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As part of its antitrust examination into the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, the US Department of Justice is looking at how the two firms combining would affect smaller wireless carriers that frequently buy network access on larger networks to resell to "pre-paid or price-conscious consumers" according to a report from Reuters.

sprinttmobile.jpg

There are concerns, the report claims, that because Sprint and T-Mobile are more popular for smaller mobile virtual network operator or MVNO carriers looking to resell cellular service to users, a combined firm may result in higher costs for those MVNOs and their customers because of decreased competition.
The Justice Department, which is evaluating T-Mobile's $26 billion deal to buy Sprint, has been speaking with small wireless operators that buy access to the major wireless networks at wholesale rates, and is seeking their opinions about the merger.
There's no indication yet that this part of the antitrust investigation could cause any issues for the merger, but it does illustrate how complicated these large telecom mergers can be and how many different issues they can affect.

Back in April, Sprint and T-Mobile -- the third- and fourth-largest mobile carriers in the US - agreed to combine into a giant carrier with more customers than AT&T. The companies hope to complete the merger by the first half of next year, but have to get approval from antitrust regulators first.

Article Link: US DOJ to Consult With MVNOs on T-Mobile/Sprint Merger
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,294
4,819
T-Mobile is not atnt or Verizon. My T-Mobile bill actually went down 10 dollars
How long ago was that?

T-Mobile hasn't been so generous over the last year or two.
  • Kickback rebate is gone ($10/line discount if the line used less than 2 GB).
  • 2 lines for $100 promo that ran for over a year is gone (now costs $120, albeit with $11.99/month Netflix on Us).
  • The price for T-Mobile ONE for 55+ has gone up by $10 ($60 to $70 for 2 lines).
  • Most of the phone promos require adding a line or porting in a line from another carrier.
 

cocky jeremy

macrumors 601
Jul 12, 2008
4,675
2,531
Just wait. When TMobile service level is close to Verizon and AT&T, the bill will increase. It is a common sense for T-Mobile business to recoup their investment cost.
Pissing off customers isn't going to do it. Keeping prices lower than the competition will bring in more users and make more money.
 
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timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2008
1,878
1,658
Portland
Pissing off customers isn't going to do it. Keeping prices lower than the competition will bring in more users and make more money.
If one major wireless carrier is eliminated (Sprint) therefore leaving 3 major carriers remaining, do you really think prices would stay lower? I have a feeling all remaining would increase their prices. Now, if T-Mobile continues to keep prices low it would obviously force Verizon and AT&T to do the same, but I don’t think that would happen. Right now T-Mobile is only cheaper if you need unlimited data or you travel internationally. If you don’t need either of those, you can get cheaper plans on Verizon.
 

GeeMillz22

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2011
582
449
West Coast
How long ago was that?

T-Mobile hasn't been so generous over the last year or two.
  • Kickback rebate is gone ($10/line discount if the line used less than 2 GB).
  • 2 lines for $100 promo that ran for over a year is gone (now costs $120, albeit with $11.99/month Netflix on Us).
  • The price for T-Mobile ONE for 55+ has gone up by $10 ($60 to $70 for 2 lines).
  • Most of the phone promos require adding a line or porting in a line from another carrier.

I’m not so sure about that. I got the kickback discount last billing cycle (ended a few days ago). While 2 for 100 is gone publicly, you can call in and request it if you had a second line or more already on your account. I did it twice and they switched it twice with no questions asked. And lastly, I know everyone isn’t a veteran (I am), but their military plans are best in the business. 2 lines for $55 plus kickback discount. It’s phenomenal.
 

