Rumors on the Internets: T-Mobile may be consider buying Sprint in order to keep the company from lowering its prices and triggering a price war, says Merrill Lynch. “In such a price war scenario, we think T-Mobile would face the most pressure, and Deutsche Telekom would see the increased urgency to drive market repair,” the firm’s analysts said.

Sprint has lost more than 60 percent of its value since June 2007. We’re not like analysts or anything, but wouldn’t T-Mobile have to be under a lot of pressure (or be able to get a great deal) to bother buying Sprint and its incompatible network when it might be able to sit back, do nothing, and wait as the company’s few remaining customers defect? Wouldn’t a CDMA-network based company make more sense? [NYT]

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  1. Cruz says:

    Oh god, I just joined T-Mobile to get away from Sprint. Please let this not be true.

  2. midwestkel says:

    I am pretty sure Sprint is a CDMA based company, it would be very intresting if T-Mobile bought Sprint though.

  3. PeteyNice says:

    That would be sad. I guess I am one of the few people who likes Sprint. I have never had a billing issue and when I changed my phone I was able to do it on the Internets very easily. The service wherever I have gone has been fine. I have never had to call them, thankfully, but for what I pay for SERO I am willing to accept some less that tremendous customer service.

    The last thing we need is more consolidation.

  4. trickonion says:

    This rumors modem’s must be spewing floppy drives

    in order words, its fucking retarded

  5. Ben Popken says:

    That’s crazy!

  6. midwestkel says:

    Yea, I am very happy with my SERO plan and phone also. Never have to call customer service so I have no complaints.

  7. HeyThereKiller says:

    well that would make Sprint buying Nextel almost look like a good idea!!

  8. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Sprint is a CDMA company, but it also has the Nextel IDEN network, those goddam things & their fucking chirps!

    It would make far more sense for Verizon or one of the regional companies that also use CDMA, like US Cellular to buy it.
    I doubt if T-Mobile, a GSM system, would want to run three incompatible networks.

  9. disavow says:

    I talked to a business analyst at Sprint just yesterday and he mentioned this exact possibility. With Sprint hovering at $7/share, it just might be worth it.

    Side note, Sprint’s core wireless business is actually gaining customers, if slowly. Their massive losses are on the Nextel side, which has already been written down.

  10. 46and2 says:

    i dunno im with verizon and they charge you every way they can….if sprint were 60 unlimited calling maybe 10 bucks more for unlimited data? 15? id be in. i wouldnt mind a dropped call now and then when its unlimited and 40 bucks cheaper. verizons a jerk company. maybe if tmobile did aquire them and had 3 incompatible networks one could be wifi or something…i dunno would that work?

  11. JustAGuy2 says:

    Sit back and do nothing while Sprint’s “few remaining customers” leave? As a newsflash, Sprint has over 50 MILLION customers. If Sprint decided to launch a price war, it could do a great deal of harm to the other providers. Does that make it worth buying them? Who knows, but the idea that Sprint’s not a major market player is just silly.

  12. Yogambo says:

    Just my two cents: A Sprint rep I knew claimed the phones — many of them — worked both CDMA and GSM. They take a GSM chip. So they’ve apparently got some of the technology already on board. I’m not sure 100% on this, but this guy was in upper level management. He was responding to my complaint about taking a Sprint phone to Europe, explaing that you could do it with its “GSM capability.”

  13. ChuckECheese says:

    How ’bout the possibility that T-Mobile would buy Sprint to kill it off?

  14. iDevin says:

    I left T-Mobile for Helio (which uses Sprint’s network) in December because I couldn’t get T-Mobile reception at my house and Helio had the $99 unlimited plan. Between Helio’s money troubles and Sprint’s, it looks like I won’t be fulfilling that 2 year contract after all. It’s a shame because I quite like the service.

  15. azntg says:

    I shudder to think about a three company market. In this day and age, competition between duopolies in many markets are virtually nonexistant (which is bound to come) and tripolies are getting there.

    That’s quite enough consolidation of wireless providers already. T-Mobile used to be exceptionally competitive in terms of pricing. Not anymore. If they do absorb Sprint, I can only imagine prices going upwards and service continuing to deteriorate (profits beget profits)

  16. MrEvil says:

    Depending on the outcome of the elections, I doubt the FCC is going to let it happen. Especially since Tmobile wants to do it for the sole purpose of not competing. Anti-trust anyone? Hell, they won’t let XM and Sirius merge. Maybe Google will buy them? They seem very interested in getting some kind of wireless spectrum.

  17. rolla says:

    there could be some anti-trust issues if they were considering buying them. i hope its not true. LONG LIVE SPRINT! hahaaa…

  18. dweebster says:

    @PeteyNice: Yeah, I’ve been with Sprint some 10+ years now myself. Although I have a LOT of complaints and some serious problems with their customer service over the years, I’ve seen the crap that Cingular/ATT, Verizon and T-Mobile put my friends through and I guess I’m fairly certain that Sprint isn’t always the worst by a long shot.

    Service quality varies a lot by area, but in the large city I live in T-Mobile completely loses a signal by going into a house. I’ve NEVER had that problem with Sprint for YEARS. And Sprint’s data rates are extremely competitive at $15 bucks/month, 3G speed(I occasionally ask AT&T and Verizon reps what their unlimited PDA data rates are, just for a good guffaw). Voice and Data roaming over Verizon and other networks costs a whopping $5 extra to cover ALL my phones.

    In my experience, nearly all cell phone salespeople of any company are shysters and full of shit. But the ones at Sprint can’t hold a candle to what I’ve seen in the AT&T stores – those customers are packed in like lambs offering themselves up for slaughter. $40/month for data on your Treo? Unfuckingbelievable. And some people are stupid enough to pay it, just because of the rumors of Sprint suckage.

