "Sprint Magic Box," a small plug-and-play device that the carrier said will "dramatically improve" LTE data services and connections for any Sprint customers in its range. The indoor consumer device is built to be placed near a window, and is free for qualifying customers, with no installation, labor, or rental costs attached to its use. The Magic Box doesn't require a router or Wi-Fi to use -- Sprint also mentioned that it doesn't interfere with established Wi-Fi networks -- and it automatically connects to the nearest Sprint cell site to guide users through installation. Once it's up and running, Sprint said that users will see a better data experience while streaming videos and surfing online, with up to 200 percent increases in download and upload speeds. The carrier also said that the Magic Box will be additionally beneficial in cities, as one device will boost the densification of Sprint's network for any Sprint user nearby. So why did we name it Sprint Magic Box? Because the product is so simple, it just plugs in and works like magic to create a better experience by virtually eliminating hard-to-reach indoor areas. Within minutes customers see an average increase of 200% in download and upload speeds. The early feedback from thousands of customers who’ve been using Sprint Magic Box has been tremendous, and we’re excited for more customers to benefit from this amazing new innovation. One Magic Box has more than enough coverage to provide faster speeds for any average-sized home or business. According to Sprint, this means the

Data Plan Comparison: Unlimited Options From T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint

T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, the four major carriers in the United States, all offer unlimited data plan options as of last week, allowing customers to forget about traditional data caps. With so many options now available for unlimited data, we thought we'd do an in-depth video comparing the plans offered by the four companies to figure out the best value based on price and coverage. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos Unsurprisingly, Sprint offers the lowest prices, but many people choose not to use Sprint because its LTE coverage is poorer than other carriers. Eliminating Sprint, T-Mobile offers the next best deal, while Verizon comes in third, and AT&T comes in at a distant fourth. For a single individual, Sprint charges $50 for new customers (for a limited time -- it goes up to $60 next year). T-Mobile charges $70, Verizon charges $80, and AT&T charges $100, making it the most expensive unlimited plan of the four carriers for an individual user. Prices even out a bit more with an increasing number of lines. At four lines, Sprint is charging $90 (new customers only -- and it's $160 next year), T-Mobile charges $160, and Verizon and AT&T both charge $180. Not all plans are equal though, especially in AT&T's case. While Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer high-definition video streaming by default, AT&T limits video streaming to 480p unless customers specifically opt out. Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile all also offer 10GB of tethering data per line for connecting your Mac or iPad to your phone, but AT&T offers no mobile

Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Back on the Table as SoftBank Agrees to Cede Control of Sprint

Sprint parent company SoftBank is prepared to sell Sprint to T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom, reviving a potential merger between the two companies, reports Reuters. According to unnamed sources that spoke to the site, SoftBank is reportedly frustrated with Sprint's growth in the United States and is ready to surrender control of the company and take a minority stake in T-Mobile. Back in 2013, before T-Mobile soared in popularity, the situation was reversed. Sprint was prepared to purchase T-Mobile in a deal said to be worth more than $20 billion, but Sprint abandoned its plans in 2014 amid regulatory scrutiny, deciding that it would be too difficult to win approval from regulators. At the time, U.S. antitrust officials reportedly told Sprint that having four national carriers in the United States was important to maintaining a competitive market. AT&T also once attempted to purchase T-Mobile, but that deal fell through too after being blocked by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. Given T-Mobile's recent success, Deutsche Telekom is no longer interested in selling the company, leaving SoftBank to pursue another merger strategy. Sprint and T-Mobile will likely face the same regulatory scrutiny if a potential purchase deal is reached between the two.Investors have said a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, ranked third and fourth respectively, would still face antitrust challenges, but made strategic sense as the industry moves to fifth-generation wireless technology. Carriers will need to spend billions of dollars