Sprint is considering a bid for No. 4 carrier T-Mobile US, reports Bloomberg. Sprint might make an offer in the first half of next year, according to reports.
Sprint and T-Mobile combined would have 52 million post-paid customers, compared with AT&T’s 72 million and Verizon’s 95 million.
But it wouldn’t be easy, from both a regulatory and technical perspective. Sprint is trying to aggregate the 800, 1900, and 2600 bands; while T-Mobile has some 1900 (PCS), but most of its data is on 1700 (AWS). Sprint uses CDMA for voice while T-Mobile is GSM.
SoftBank paid $21.6 billion for control of Sprint in July, and plans to spend another $16 billion during the next two years for LTE upgrades.
Merging the companies might lower infrastructure and management costs, but that argument alone may not pass muster in Washington.
PC Magazine argues that three carriers are not competitive in Canada, where (Rogers, Bell and Telus) own 90 percent of the market. Their fees are among the highest anywhere.
The Canadian government is now trying to put together a fourth competitor from odds and ends of spectrum to put some price pressure on the Big Three.
Sprint has rolled out 4G LTE to 70 more cities which includes Green Bay, Wis; Orlando, Fla; San Diego; and St. Louis, bringing the total number of LTE markets to 300, according to Sprint. By mid-2014, Sprint aims to cover 250 million Americans with 4G LTE. By the end of 2014, it expects 100 million people in the US to have Sprint Spark or 2.5GHz coverage.