After announcing the merger over a year ago and spending that time convincing lawmakers they’re doing something good, the Department of Justice has finally approved T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint. The two carriers will collide to make one of the most monumental changes to the wireless industry in its history.
To get the DOJ’s approval, T-Mobile and Sprint had to make some compromises. For one, the carriers had to promise this merger would expedite the process of 5G adoption in the United States. By combining both T-Mobile and Sprint’s 5G tech, there’s a pretty good chance that’s gonna happen.
T-Mobile and Sprint also had to promise that the merger would result in equal or cheaper costs for consumers. It isn’t clear how much the New T-Mobile will price its plans, but we can only pray that they stay at least the same.
But then there’s the fact the DOJ was hesitant to approve the merger because it would eliminate a fourth major US carrier. In order to accommodate, T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to sell off some resources to television provider Dish who will become the fourth-largest carrier in the country. The company is getting Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Sprint’s in-house prepaid division, and “certain” other spectrum assets.
To get off the ground, Dish will utilize 20,000 cell assets and hundreds of retail locations from T-Mobile and Sprint. Over the next seven years, the company will build out its own 5G network. In the meantime, it’ll bounce off of T-Mobile’s connection. So if you sign up for a Dish plan, you’ll really connect to T-Mobile towers.
Another requirement T-Mobile is facing with its Sprint deal is supporting eSIM technology. Right now, the US is by no means a leader in eSIM support as virtually every carrier who claims to support it has had problems with activations, connections, and more in the past. the DOJ hopes by making T-Mobile support the tech, more carriers will adopt improved implementations.
With all of this said and done, it’s easy to say this has been a long journey for T-Mobile. The Uncarrier has been trying to acquire Sprint for years, and it seems every time they try, something goes wrong and they need to call things off.
Leading up to the carrier’s most recent acquisition announcement in 2018, it was rumored for a few months that talks were back on surrounding a possible merger. Soon after, though, T-Mobile and Sprint denied those rumors. But just a matter of weeks later, it was confirmed that those talks were, in fact, true. Hence, we’ve now received confirmation that the merger will be taking place.
It’s worth noting that the acquisition still needs to pass through the FCC in order to be finalized. However, chairman Ajit Pai has said in the past he’d vote to support the merger. Because of this, there’s a good chance we could see the finalization of the T-Mobile/Sprint deal in the near future.