CEO John Legere ties T-Mobile US, Sprint merger to COVID-19
In a press release issued Thursday morning, T-Mobile US CEO John Legere, who is set to exist the company in a few months, said the operator has “broad support support from the banks” to close it’s merger with Sprint. The $26 billion deal will create the New T-Mobile and effectively consolidate the U.S. Tier 1 landscape from four national players to three.
The merger of the two operators would also give New T-Mobile a highly advantageous spectral position with the combo of T-Mo’s 600 MHz and millimeter wave portfolio and Sprint’s 2.5 GHz holdings.
For the COVID-19 angle, Legere tied the merger to providing connectivity as the pandemic disrupts nearly every facet of day-to-day life. From the release: “We are very close to unleashing the capabilities of the New T-Mobile, and that is even more important for consumers during the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Legere said. “Our nation is more dependent than ever on connectivity, and we will continue to deliver our essential wireless service today and when we merge with Sprint, with a nationwide 5G service that is broader and more robust than anything else in America.”
Company CFO Braxton Carter said T-Mo is working with 16 banks on “bridge financing.”
In terms of how service providers are responding to COVID-19, many have signed on to U.S. Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s Keep American’s Connected Pledge which puts a 60-day hold on service disconnection, late fees and opening up typically private Wi-Fi networks to public use.
Many are going above and beyond what’s outlined in the pledge to include removing data caps and increasing data allotments for tethering other devices to cellular networks.
Further, T-Mobile US has recently deployed additional network capacity using 600 MHz spectrum it’s temporarily accessing. That spectrum comes from Bluewater, Channel 51, Comcast, DISH, NewLevel LLC, LB Holdings and Omega Wireless.
Similarly, the FCC on March 18 gave Verizon permission to use AWS-3 spectrum held by Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless LicenseCO as a way to temporarily add network capacity.
For more information on the moving pieces associated with the merger, check out this series of articles:
- Insights from the Sprint/T-Mobile US merger ruling (Part 5)
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