T-Mobile closes Sprint merger after two-year fight

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It’s spent some time, however T-Mobile is lastly prepared to close its Sprint offer. 


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Two years after revealing a $26.5 billion merger with Sprint, T-Mobile is prepared to get to work incorporating the 2 business. On Wednesday, the provider revealed that it has actually sealed the deal, which will enable it to start integrating the 3rd- and fourth-largest United States cordless companies.

Both business declare the merger will let them much better take on market giants Verizon and AT&T. The relocation will see T-Mobile divest Sprint’s Boost pre-paid brand name and spectrum to Dish, which will get in the marketplace as a brand-new 4th provider. Dish, led by Charlie Ergen, has actually invested years and billions of dollars collecting its own cordless spectrum and was formerly under a due date enforced by the Federal Communications Commission to put a few of its spectrum chest to utilize by March of this year or threat losing it. 

As part of the offer, Dish gains additional time to meet those responsibilities and in the interim can utilize T-Mobile and Sprint’s combined network to start providing service to consumers.


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These moves will potentially remake how Americans will get their wireless service over the coming years. T-Mobile and Sprint’s combined assets should supercharge their ambitions to roll out 5G across the country, and the merged company’s larger presence should enable it to better compete against larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Dish, meanwhile, represents a new low-cost alternative once it gets its service rolled out. 

The announcement isn’t the full completion of the deal, which still needs an approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. The deal was cleared under the federal antitrust Tunney Act on Wednesday. 

That last hurdle should be a formality. After winning a long legal battle with more than a dozen state attorneys general led by New York and California, the CPUC, with the blessing of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, has already said that it will allow the deal. 

The Department of Justice and the FCC have previously approved the transaction. 

“During this extraordinary time, it has become abundantly clear how vital a strong and reliable network is to the world we live in,” said Mike Sievert, president and CEO of T-Mobile, in a release announcing the completion of the deal. “The New T-Mobile’s commitment to delivering a transformative broad and deep nationwide 5G network is more important and more needed than ever and what we are building is mission-critical for consumers. 

“T-Mobile has been changing wireless for good — and now we are going to do it on a whole new level!”

As part of the announcement, Sievert takes over as head of T-Mobile a month early, replacing John Legere, who previously planned to step aside on May 1. Legere will remain at the company as a member of T-Mobile’s board of directors to finish out his term, which ends in June. 

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The process has already begun 

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Phones, like Samsung’s S20 Plus 5G, that are sold by Sprint can be tuned for T-Mobile’s 5G network with a software update.


Angela Lang/CNET

As part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, T-Mobile has already begun some of the processes of what it must do once the merger is completed, including allowing Sprint users to roam freely on its network. 

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert told CNET on Wednesday that Sprint users will be able to immediately begin using T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, with a software update coming to enable support for T-Mobile’s 5G network on compatible Sprint 5G devices. 

T-Mobile has also been given 600MHz spectrum from Dish to boost its 4G and 5G capacity during the pandemic, with Dish providing a similar spectrum boost to AT&T and Verizon to help their respective networks for the next 60 days.

For T-Mobile, however, deploying Dish’s 600MHz spectrum could also provide a head start on some of its postmerger plans as the airwaves are something it would have had the opportunity to lease from Dish once the deal closed. 

As part of another promise the carrier made to help get its merger approved, T-Mobile in March rolled out its low-cost T-Mobile Connect wireless plans. Originally announced last November and not expected to arrive until after the merger closed, the new plans start at $15 a month for 2GB of high-speed data and unlimited talk and text. 

Other promises include not raising rates for at least three years, providing free service for first responders and boosting the deployment of 5G using Sprint’s midband spectrum. T-Mobile’s Neville Ray said Wednesday that the carrier has already deployed Sprint’s midband spectrum in Philadelphia. 

Dish’s Ergen, meanwhile, told a federal judge in December that his company would offer wireless service within 30 days of the deal closing. 

“We are eager to welcome Boost customers, employees and dealers,” said Jeff Blum, Dish’s senior vice president of government affairs and public policy, in a statement. Blum says the company is looking forward to “delivering lower prices and increased competition in the prepaid market.”

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