It appears that there is a new player in the wireless carrier game. Much like when your favorite superheroes team up, carriers T-Mobile and Sprint think that by joining forces, they’ll conquer competitors like never before.
The news of the companies’ planned $26 billion merger was announced April 29, 2018 — though it had been in the works for a while. Sprint and T-Mobile actually hatched the plan to merge back in 2014, but shied away due to the firm stance on antitrust laws during the Obama administration.
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The plan — spearheaded by T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere — could help catapult the newly-formed network to the forefront of the 5G race, which is territory that is currently held overseas in countries including China and South Korea.
The website launched to announce the Sprint merger, All for 5G, promises “unmatched service at lower prices for more consumers,” and aims to “supercharge the pro-consumer Un-carrier revolution to be a leading innovator and disruptor across industry lines.”
What does that mean for your wallet — and your phone bill?
It could mean faster networks. According to data from RootMetrics, Sprint and T-Mobile ranked third and fourth in terms of cellular performance in late 2017, but with talks of a T-Mobile merger, there is potential for the combined effort to catapult the new mega-network into a much more competitive spot.
What might not be competitive, however, is pricing. When companies merge — especially two fierce competitors such as Sprint and T-Mobile — there is less incentive to continue to slash prices.
“If you look at the market, you’d see every time T-Mobile cuts its price, Sprint cuts its price to match,” Harold Feld, senior vice president of digital consumer group Public Knowledge, told ABC News. “Now that they’re going to be together they don’t have the same incentives to continue to cut prices and offer different kinds of service packages.”
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