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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:41 PM   #26
mpantone
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Originally Posted by psykick5 View Post
It would be a tougher merger due to different cell bands and technologies, but overall I think it would be a good thing so they can finally knock on the doors of Big Red and AT&T and finally do some competing to bring the overall costs to consumers down.
Well, it can't be any worse than the Sprint-Nextel merger.

Also, T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS are using two different cellular technologies. The legacy MetroPCS network is CDMA based.

It may eventually improve cellular reception coverage from the combined towers and larger spectrum allocation.

I'm not convinced this merger would help consumers save money though.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:41 PM   #27
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From an anti-trust perspective, I think the merger would be allowed to go through. My reasoning behind this is that if AT&T was to merge with T-Mobile it would create one company that would be enormous (much larger than any other carriers out there) and so it would just dominate the market and have serious control over it. However, if Sprint were to merge with T-Mobile it wouldn't create such a problem because it would just lead to a carrier that could better compete with AT&T and Verizon.

AT&T and T-Mobile:
-One major carrier that would dominate the market
-Two medium sized carriers that would struggle to keep up

Spring and T-Mobile:
-Three carriers that would be about evenly matched, leading to major competition

Whether or not it makes sense for Sprint to merge with T-Mobile (due to the technological aspect as well as others) is a different story, but I think that if the two carriers do reach an agreement, they would be allowed to merge.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:41 PM   #28
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To echo the other poster above, this is a seriously bad idea. The Nextel merger proved that trying integrate two large networks based on different technologies is a painful experience.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:42 PM   #29
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Apple should just buy both. They've got the bucks. Build one phone to support LTE/GSM/CDMA and run their own service.

Again they've got the $$$ to build out a great network and would end up with some of the best spectrum out there.

Love or hate Sprint, they've got some great assets. T-Mobile has jazz.

Just a thought.

Cheers!

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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:43 PM   #30
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I'm going to be a yes voice here amongst the "nos". Sprint seems to be going downhill fast. I live in the DC area, and their network is just riddled with holes. Our company had them for the longest time, and we've finally started the process of abandoning them for Verizon because of their lack of quality and inability to improve. If merging with T-Mobile gives them enough spectrum and towers in order to work out their network issues, then I could see that as being good for U.S. network competition, as Sprint right now isn't competitive enough.

When AT&T tried this, it was a huge network gobbling up a smaller network, and anti-trust concerns seemed much more of a concern. Here, it is two smaller networks combining to compete with the other big two. While there could be concerns, I think it's not an apples to apples comparison with the AT&T deal.

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Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
Well, it can't be any worse than the Sprint-Nextel merger.

Also, T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS are using two different cellular technologies. The legacy MetroPCS network is CDMA based.

It may eventually improve cellular reception coverage from the combined towers and larger spectrum allocation.

I'm not convinced this merger would help consumers save money though.
This is a good point - mainly that this does remind me of the Sprint-Nextel merger.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:43 PM   #31
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As long as I get to keep my free iPad data plan I could not care less about this.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:46 PM   #32
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This is very different from the blocked at&t/T:Mo merger because Sprint doesn't have nearly the market share that at&t has.

Regarding technology differences - it would not be like iDEN/CDMA merger that happened with the Nextel purchase. Every mobile carrier (att/vz/s/tmo) is moving to full-LTE (voip) in the near future.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:48 PM   #33
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Apple isn't a monopoly.

You might try a monopsony.
And you might try monopony.

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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:51 PM   #34
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No way! Never Sprint, never. It will ruin T-Mobile. Sprint sucks, it's the worse carrier in the U.S. for customer service.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:51 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by mpantone View Post
I'm not convinced this merger would help consumers save money though.
Of course it will! This merger is being proposed entirely with customers best interests at heart. The merger will unlock efficiencies and reduce costs, allowing consumers to benefit from lower prices and better coverage!

... at least, that's what they'll be telling the regulators.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:51 PM   #36
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Apple should just buy both. They've got the bucks. Build one phone to support LTE/GSM/CDMA and run their own service.
Nah, as Steve said, mobile network operators are dumb pipes, basically utilities. Buying a cellular provider would be like Apple buying the garbage or water company.

