Sprint opposes an AT&T/T-Mobile merger that would expand broadband service to 97 percent of the U.S. and provide an additional 55 million Americans with access to 4G LTE service. Sprint must have a bad case of sour grapes. Sprint wanted to merge with T-Mobile, but it doesn’t have compatible technologies to make the deal work for consumers.
Sprint’s Technology at a Glance
A Sprint acquisition of T-Mobile would require a combination of four different wireless operating systems – with significant interoperability problems. For example, T-Mobile uses GSM for its basic network which has significant interoperability problems with Sprint’s CDMA-based system. In terms of the 4G network, Sprint chose WiFi, which also has interoperability problems with LTE (the technology that is most compatible with T-Mobile’s GSM platform). [Intomobile, 3/8/11]
Six years after its Nextel purchase, Sprint is still struggling to integrate the iDen network with its CDMA technology. Managing the “synergies” of that merger set the company back competitively by years. [PCMag.com, 3/9/11]
Advantages of an AT&T/T-Mobile Merger
Without an AT&T/T-Mobile merger, T-Mobile would not be able to offer 4G LTE in the future as its parent company Deutsche Telekom has said that it will not buy any additional spectrum. [Briefing by Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile to Analysts, 1/20/11]
An AT&T/T-Mobile merger would expand high-speed wireless Internet to an additional 55 million people, narrow the digital divide by providing more access to rural communities and African and Hispanic Americans, and improve quality of service for both AT&T and T-Mobile customers. [AT&T Press Release, 4/21/11]