Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

Mobile and Sprint plead their case as FCC considers landmark merger

Mobile and Sprint plead their case as FCC considers landmark merger

In an exhaustive 677-page submission today, T-Mobile formally asked for the FCC to approve its proposed merger with Sprint, hoping that US regulators will move quickly to let the companies build a unified 5G network.

The two companies must secure the FCC's blessing before completing the megamerger, since both companies hold spectrum licenses overseen by the agency. T-Mobile and Sprint tried to address the unease surrounding the deal in their FCC filing, saying that consumers would benefit from a powerful new 5G network.

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T-Mobile and Sprint also talked up the possibility of outperforming (and spurring on) their rivals.

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T-Mobile and Sprint told the Federal Communications Commission they plan to "compete aggressively" against rivals Verizon and AT&T following the completion of their proposed merger.

A merger of the T-Mobile and Spring would combine the third- and fourth-largest US wireless firms.

The combined 5G network of the two companies is one of their biggest selling points. Using figures that are redacted in the publicly available filing, T-Mobile said video usage among its customers is rising fast.

The statement also said new advancements would effectively eliminate the speed and capacity disparity between mobile and wired broadband, and suggested the merger would offer benefits in the enterprise and video segments and to underserved, rural areas.

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The pricing issue explains why T-Mobile hasn't made any progress on its TV plans so far. Most modern smartphones will already support T-Mobile with nothing beyond a software upgrade that will enable them to operate on T-Mobile cells. His comments about taking advantage of the ability to use low, mid and high bands for 5G seems to call for exactly what T-Mobile and Sprint are offering in their filing. AT&T closed its purchase of Time Warner last week as it won an antitrust case vs. the Department of Justice.

Verizon is also forging ahead with 5G wireless, and is targeting broadband services to homes.

"This proposed merger is necessary to accomplish a goal critical to enhancing consumer welfare in this country: the rapid and widespread deployment of 5G networks in a market structure that spurs rivals to invest in a huge increase in capacity, and, correspondingly, to drop tremendously the price of data per gigabyte", the document reads. How good? The recent court approval of the AT&T and Time Warner merger seems like a good example.

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