There is no value add from mobile network operators. That's one reason why Apple doesn't allow carrier partners to preload their own skankware and there is no carrier branding on iPhone/iPad hardware.

Plus, Apple does not acquire companies that only benefit one market. Buying an American cellular company doesn't help iPhone users in China, United Kingdom, and Korea.

Worse, telephone companies aren't very profitable compared to Apple. Apple's profit margin is about 22%. AT&T's profit margin is about 6%. Verizon's profit margin is 2%.

Acquiring a telephone company would devalue Apple and major shareholders would vehemently protest. But it would never happen. Apple isn't that stupid.

Last edited by mpantone; Dec 13, 2013 at 04:01 PM.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 03:51 PM   #37
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Interesting, it has been speculated, mainly within T-Mo, that they would be buying Sprint, not the other way around, and converting everyone to GSM.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:01 PM   #38
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I oppose a merger on the grounds that my T-Mobile service plan has been highly satisfactory for me, service and dollar-wise, and I'm a recent convert to it. I'd hate to see that all change.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:02 PM   #39
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:04 PM   #40
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Interesting, it has been speculated, mainly within T-Mo, that they would be buying Sprint, not the other way around, and converting everyone to GSM.
Unlikely.

T-Mobile USA's parent company Deutsche Telekom wants to divest itself of its majority stake in the US subsidiary.

Sprint is the larger company and is owned by Softbank Corporation of Japan. Softbank recently upped their Sprint ownership stake from 78% to 80%, so it does not appear likely that Softbank is trying to divest itself of Sprint.

I don't know who your T-Mobile sources are, but they are likely delusional.

In any case, the merger would not result in immediate consolidation and redeployment of network technology. Users of the legacy networks would still be supported for many years to come. Note that eight years elapsed between Sprint's acquisition of Nextel in 2005 and the shuttering Nextel's iDEN network in June 2013.

Converting everyone to GSM would be a massive waste of money as GSM is headed out the door. GSM and CDMA are circuit switched networks, incompatible with LTE (a packet network). Future voice communication protocols will be packet-based.

Last edited by mpantone; Dec 13, 2013 at 04:17 PM.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:04 PM   #41
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I was hugely opposed to AT&T's attempt to buy TMobile and become a 140 million subscriber monster with no price competitor, and likely would lead to Verizon buying Sprint. However, I think with a Sprint/Tmobile merger or acquisition it could work out. I understand the crazy little Japanese guy that owns Softbank (and now Sprint) to have caused price wars in Japan. And that might keep AT&T and Verizon on their toes, or at the very least give current TMobile and Sprint customers more network with the same or less prices. I know, it sounds unlikely prices could go down and I would be disappointed if not, but I think there's a chance it could be good for the US. Imagine: the Softbank owner + John Legere as the CEO = guns blazing network!
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:05 PM   #42
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All they need to do..

is to find the right regulatory people to bribe and they will get approval.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:07 PM   #43
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I'd far prefer it the other way around, with T-Mobile buying Sprint. Size difference? Sure, but T-Mobile is related to Deutsche Telecom, which is plenty big enough.
Softbank, which owns Sprint, is quite big too...
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:09 PM   #44
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I have mild concerns about either Sprint or T-Mobile surviving long term without merging.

All of you who are so opposed to having only 3 carriers: Have fun when it goes down to just 2.
Once upon a time there was this company called AT&T which pretty much owned all of a very lucrative long distance business in the United States. Since there was basically no competition, it was a relatively simple matter of pleasing stock holders (and getting big bonuses) by just doing whatever they wanted with long distance rates. Similarly, there was little-to-no incentive to drive such costs down, so telecommunication innovation in long distance was relatively nill. Eventually, it became just too much for even big Gov to ignore and AT&T was broken up into many pieces.

Flash forward and those pieces have been allowed to merge their way back together such that the players keep becoming fewer and fewer. What happens? Little competition means exploiting consumers at every opportunity. Eventually the big 2 will consume the other 2 (or the other 2 will die). Then, the big 2 will try to merge.

