Print 24 comment(s) - last by MeesterNid.. on Mar 8 at 10:33 PM

Deutsche Telekom would hold a majority stake in the new company.

There's been a lot of craziness going on in the mobile sector in recent months. Apple recently hooked up with Verizon with the iPhone 4, Microsoft and Nokia are now partners with Windows Phone 7, and Google's Android OS has been burning up the global smartphone sales charts.

When it comes to wireless carriers, the move to LTE isn't the only big thing that's grabbing headlines these days -- a new report from Bloomberg suggests that Deutsche Telekom AG is considering selling its T-Mobile USA division to Sprint Nextel. When it comes to selling the entire business or just portions of the business, all options are on the table according to Deutsche Telekom.

Discussions are still ongoing as a final valuation on the deal has yet to be agreed upon.

T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the United States, is having a hard time staying afloat in an increasingly cutthroat market. Whereas as wireless competitors like Verizon (largest U.S. carrier) and AT&T (second largest U.S. carrier) saw an overall net gain in customers during 2010, T-Mobile actually lost over 50,000 customers during the same period.

It was leaked today that T-Mobile has plans to launch a new 10GB webConnect data plan for its smartphone users at a cost of $79.99 per month. The new service plan will be available starting March 13. 

Sprint has also been in the news recently following reports that it is considering a move away from WiMAX in order to embrace LTE technology. The adoption of LTE would bring America's third-largest wireless carrier in line with Verizon and AT&T, which have already rolled out LTE in select markets.

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In related news...
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 10:04:16 AM , Rating: 5
...I am in talks to acquire the T-Mobile hottie. Well...I'd like to be. Seriously babe, call me ;)

RE: In related news...
By Brandon Hill on 3/8/2011 10:09:02 AM , Rating: 5
RE: In related news...
By Methusela on 3/8/2011 10:27:50 AM , Rating: 4
Most of the good ones at a single click:

RE: In related news...
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 10:35:18 AM , Rating: 2

I'd also accept the motorcycle if la chica is otherwise indisposed. Or finds internet-posting computer nerds creepy. Although I can't imagine that could be the case...

T-Mobile is GSM!
By phrizzo on 3/8/2011 11:23:37 AM , Rating: 2
I don't believe the "rumor" that Sprint is buying T-Mobile. T-Mobile would not be a good fit for Sprint. T-Mobile and AT&T's networks are based on GSM technology. Verizon and Sprint-Nextel's are based on CDMA technology. It would make no sense for a company to buy another company unless they had the same technology base. If they had the same technology, they could then just add all their towers and users to their own. In the past companies only bought similar technology companys: Sprint buying Nextel and AT&T buying Cingular. It would make more sense for Verizon and Sprint to pair up against AT&T and T-Mobile.

RE: T-Mobile is GSM!
By lowsidex2 on 3/8/2011 11:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
Probably more interested in moving forward with 4G.

RE: T-Mobile is GSM!
By dtm4trix on 3/8/2011 12:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T buying Cingular

If I remember correctly Cingular bought the defunct ATT and then changed the name of the company to ATT. Not that i can abide either company today.

RE: T-Mobile is GSM!
By HrilL on 3/8/2011 1:04:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint bought Nextel that was using iDen for their network. And Sprint was using CDMA. If this merger goes through Sprint will be operating iDen, CDMA 2/3, GSM 2/3, WiMax, and LTE. Sprint is supposed to be stopping iDen service around 2013. Sprint is also going to have new radios that support CDMA 2/3, GSM 2/3, WiMax, and LTE. Sprint also has a very large spectrum holding with both them and Clearwire.

RE: T-Mobile is GSM!
By mcnabney on 3/8/2011 2:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint is not currently operating LTE, although they did announce that they would bail on WiMax and go with LTE instead. But that will be a while.

Also, I think in 2009/2010 Sprint took a $29.5B write down on the purchased value of Nextel. If they are looking to buy T-Mobile it would appear that they learned nothing.

I am also confused how a company that has not shown a profit for 19 straight quarters is in the position to buy anything.

RE: T-Mobile is GSM!
By Solandri on 3/8/2011 6:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe the "rumor" that Sprint is buying T-Mobile. T-Mobile would not be a good fit for Sprint. T-Mobile and AT&T's networks are based on GSM technology. Verizon and Sprint-Nextel's are based on CDMA technology. It would make no sense for a company to buy another company unless they had the same technology base.

I don't think that's quite true for Sprint. They seem to be taking a more systematic approach to the cell phone business, recognizing that they're in the communications business, not the infrastructure business. In 2008 they sold off a bunch of their towers to raise cash. They then inked a leasing agreement with the new owners to continue providing service. They also have extensive roaming agreements with other carriers (including Verizon - if you have a free roaming plan like I do, you can pay Sprint prices and get Verizon coverage).

Net result is that they're becoming tower- and technology-agnostic, kinda like an airline which leases the planes instead of owning them. Yeah it costs them more in the long run, but it frees up a lot of capital and allows them to quickly change the model planes they fly/tower technology they use in response to changes in customer demand.

Going into the future, GSM(TDMA) vs CDMA isn't really going to be an issue. LTE is sort of the grand unifying standard for cell phone data services. TDMA/CDMA is still used for voice calls, but the technology to piggyback voice services onto data has always been there and will probably see more use as time goes on. As the bulk of cell phone use becomes data, if this deal goes through I can see Sprint signing leasing and roaming agreements with GSM towers to handle GSM voice services, while running data off of other towers.

