The teen-dream romance between T-Mobile and Sprint is moving on from playful banter in the lunchroom to lingering by the lockers between classes, with a top T-Mo USA executive saying that a merger with Sprint would make the most sense.
T-Mobile’s Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter explained at a conference in New York on Thursday that the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless companies would indeed make a good pair because it would be cheaper for them to invest in deploying a 5G network in the future together, reports Bloomberg.
With that combined force, they could better compete with Verizon Wireless and AT&T, though even a merged Sprint, T-Mobile would likely still be smaller than either of those two companies.
But what about the regulatory concerns that kept the two companies from merging in 2014? Narrowing the field of carriers from three to four would actually be good for consumers, Carter said, explaining that the argument for a stronger third player is “even more true today because of Sprint’s precarious financial position.”
Speaking of regulatory concerns, new FCC Chair Ajit Pai isn’t giving any solid indication on where he stands on the issue of further consolidation in the wireless market. Speaking after yesterday’s monthly Commission meeting, Pai would only say that he didn’t think there was any specific number of wireless providers that was better or worse for consumers.
Carter’s remarks about Sprint being a good fit shouldn’t be taken to mean that other merger partners are out of the running. T-Mobile majority owner Deutsche Telekom has said that the company can afford to be picky in its choice of suitors, due to T-Mobile’s recent growth.