T-Mobile Acquires Sprint

Posted on April 1, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud with 15 Comments

T-Mobile announced today that it has completed its acqui-merger of Sprint, creating what it calls a “supercharged Un-carrier.”

“During this extraordinary time, it has become abundantly clear how vital a strong and reliable network is to the world we live in,” T-Mobile president and CEO Mike Sievert said in a prepared statement. “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.”

T-Mobile and Sprint had been exploring various linkups for years, but the most recent effort, which they described as a merger, was launched a year ago at the beginning of the 5G era. As expected, the deal came under heavy antitrust scrutiny because the combination of the two firms would effectively reduce the number of major U.S. wireless carriers from four to three. But the companies argued, effectively, that the merger would establish a third wireless carrier that would stand on more equal footing with AT&T and Verizon, the two dominant players.

As part of this transition, John Legere has stepped down from his highly public role as the old T-Mobile’s CEO. He had originally planned to step down on May 1, but with the merger approved and the firm’s ready to combine, he did so immediately.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to lead this company for the past seven years, but now it’s time for me to hand the reins over to Mike Sievert,” he said. “The Board of Directors and I agree that it makes perfect sense for Mike to assume his leadership role on day one of the new company. He’s ready.”

T-Mobile plans to “unify” Sprint under the T-Mobile brand through the summer.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “T-Mobile Acquires Sprint”

  1. beckerrt

    I think this makes sense. Sprint would be left to whither away if this deal hadn't gone through, I honestly don't think they would have been able to survive on their own. 5G investment is critical (and extremely expensive), I just don't think Sprint would've been able to compete.

    • duncanator

      In reply to beckerrt:

      I have had T-Mobile for about 5 years now and I wish they'd make their LTE service better. There are so many areas where I live and work where I get no reception for miles. I live in the Sacramento area too so it's not like I live in a rural area.

      • wshwe

        In reply to duncanator:

        I live in Davis. Verizon, AT&T and Tmo all punish you if you only have 1 line. To get on my sister’s family plan I am switching from Verizon to AT&T. My savings will be $20/month. In a few years Tmo will raise their rates to match Verizon and AT&T. It’s funny how similar Verizon and AT&T rates are. Less competition always results in higher prices.

    • txag

      In reply to beckerrt:

      I like T-Mobile as a company; my wife and I have the ‘over 65’ rate plan ($60 for 2 lines, unlimited everything and the monthly bill is exactly $60 — no additional fees).


      My wife and I do a lot of traveling in non-urban areas and places far from the Interstates. T-Mobile used to be almost useless in areas like that. It has improved every year as they have expanded coverage, but it can’t compete yet with Verizon out in the boonies. I don’t know where Sprint coverage is, but I hope the addition and continual expansion will get us better service where we go.


      We are in a low signal area at our home, but WiFi calling solves that problem neatly.

  2. Daninbusiness

    I really hope that they keep applying competitive price pressure to the market; T-mobile was at its best when nipping at the heels of AT&T and Verizon. I am concerned they will settle in now to raise rates and suck down profit.



  3. christophercollins

    I wish this hadn't been shot down the previous time they tried. This will finally give me a third option in my area. It's been AT&T & Verizon for the entire smartphone era here. Sprint & T have a footprint here, but neither on their own is good enough. We call Sprint the Interstate phone. Once they combine and their footprints overlay, I honestly think they will be a player here. I liked Legere, though. I wish he was going to be the leader.

  4. harrymyhre

    They should bring back Carly

  5. hellcatm

    This is an interesting merger. Usually I'm against companies merging because it takes away competition, but I was with Sprint for a long time and they just kept getting worse over time. Over a year ago I left them for Verizon, but now that they're merging with T-Mobile, this could be a good thing. I'm not jumping on the bandwagon for a couple years, till I see how they do their 5G network and if pricing changes, but in a couple of years maybe I'll go to T-Mobile. A good way to see now how this might be is to use Fi, because they use Sprint and T-Mobile networks, if they're good in your area, then maybe this could be what the future is like?


    Now I know there is US Cellular, so I wonder if they'll make an effort now to make themselves the 4th carrier? With 5G coming, this could be a good time to start since the technology is cheaper to make and deploy (from what I heard). They (or another emerging company) can use someone else's 4G network while making their own 5G network.

  6. randallcorn

    T-Mobile added Sprint coverage! Just lost 30% coverage with this upgrade. Just kidding. I will say T-Mobile customer service is next to none. I used them years back. Coverage was just not very good. They were great international. They could tell you which countries worked and how and which services to connect to. Verizon told us once "We are supposed to work there. Let us know if it works". Nice Verizon. Att is ATT, nuff said.

  7. harmjr

    This space has really been just Att and Verizon as the giants and now we have 3 real giants I bet that dont last for long...

  8. youwerewarned

    Right now 5G is like 8K television--nice idea but not really needed. Short-wave transmissions have serious, costly-to-circumvent limitations, so it's curious that the two weakest players feel they can magically leapfrog Verizon and AT&T in 5G deployment. Ubiquitous 5G is still WAY in the future despite the spin and deception (yeah I'm looking at you AT&T) so this marriage must survive on the merits of less-than-stellar 4G tech for now.


    And is anyone really wanting to rely on a network (and its always-in-beta AI) to provide situational awareness to their self-driving car?


    Not me.

    • kshensley71

      In reply to YouWereWarned:

      At my last company I worked with a national catastrophe team where always being connected was imperative. In that work they were constantly evaluating the networks for coverage and reliability. It should be no surprise that Verizon was always first, but I was shocked at how small AT&Ts actual coverage is when you take out their "partner" towers, its actually laughable, as of last year T-Mobile was way ahead of AT&T in geographical coverage and 4G, in fact it was rated as just slightly behind Verizon, and years ahead of ATT and Sprint, also Verizon 5G is faster, but T-Mobile is WAY, WAY ahead in deployment of 5G in a geographic sense. Because of what I saw in those reports, I switched to T-Mobile because I travel outside of the US also, and I have seen no drop off in service, and I live in a rural area and have had 5G for weeks and it works really well. Being on T-Mobile has the advantage of no roaming voice and data pretty much anywhere in the world as well. I see this merger as putting T-Mobile over the top of ATT soon, and a wake up call to Verizon, who by the way gives atrocious customer service.

  9. jdawgnoonan

    I use AT&T and have looked into switching to T-Mobile, but so far I have not seen evidence that they have equal coverage in my area (Des Moines, Iowa). I have seen more of their stores popping up, and maybe after they merge the two networks (not just the companies) it will be worth checking again. Although, Sprint's coverage has never been anything to brag about if you weren't within a few miles of an Interstate.

  10. SvenJ

    Folks aren't giving much thought to T-Mobile being GSM and Sprint being CDMA. Totally different technologies. It's more than flipping a switch to combine the coverage of these networks. This will take years. Something interesting could happen though. Most phones let you use one tech or the other at a time. You can buy an iPhone or Samsung and get service from T-Mobile, ATT (GSM) or Verizon, Sprint (CDMA). The devices can connect to either technology, but one at a time. Even dual SIM phones can attach to two different services/technologies, but are sort of two separate accounts/numbers/feature sets. Right now, Fi capable phones have the unique feature of being able to dynamically use more than one network, even across technologies. They use, conveniently enough, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. The tech clearly exists to let the phone 'combine' the networks. I have read that T-Mobile has indicated they would let capable devices use both. Remains to be seen what that means. Possibly they could just implement what Fi did, for devices that can do it. Not a lot of those right now, but if that is what they allow, surely more such devices will be produced.

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