RE: T-Mobile is GSM!
By MeesterNid on 3/8/2011 10:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, really?! You think the primary criteria they look for in acquisition is technological compatibility!? You must be 12.

One word, CUSTOMERS!

Sprint wants more people paying them monthly fees with a potential renewal at contract expiration. Obviously the revenue generated from the aforementioned fees is significant enough that it covers the costs of running and maintaining a cellular network and then some. Otherwise they wouldn't be in business in the first place.

I can't see this being beneficial any time soon
By DanNeely on 3/8/2011 11:01:08 AM , Rating: 2
Despite completing the takeover of nextel in 06, Sprint is still running both iDen and CDMA 2/3g networks. As of last fall they were still selling new iDen phones, so I don't see this problem being fixed anytime soon. If this goes through they'd also have GSM 2/3g networks as well. Adding insult to injury Sprint's already been speculating publicly about switching their 4g from WiMax to LTE; unless they pull the plug on WiMax immediately this would continue their platform fragmentation to their newest generation as well.

Even if the merger would give them enough spectrum to remain competitive with ATT/VZW the fragmented platform mess they have stands in the way of of making effective use of it.

By TheRequiem on 3/8/2011 11:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
Incorrect information. Sprint has said many times that the decommissioning of it's Iden network will take place by 2013 at the latest. They have already begun the restructuring process of multi-modular cell site technology in their "Network Vision" project that will allow for just about any type of combination of technology on one system. This could include anything from CDMA to GSM to WiMAX to LTE with no issues in spectrum or backhaul. It's a design that will last awhile and the sales agents at Sprint have already started a massive push to get customers off of Iden. In fact all of Sprint's latest PTT phones are on the Sprint CDMA Advanced network now and with better, future technologies already on the time table.

Also, Sprint has stated that even if they adopt LTE, Clearwire will continue to operate and build their own WiMAX network (as long as they don't go bankrupt). This will not be an issue for Sprint as Clearwire basically owns and builds WiMAX, so it's in Sprint's best interest to do whatever they need to do.

I think alot of people are misunderstanding the nature of Sprint's business agreements, their spectrum holdings and new technology they are creating with help from Samsung, Alcatel Lucent and Ericson to save money and build a very advanced and reliable network.

Sprint is actually in a good position to do what they want and switching to LTE really in fact is not as big of a deal as people think. Also, their design for their future network is very ingenious in the fact that it has twice the range and costs half of what regular cell sites cost. Not only that, they can adopt any technology they wish and implement it to make whatever business decision they have effective. Learn the facts before talking about networks and if you don't understand the design process or technical standpoints, then please review informationw idely available on the internet from professionals and technicians that can explain it to you. Thanks.

By DanNeely on 3/8/2011 12:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have citations for any of that? I've looked in the past and never seen anything about their consolidation plans. I just tried googling a few minutes ago and only turned up a statement from oct 27 2010 saying that they intended to shut iDen down eventually

The cnet article I found listed 3 iDen phones that had launched in 2010 and which appear to be available for purchase today. This seems odd if they're planning to pull the plug in the near future. Feature phone buyers are less likely to be active on the 2 year upgrade treadmill. Forcibly having the plug pulled will probably also encourage a number of them to switch carrier as well.

By acer905 on 3/8/2011 12:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
Forcibly having the plug pulled will probably also encourage a number of them to switch carrier as well.

Not if they just give them a replacement feature phone, or credit toward a better one.

The main issue is that certain people don't want a phone without the tried and true Nextel Direct Connect, so Sprint just keeps the network around to make people happy.

By DanNeely on 3/8/2011 1:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
On the contractual front, do you know what the status is WRT sprint and the half dozenish smaller independent carriers in the US also using iDen? Because of their size they're presumably very dependent on sprint's network for nationwide roaming, and could be hurt very badly by it being shut down.

The only one I could find info on easily is SouthernLINC Wireless which only operates iDen phones; if they don't have spare spectrum to start up a cdma/gsm/etc network well in advance and switch most of their customers over in advance the transition would be much more disruptive for them than it is for Sprint.

By FITCamaro on 3/8/2011 10:35:20 AM , Rating: 1
When you have horrible coverage compared to Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

RE: Happens
By Denigrate on 3/8/2011 10:52:45 AM , Rating: 2
Been using T-Mobile for about 3 years and really haven't had any coverage issues. Was with ATT before that and had a lot of dropped calls.

RE: Happens
By FITCamaro on 3/8/2011 1:42:58 PM , Rating: 1
Nowhere did I say your coverage isn't good. But go look at their coverage map and then look at Verizon's, AT&T's, and Sprint's coverage maps. There are large areas of the country they don't cover which the others do.

RE: Happens
By mcnabney on 3/8/2011 2:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
T-Mobile runs a decent network. Very small, but where it is it runs pretty well.

RE: Happens
By MABManZ on 3/8/2011 10:55:02 AM , Rating: 2
T-Mobile has the best coverage in my area (Southern MD/DC) by far, I switched to Virgin Mobile (Sprint network) a few months ago for the price but the coverage is much worse than when I was on T-Mobile

RE: Happens
By mcnabney on 3/8/11, Rating: 0
But wait...
By Warwulf on 3/8/2011 10:51:48 AM , Rating: 2
What about T-mobile's advanced 4G technology?

Oh, I forgot, that's only 3.5.

o crap
By buzznut on 3/8/2011 7:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
Please!!!!!!!! Keep the same spokesmodel! Carly Foulkes is AMAZING!

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