According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Sprint is looking to make an offer to acquire T-Mobile US, as Deutsche Telekom AG—which owns majority of T-Mobile US—is planning to leave the U.S. It is unclear if anti-trust regulators will allow the acquisition to go through, as an AT&T attempt at acquiring T-Mobile failed previously. If it is cleared, this means the United States would have only three major carriers: Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.
This will, of course, present problems for many customers currently on T-Mobile plans, especially if the plans do not require them to sign a contract.
In the report, WSJ notes the acquisition bid could come out to about $20 billion dollars and would be presented in the first half of 2014, which would mean big changes for both carriers as Apple moves closer to introducing their next line-up of iPhones and competitors release new smartphones for the new year.
T-Mobile US currently owns MetroPCS and GoSmart as well, making it the fourth largest carrier in the United States with 45 million customers. As noted before, Sprint is the third largest carrier with 54 million customers, which means that carrier has a huge opportunity to expand its LTE networking, which is currently limited to certain markets. Verizon and AT&T have expanded LTE to many remote areas in the United States, something Sprint seems to be moving slowly towards.
It will be interesting to see how the carriers work out their differences, especially with T-Mobile operating on GSM while Sprint uses CDMA technology. It shouldn’t be too much of an issue when considering that MetroPCS, which is currently owned by T-Mobile, currently utilizes CDMA technology for its mobile phones.