Sep 24 AT 3:51 PM Taylor Wimberly 22 Comments

T-Mobile in talks with Clearwire to fund its operations and buildout

A report out of Reuters today confirms that T-Mobile is in talks with Clearwire to become a strategic partner that would allow them to rent wireless network space at a special wholesale rate and help fund Clearwire’s network buildout.

Clearwire runs the WiMAX network that powers Sprint 4G, but they will begin testing several LTE technologies this fall. T-Mobile is currently building out their HSPA+ network and plans to hit speeds of 42 Mbps next year, but they are hurting when it comes to the wireless spectrum needed for a true 4G network. Clearwire just happens to own more spectrum than anyone else right now and recently boasted they could deliver real-world download speeds that were faster than any carrier’s future 4G network.

Sprint holds a 54 percent in Clearwire and has discussed a buyout to gain complete control of the company and their network operations, but CFO Bob Brust said it was too expensive right now. Rumors and speculation have been growing that Sprint and T-Mobile will eventually merge, so if both carriers end up using Clearwire to power their 4G networks then it could make more sense.

What do you think about a possible merger of Sprint and T-Mobile? If the two companies joined forces in the coming years, do you think they could compete (or overtake) AT&T and Verizon?

Via: FierceWireless

Source: Reuters

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website John Barker

    A Sprint/T-Mobile merger and acquisition of Clearwire would clearly put Sprint on top, especially if they got the iPhone.

  • http://Website Doc

    Honestly if Sprint and TMO merge together it would definitely put the 2 on top but then Sprint would talk about completely buying out TMO. At the rate that Android is progressing and taking most of the market shares of customers and phones, the iphone wouldn’t matter. Sprint has some of the best Android phones hands down. Even if Apple takes the phone to another carrier their shares will not increase by much. On top of that with new technologies coming out by 2012, the Iphone would have to step up it’s hardware game to even compete with the rest of the market. Triple and dual core processors pushing 2.5GHz by 2012! I haven’t seen many articles about Apple changing their game to compete other than business moves and talks of different carriers.

  • http://Website Karl

    As a former Nextel subscriber who got fed up and left for T mobile, all I can say is please god, no.

    • Snafu77

      I just left Sprint for T-Mobile but it was only for the Nexus One and the crummy coverage. Sprint’s customer service is getting better. They gave me a $100 credit after I left. T-Mo is pretty good too though with none of the problems I had in the past with Sprint and as of 3 days ago I finally got total 3G coverage in my house. I now have the best coverage in my subdivision but… the future is getting murky with their new phones. I want something highpowered at year end and their offerings are looking a little weak. If they merged with Sprint I could always have a great new top of the line phone without switching carriers.

  • krazytrixxxsta

    not a bad idea

  • http://Website watbetch

    Last I checked, buying a company with a ton of debt, overlapping markets and totally DIFFERENT tech is far from a smart purchase.

    • karrob

      It might be a good look. I guess we will have to wait and see.

  • http://Website Havoc

    Wouldn’t it be TMO Buying sprint? Deutch telekom is a much larger company than sprint and has the capital to make it happen.

    • http://Website Machika Kara Kuro

      well TMO may want to sell there USA market and just stick with euoupe.

  • http://Website Tito!

    Indeed, if that were to happen. T-Mobile would have full control
    On the contrary, I see T-Mobile and Verizon going at it for the next few years even without a merger.
    But Sprint could be a Stepladder.
    & I like Sprint, I don’t think it’d be bad for T-Mobile to do so.
    Even a partnership would be perfect! (:
    With this economy, I say why not?! Share. :)
    Of course, then again Deutchse Telekom wouldn’t want to.
    So just merge. Idk
    But T-Mobile, and Verizon. Whew will they be leaders(:

  • http://Website lovo

    Well being a former tmo. Customer I could sat it would benifit tmo. After allthe only thing that hurts them is their lack of high end phones so maybe they’d get more but I mean I dnt know too much on this issue but aren’t they way to different I mean GSM and cdma? Woukd that work?

  • http://Website Chad

    i currently have the mytouch slide. I’m very happy with tmobile and I hope they dont merge. I think they are going to survive because they are coming our with high tech phones.

    I think the g2 and mytouch hd will prevent a merger.

