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Deutsche Telekom May Sell T-Mobile USA to Sprint

Article Comments  100+  

Mar 8, 2011, 9:10 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

According to sources cited by Bloomberg, Deutsche Telekom has discussed the idea of selling T-Mobile USA to Sprint in exchange for a stake in the new entity. Talks have been on-going, and Bloomberg's sources weren't sure if a deal would or wouldn't be reached, but Deutsche Telekom said "all options are open" and it would consider selling all or a part of T-Mobile USA. Sprint and T-Mobile USA, the country's third and fourth largest wireless network operators, respectively, have struggled against larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless. By combining their resources and technologies, they might have a better chance of competing. No mention was made of how the companies would overcome the GSM/CDMA technology disconnect. T-Mobile USA, in particular, has continued to lose customers during its most recent quarters. Deutsche Telekom is said to want a 50% stake in a combined Sprint-T-Mobile business. Deutsche Telekom noted that if things don't work out with Sprint, it may buy or lease spectrum from Clearwire in order to improve its offerings. Sprint declined to comment on Bloomberg's story.

more info at Bloomberg / BusinessWeek »

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Comments

This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

It's just a rumor. I don't see Sprint giving DT an equal voice in a merged entity so I do not believe it will happen.
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Since I have worked for T-Mo I have heard everything from T-Mo buying Sprint to Sprint buying T-Mo etc...

So far there is NO truth in any of these RUMORS.

T-Mo was also supposed to do an IPO last year...


If Sprint buys T-Mobile I will qu...
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Woah! I had no idea you've been on PS since 05!
justfinethanku

Mar 8, 2011, 7:51 PM

If Sprint every buys T-Mobile...

...I will quit this job.
I fear i wont have a job left to quit Laughing
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At 50 years old, it's too late for me to make a career change. But given the opportunity to work for a carrier that has proven to make a great turnaround, aggressively pursuing the ventures to enhance a customers experience and hold some integrity of ...
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Yikes!
just quit right now, then. if tmo and sprint combined, you'd quit? why? what a stupid comment to make.
Why? Because after talking so much **** about Sprint on a forum message board you'd have too much "pride"?

The company is doing great, and is a significantly better company now than when I started in '06.

My pay has improved, even people who d...
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Wtf is an "every buy"? Laughing
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bluecoyote

Mar 8, 2011, 4:19 PM

No Surprise

1) WiMax is a loser technology. (As predicted by BC what... 2 years ago?)

2) T-Mobile lacks any growth strategy. Not having the iPhone has meant that AT&T has been eating their lunch. They've been mostly eating up the people who cannot afford to be on Verizon and AT&T (to be fair, they treat their lower-income customers better, but most people are on T-Mobile because the other networks are 'too expensive.')

3) Sprint's got no growth other than WiMax, which is a joke. WiMax rollout would've been great 18 months ago. Now it's battery-draining and ridiculously limited. And the fastest speeds I can pull in on my EVO Shift are still slower than what I get on my iPhone 4. But I don't dare turn on 4G unless I know I'm near an outlet. Fail.

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1) there are more people on wimax then LTE, so i don't see how you come up with that statement. (sprint and clearwire in the US)

2) Don't care about this one it is what it is.

3) Sprints biggest growth has been prepaid, not wimax so get your fac...
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...can be right once in a while. I don't like to admit it, but there may be a grain of truth in there somewhere. Damned if I will try to sort it out from the rest of your usual troll nonsense though.
Oh and Lte is a winning technology?

What are u basing this on? There are no Lte phones to compare to Sprint's 4g phones so how do you figure wimax is a loser tech. Wimax is a now tech which is why Sprint rolled it out in the first place they are th...
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As annoying as I find the Azure Canid, I do find he has a point with webOS. While Sprint didn't do so well with marketing a very well designed OS, it's also Palm's fault for cutting corners on both OS and hardware, which did not step up to the test of...
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SublimeDavid

Mar 8, 2011, 11:20 AM

Highly Unlikely...

Yet again another rumor, maybe after 4 years they will get it right like the verizon iPhone. Not really in the best interest of any company and being that DT likes to be in control of combined entities like Orange in the UK its highly probable they will be in control if such an entity were to be created. Only good thing about this is they would basically own clearwire as well and wouldnt need to go through the headaches of leasing or buying spiectrum while increasing overall coverage. Cool
I agree. DT is trying to squeeze their way into having a controlling interest in a much larger company. They aren't so desperate to ditch tmobile for anything but an incredibly high price. Either in cash or in control of Sprint. It's a no go.
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tangocharlie

Mar 8, 2011, 10:43 PM

Oh HELL no!