Mexico has one (near) monopoly on telecommunications. I believe their owner is considered the richest man in the world (or at least he regularly makes the list). Not oil sheiks. Not dictators. Not royalty. But some guy in a relatively poor country that happens to "own" a (near) monopoly on telecommunications: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Slim

Things are different now than they were when the Gov broke up AT&T back then. I'm not sure the Gov would do it now. It seems the Gov is focused on doing nothing, or one side is focused on undoing something done by the other side (without offering an alternative). Nevertheless, one has to hope that as the 4 may become 3… then eventually 2... that maybe someone in Gov won't get a big enough campaign contribution from this industry and take up the case to split it into many pieces again.

For a while there, pricing of long distance just fell and fell from the competition. Unfortunately, now that we have so few competitors, it seems the innovation toward lower prices is giving way to spin & games to maintain pricing or even increase it. Capitalism works if there is bona-fide competition. It fails when the competition is allowed to become too thin.

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; Dec 13, 2013 at 04:14 PM.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:09 PM   #45
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:10 PM   #46
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No to AT&T, no to Sprint, right US Gov't.?
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:12 PM   #47
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No. Just no.
This is what you get with capitalism. The biggest guys eat the small guys until you only have humongous corporations left.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:13 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
I have mild concerns about either Sprint or T-Mobile surviving long term without merging.

All of you who are so opposed to having only 3 carriers: Have fun when it goes down to just 2.
I'm thinking along the same lines. If Deutsche Telekom is determined to rid itself of their US subsidiary T-Mobile, a Sprint acquisition would be the least odious option from a consumer standpoint, although I would certainly hope they would eventually integrate both business units, and convert all of their networks to GSM.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:15 PM   #49
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Ugh. Why do people act like this is such a big surprise?



For years the majority owner wanted out of the US market. YEARS. If this doesn't go through Verizon could try or DT will just drop TMO US all together. It's inevitable. They should've let the AT&T merger to happen. . . .
Who's acting surprised? And who is "they"? The anti trust people you mean? They did their job. Their job is not to protect the owners of tmobile. Their job is to make sure monopolies don't happen and to protect the consumer.
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Old Dec 13, 2013, 04:21 PM   #50
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Nah, as Steve said, mobile network operators are dumb pipes, basically utilities. Buying a cellular provider would be like Apple buying the garbage or water company.

There is no value add from mobile network operators. That's one reason why Apple doesn't allow carrier partners to preload their own skankware and there is no carrier branding on iPhone/iPad hardware.

Plus, Apple does not acquire companies that only benefit one market. Buying an American cellular company doesn't help iPhone users in China, United Kingdom, and Korea.

Worse, telephone companies aren't very profitable compared to Apple. Apple's profit margin is about 22%. AT&T's profit margin is about 6%. Verizon's profit margin is 2%.

Acquiring a telephone company would devalue Apple and most likely shareholders would revolt.
Steve Jobs said a lot of things... Doesn't mean it was the truth, then or now. He was a master at deflection.

I think you may be off quite a bit on margins for most everyone you've listed. Would be interested in your source.

Also, as mentioned, there are a lot of assets with these two companies, especially spectrum. AT&T wanted T-Mobile for theirs. Sprint has a lot that it acquired from Clear. There's also the IP. Don't ignore the value all of those assets might provide.

There would be little to no effect on other carriers or countries. Apple would still produce models that worked everywhere else, they would simply be able to leverage their own infrastructure and possibly even offer something other than "dumb pipes." There would also be nothing preventing them from acquiring carriers overseas as well.

It seems to me, if I remember right, that at one time Apple had planned on offering the iPhone as an VOIP only device on a network they controlled. Obviously that's not the route they went, but having their own cellular service wouldn't be such a far fetched scenario in that context.

Think of it as the same complete end to end service model they already provide with it's current eco-system. Man, what a lock in that would be, but if it promised better quality service all around, I would be game.

Cheers!

---RASTER
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