  19. DeafChick says:

    I left Tmobile to go to Sprint! I don’t care as long as I can get unlimited data.

  20. kalmakazee says:

    What a shame!! I happen to LOVE Sprint!! Where else am I gonna get all the free shit that Sprint gives? :-(

  21. kalmakazee says:

    What a shame!! I happen to LOVE Sprint!! Where else am I gonna get all the free shit that Sprint gives? :-(

    I NEVER had a problem with Sprint other than the fact that their statement bills are always marked wrong. I guess that is a big problem after all. Truth be told Sprint has the BEST deals on everything, but their customer service department REALLY does suck!!

  22. rcsfca says:

    I been a Sprint customer for 5 years, and have never had a problem with my phone or the phone coverage. I also live in a large metropolitan area and my few friends that have t-mobile, att, and verizon always have problems with getting good reception. They can’t go inside most homes without dropping calls or loosing the signal altogether. I will aggree that Sprints customer service leaves a lot to be desire. (that is why i never call their customer service)

    Did I also mention that they have the best priced plans in the Market….

  23. I have a SERO plan with 500 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data for $30/month, and have a hotline to executive customer service for any and all problems. Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon have direct, unfiltered connections feeding anything and everything to the FBI. As much as I hate my Treo and want an iPhone, I have no plans for leaving sprint any time in the near future.

  24. NoNamesLeft says:

    They would buy it because it would be a great way to get more wireless spectrum. DUH!

  25. Qu33nZR3p1n9 says:

    This Makes Completed sence to me… Haven’t You Heard All of T-Mobile New phones are 3G and CDMA b/c they are in that process of upgrading to CDMA and 3G look at the new Tmobile phones on there site.. they dont say they are 3G but they are actually.. i just spoke with Tmobile and they confirm it they should be 3G by the end of that year… they are upgrading towers

  26. 4ster says:

    @Yogambo: I think Sprint’s Blackberry 8830 World Phone runs on GSM, but I doubt any of the others could.

    I’ve been a Sprint customer since summer of 2005. Sprint has a lot of customers in my area, and the saying around here is “they’re great as long as you don’t have to call them for anything.”

    I can tell that they are tring to do better when I call, but they have a long ways to go. Still, I like the coverage and love, love, love their cheap data plans (i.e. the new $30 Blackberry plan).

    Still, every time I hear bad news about them, it makes me feel like it is even less likely that we’ll ever get EVDO here, which is a bummer.

  27. xrodion says:

    thank god I am happy with AT&T since, I was a customer with once Sprint and T-Mobile and did not like both. Now, they going to be together that is going to suck.

  28. Prince of Zemunda says:

    @MrEvil: Exactly! There is no way they could approve this when the sole purpose is not to have competitive prices.

    I am a Sprint customer and have had no problems. I also haven’t had to call CS so I guess that helps.

  29. wesrubix says:

    Meg thank you for pointing out the obvious idiocy of purchasing an incompatible network.

    If only Sprint realized it before they got Nextel.

    Sigh. An idiot with a computer (and a big wallet) is still an idiot.

  30. Would that mean they would have to rename the Nascar series for a third time in as many years from the Nascar Nextel Cup to the Nascar Sprint Cup to the Nascar T-Mobile Cup?

  31. jtbarabasz says:

    Yeah, everybody loves Sprint’s unlimited data prices. Just remember what you pay for. Their network isn’t built for the demand that they are creating by lowballing the price. Therefore everybody gets slow speeds on their data devices. IMO Spint is the eqivilant of Tornado Bait. Also to respond to a post above, if things are so rosey at Sprint, how come they are closing a ton of locations and laying off thousands of employees as other carriers are opening new locations and expanding market share?

  32. dink23 says:

    @LastVigilante: If they did that, then AT&T would be allowed to stay in Nascar after this year. Nextel’s contract with NASCAR only allowed for 1 name change (which they just did when it became the Sprint Cup) and that was their biggest argument to get AT&T to exit NASCAR after this season. Their argument that Cingular was not allowed to change to AT&T would be a non-issue. I kind of like watching the death star chasing down the Hendrick boys.

  33. dink23 says:

    @Qu33nZR3p1n9: I think you are refering to WCDMA which is what T-Mobile will be using for their 3G data network. This is not the same as Sprint’s CDMA voice network. Granted spectrum is spectrum and very valuable (heck AT&T wireless showed us that when they converted from TDMA to GSM-but it was costly and destroyed their business). but T-Mobile is a GSM based company owned by a European based GSM company and they will continue down the GSM path.

  34. pigeonpenelope says:

    @Cruz: even if it were true, all of sprint would be under tmobile’s rules. there would actually be competent workers who know courtesy in sprint’s call centers.

  35. lindenbaum says:

    Don’t forget that Sprint signed that billion dollar deal to convert it’s CDMA network to a newer flashy 4G infrastructure called WiMax. It’s already in motion with test pilot regions and the deal brought motorola and intel on board.

    [www.news.com]
    [www.xohm.com]
    [online.wsj.com]

    With having those partnerships it might lessen the cost of upgrading their network. But then again, I’m just a consumer with a computer :P

  36. @dink23: Thanks for the info, I had no idea about the maximum name change clause Nascar had! My biggest pet peeve about all the name changes is that retroactively changed the name of all previous championships! When the commentators are talking, they’ll say “Well, Dale Earnhardt was a 6-time Sprint Cup Champion…” Umm, no. He was a 6-time Winston Cup Champion… so, TFSU!

  37. topeka says:

    I am a Sprint employee. They treat customers and employees badly.