  • http://Website DI

    Yeah t-mobile would be in control if anything because Deautche Telekom is a juggernaut and owns t-mobile usa and it’s unlikely they would ever give up their stake in the US.

    It’s also important to to mention even though Sprint has more customers than T-Mobile USA, they lose a great deal of money from quarter to quarter, even with the EVO. Not to mention they have a tremendous amount of debt.

    T-Mobile on the other hand even though they gain little market share from quarter to quarter, they still make money. Especially with tons of customers switching to smartphones and all that data ARPU. So even though T-Mobile is in last place with the big four competitively, they are in a good position financially and will still last for many years there’s just little growth.

    It’s also worth mentioning just because the other three providers have more customers that does not translate to better service. At&t, Verizon, and Sprint have brand recognition and customer loyalty starting with their base of landline customers in the US. Who then moved on to their respective providers for cell phones. T-Mobile USA did not have this preexisting customer base, they just came in the market and purchased Voicestream.

  • http://Website Buck Ofama

    I would really rather not see a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. Remember Nextel? Solid company until they merged with Sprint. I like T-Mobile, and would hate to see them get ruined the same way.

  • http://Website Manly Man

    sprinT-mobile coming in 2012!

  • http://Website Alvarez11207

    I had Nextel when they merged with Sprint and things went really downhill from there. I bounced from Verizon and then ended up at AT&T for an iPhone. This was the worst wireless experience ever! I could not keep a phone call connected no matter how many [fake] bars I had… I now find myself with Sprint and must say I am extremely happy. The coverage is outstanding in my region (Southern California), data is quick (but no 4G yet), and customer service is very good. The rates are also great since I have three phones (unlimited data on all phones!).

    However, “mergers” worry me because they are rarely a true merge (more of a buyout) because it is not logistically possible. You must give up things on both sides because of redundancy and inferior technologies. I just hope I would not end up with something with the inferior technology. This seemed to be the case with Nextel after the buyout by Sprint. Areas that previously had coverage dropped to almost nothing. I was told by various sources that Sprint was not maintaining Nextel equipment, though Sprint representatives denied this (though it made perfect sense). After expressing this theory with Sprint customer service I was allowed to terminate my contract early with no penalties.

    With all that said and the obvious worry, anything that would cause Sprint and TMO to overtake AT&T would make me happy because of my miserable experience for [almost] two years. I could go on how many of the problems could be attributed to the iPhone, but that is a different argument (and if that is the case, AT&T does not seem to be doing much to correct it by allowing Apple to continue with dropped call machines). I know the Apple fanboys would be fuming about this one…

  • http://Website ivan

    Fuck t mobile they suck with their spotty coverage Sprint don’t need them they are at the top right now and will continue to move on up.

  • http://Web Mardi

    It would be good if they retained T-Mobile’s customer service and pricing.

  • http://Website GuardianAli

    Tmobile and sprint wont merge..not unless tmobile is the one that buys sprint…tmobile is still primarily a german company and the usa branch of tmobile of germany is a hold to the parent source company ..very lucrative.

  • http://Website XTOCb

    T-Mobile may buyout Sprint and/or Clearwhire to get to their spectrum. That’s the biggest problem T-Mobile has on US market.

  • DaEXfactoR

    I like this idea. Combining the #3 and #4 carriers could potentially put them in contention with the big boys. At the very least it makes them a solid #3 and a valid contender for the top spot. Sprint using GSM technology or should I say LTE in the possible future is a win. I’m sure you can tell I’m a Sprint customer and even the vague possibility of a G2 in the near future, without having to switch carriers(I actually like Sprint), has me licking my chops….

  • http://Website buell902

    i recently canceled t-mobile. My g1 was great, but the hype for new phones and never delivering anything worth my money, while watching the rest of the carriers come out w newer, better, faster phones.. I’m on Sprint now and I love it, its $40 cheaper that tmo. W 2 smart phones. Tmo I had 1 smart and 1 basic phone.. and was paying more. As far as a merger, whatever works. Both have good technologies.. t-mobile just releases there’s too late losing lots of potential customers looking for better tech and cheaper prices. And the g2… unfortunately too little too late. By the time its released there will be a dual or triple core phone on the way.