Sprint is the bottom-barrel for customer service.

* I have known sprint customers whose service got suspended in mid-billing-cycle just because their total current charges exceeded the "approved" level.

* Sprint at one time stored my debit card information WITHOUT NOTIFYING ME. It was enough to get the FCC breathing down their neck, but they didn't fix it.

* When calling Sprint, the reps are rude and will transfer you without warning.

* Sprint has charged people a fee for calling customer service. I don't know if they still do.

* Sprint has disconnected people who they feel call customer service too much.

I've been with T-Mobile for 13 years now. They have the best data plans, and great service. ...But if it goes Sprint, I...
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sprint is WAYYYY better than trash mobile, i dunno what you're all proud of. sprint has faster data, better phone selection, better customer service....let's see...better EVERYTHING!
*Sprint doesnt disco people who call CS too much, troll
*Sprint d...
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"I have known sprint customers whose service got suspended in mid-billing-cycle just because their total current charges exceeded the "approved" level"

Their bill was a $125 or more in arrears. That's how one gets dead beats to get off their arse ...
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did you just say;

"Oh HELL no!"

Honestly, I agree with your post to an extent, but the title... wow, the title!!!

I don't know what it is about those words, but they always put me on the defensive!
tangocharlie: Actually, Sprint's customer service in the stores and on the phone is quite good. The horror stories you shared (whether personal or heresay) are outdated. Yes, there was a time the company suffered greatly from their inept CS Reps. But,...
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Caucasian

Mar 9, 2011, 10:17 AM

Sprint waiting until mid 2011 for decision on 4G...

This almost has to be related to the split decision on 4G.

Clear starts acting like a fool, threatens to take its football and go home. Sprint looks for different options. Openly says that it is considering how to approach 4G in the best way for the consumer, which is quickly shaping up to be LTE, probably to get Clear to shape up or shut up. Clear is still adamant about fighting with its major investor, and pretty much the only one left who would still invest. DT sees this as a chance to make its returns from T-Mobile USA explode massively by taking 50% or less of a much larger company than 100% of T-Mobile alone and Sprint sees this as a time where the company would be in charge of the network, no more "Joint Venture" stuff and dealing ...
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andy2373

Mar 8, 2011, 1:07 PM

Told you.

If TMO can't turn things around the likelihood of this happening is high.
DT will only invest more money to a point to improve things. But I get the idea that TMO USA is on their own and DT just skims the profits. Confused
I don't get why there having trouble though, TMO (currently) has the fastest most reliable semi 4G, no tiered data pricing, and the metropolitan areas are covered well.
I can't believe a lack of coverage is such a deal breaker.
I will say though the other carriers advertising campaigns have trumped TMO's.
Sarcasm?
Well, for the price conscious consumer, MetroPCS is becoming more of a cost-saving option, something that used to be part of T-Mo's niche.

Metro is really building out their network and rolling out LTE. For $60/month (no additional taxes or fees)...
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Beef Supreme

Mar 8, 2011, 11:18 AM

Well, there gos my job :(

I work in a call center for T-Mobile, if this happens, i fear they wont need me to take their calls anymore Crying or Very sad
I work in a retail store youre more likely to get canned than me Razz
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if they keep closing call centers in north america you might not have a job anymore regardless Paranoid
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Well I know all about this sort of thing. If you're on the front lines it depends on your salary. If you're making top end...watch out. If your at the bottom you should be okay.
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beef supreme this company is on a slippery slope next up liberty lake!
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CellStudent

Mar 8, 2011, 5:24 PM

The best chance of avoiding a duopoly

Look at the consequences if something like this doesn't happen soon.

T-mobile and Sprint subscribers will gradually bleed off into AT&T and Verizon because they command greater market share and are only growing.

I don't see an immediate technological problem, because dual-band CDMA/GSM phones are already commonplace and it wouldn't be hard (or expensive) to engineer all new phones to be dual technology. The LTE or WiMAX choice seems like a bigger problem than the GSM/CDMA problem. Every handset will get $20 more expensive, but that's pennies compared to the savings realized by the consolidation.