JRobinsonJr

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2015
664
1,184
Arlington, Texas
I'm sure there are a multitude of factors involve, but it seems to me that the solution to all of the wireless carrier issues is to separate the physical carrier (i.e. who owns the towers and trunks) and the provider (i.e. who provides the cell phone number and services). This has already been done - and shown effective - in the US electric industry.
 

cocky jeremy

macrumors 601
Jul 12, 2008
4,675
2,531
If one major wireless carrier is eliminated (Sprint) therefore leaving 3 major carriers remaining, do you really think prices would stay lower? I have a feeling all remaining would increase their prices. Now, if T-Mobile continues to keep prices low it would obviously force Verizon and AT&T to do the same, but I don’t think that would happen. Right now T-Mobile is only cheaper if you need unlimited data or you travel internationally. If you don’t need either of those, you can get cheaper plans on Verizon.
#1: Sprint was never a "major" anything.
#2: T-Mobile concentrates on unlimited pricing because, well, that's what most people want/use now.
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,294
4,819
I’m not so sure about that. I got the kickback discount last billing cycle (ended a few days ago). While 2 for 100 is gone publicly, you can call in and request it if you had a second line or more already on your account. I did it twice and they switched it twice with no questions asked. And lastly, I know everyone isn’t a veteran (I am), but their military plans are best in the business. 2 lines for $55 plus kickback discount. It’s phenomenal.

Regarding Kickback, existing lines are grandfathered. But new lines are no longer eligible, whether you are an existing customer or not. T-Mobile claims not many people were eligible for Kickback discount so they are simplifying. But it's still a form of price increase.

2 for $100 is no longer offered. If you beg, maybe they will take a pity on you and offer it. But my friends weren't able to get it. Furthermore, this promo is limited to 3 voice lines.

I am not doubting the attractiveness of the military plan, but I strongly suspect most customers do not qualify. So anyway you slice it, it's a price increase for most customers.
 

Col4bin

macrumors 68000
Oct 2, 2011
1,745
1,301
El Segundo
Pissing off customers isn't going to do it. Keeping prices lower than the competition will bring in more users and make more money.
Expecting prices to remain flat or decrease after a merger is pure fantasy. Existing T-Mobile and Sprint customers will most likely stay put and foot the cost increase. With no other options they can jump to a lower cost inferior company with crappier service, or pay the high prices with AT&T or Verizon.
 
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Misuteri

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2018
72
130
I can’t speak to Sprint everywhere but as far as data goes where I spend most of my days it’s a joke.

Anything to get this merger done and to 5G I’m in favor of. I can’t get off Sprint until my stuff is paid for.
 

827538

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2013
1,938
2,298
The price of mobile contracts in the USA is insane, the idea of $40 or $50 deals being good value seems bizarre to me.

More carriers = more competition = lower prices

The price of SIMO contracts in the U.K. has gotten so cheap these days... just a shame the price of electronics is so obscene.
 

crees!

macrumors 68000
Jun 14, 2003
1,931
48
MD/VA/DC
I had AT&T for at least 10 years and switched to Sprint last year when they offer free service (you just pay taxes). They mistakenly charged me the regular rate for my first bill (~$40) which after corrected essentially paid for the entire year of taxes. My bill is $0/month for service and I'm rockin' a paid off iPhone 6. Can't be more happier with not having a recurring monthly bill. Obviously that will end and I will also get a new phone. Otherwise, my only big gripe has been not being able to use data while on a call. I was so used to it with AT&T then after I realized I couldn't do that anymore it was a big :facepalm:, but I've gotten used to it. Given the merger goes through and 5G networks are being rolled out, I am curious on what rates across the networks will be but I'm not worried about any type of race-to-the-top in pricing.
 

dampfnudel

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2010
3,375
1,535
Brooklyn, NY
How long ago was that?

T-Mobile hasn't been so generous over the last year or two.
  • Kickback rebate is gone ($10/line discount if the line used less than 2 GB).
  • 2 lines for $100 promo that ran for over a year is gone (now costs $120, albeit with $11.99/month Netflix on Us).
  • The price for T-Mobile ONE for 55+ has gone up by $10 ($60 to $70 for 2 lines).
  • Most of the phone promos require adding a line or porting in a line from another carrier.
Just to clarify, that increase for T-Mobile ONE for 55+ hasn’t gone up for current subscribers with that plan. As for the increases for new subscribers or existing subscribers who want to change their plan, like the Spectrum rep I spoke with a few hours ago to get my cable bill down said after I changed from a legacy TW plan to a Spectrum plan which will be $27 cheaper a month with a discount, everything goes up. Don’t have to like it and it seems like Spectrum is determined to fuel the cord-cutting movement. I also asked for just internet (200 down minimum now) and it would be about $74 with taxes/fees included.
 
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