Not a terrible move. Not by a long shot. It would give the new SpriNexTmob the subscriber base and the (high quality) spectrum d...
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Sprint has already chosen LTE. You don't see the LTE carriers publicly breast beating about how soon they could switch to Wi-Max do you?
msteven3

Mar 8, 2011, 9:38 AM

They simply don't get it

Either the execs at T-Mobile or the execs at DT simply don't understand the real reason T-Mobile isn't growing. It isn't because of a lack of bandwidth; it's because they've essentially stopped expanding their coverage area. As it stands, T-Mobile covers urban areas and major highways, and that simply isn't going to cut it. Not only are they missing potential subs in smaller towns, but they're missing potential subs in the areas they do cover who might travel to these more rural areas and want to know they have coverage there.

I don't know if this is due to a misunderstanding of the difference between U.S. and European population patterns, but I suspect it does. And, IMHO, partnering with Sprint is about the worst thing they could do,...
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msteven3 said:
Either the execs at T-Mobile or the execs at DT simply don't understand the real reason T-Mobile isn't growing. It isn't because of a lack of bandwidth; it's because they've essentially stopped expanding their cover
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maokh

Mar 8, 2011, 2:19 PM

Can't wait for the first GSM+CDMA+iDEN phones....

Drooling

Maybe Sprint will dig up some old IMTS company in the midwest and add that to their handsets too.
Or maybe we can start a new phone company using analog phones and see if they want to buy out that company too. Laughing
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I can't believe you are drooling for a phone with iDen in it. PLEASE tell me that you are joking... Rolling Eyes
lte

Mar 8, 2011, 1:20 PM

Nipping at the heels of AT&T

49.9M @ Sprint
33.7M @ T-Mobile
83.6M @ SprinTMobile
86.2M @ AT&T

If AT&T loses 3M more they will be #3 lol
I wonder if that would make them rethink their network Smile

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/02/10/sprint ... »

http://www.wirelessweek.com/News/2011/02/T-Mobile-4Q ... »

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-att-gains-subscr ... »
Not really. A merger like that would have a large exodus of people who are dissatisfied with the changes. It'd be like Alltel/CellularOne all over again but a much larger scale.
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DE 2 Philly

Mar 8, 2011, 10:53 AM

Dont like the idea

GSM & CDMA would be another headache to Sprints lineup of CDMA/IDEN/Virgin/Boost etc. etc. etc.
Sprint was headed toward LTE anyway. They can plan to meet there in a few years.
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Azeron is correct. The premise and focus, is on the 4G networking. Forget about the conflicts of the two 3G platforms. These will "Mostly" replaced in the next few years. The ease of remaining a divisional wireless carrier until the common 4G platfo...
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ScribeD

Mar 8, 2011, 2:59 PM

There are problems with this idea...

I understand this concept from the standpoint of increasing a marketplace and the advantages that drives. More users means better buying power which reduces costs. Also, the combined spectrum would be immense between the two entities. However, that's where the issues begin,IMO.

First and foremost, while there is a cost savings in purchasing power, there is a huge cost period in supporting so many varied networks. GSM, EDGE, HSPA, CDMA2000, EVDO Rev. A, WiMax, iDen (thought hat is going away shortly, the cost of converting its customer base must be added in) and potential LTE is just mind boggling. There is no way a single chip could support all that, so you would loose the combined strength of the currently built networks. Hell, eve...
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I can't support this theory. I've had this discussion with other posters. Sprint has just raised their prices on smartphones and TMO has given way to do much in negating some money losing programs.

Raising the process more, will play into the hand...
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"Hey, I have a cut on my thigh and on my calf. I could save a lot on bandages if I just cut open my whole leg to join the two wounds! Yeah! That's the ticket."

Hilarious yet ridiculous. You are trying to ensure that there are only two carriers le...
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vvelez

Mar 8, 2011, 9:24 AM

Sprint/Nextel Merge Part 2?

I know its purely speculation and I know T-mobile isn't as bad as Nextel's quality but I would think Sprint has learned from that merge to focus on their own infrastructure then to buy into someone elses.
It wouldn't be as bad. I would want to turn on all radios on my future phone (LTE, Wimax, HSPA+ and RevA) that way I can test how fast the battery drains.
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I dont think the networks will merge they may keep the entity seperate as like sprint handles virgin mobile / boost mobile but they would expand the network as well as revamp business practices.

Just IMHO.
Focus on their own infrastructure? They sold their cell towers! What infrastructure?
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