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T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Rumors Emerge Anew

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Back in 2014, rumors were going around that T-Mobile and Sprint were in talks of a merger. But because the U.S. regulatory hurdles were too high, the discussion ceased. But just a few years later and the same rumors are once again making the rounds online.

Recently, Reuters reported that SoftBank was interested in turning the T-Mobile-Sprint merger into a done deal. The publication claimed that SoftBank was willing to go as far as giving up its control of Sprint carrier to Deutsche Telekom, which is the parent company of T-Mobile. Despite reports that SoftBank is arranging different deals, the sources of the publication are saying that the company is ready to let go of their control in exchange of a minority stake from the merger.

As of this writing, SoftBank has not yet opened up the discussion of a possible deal with Deustche Telekom. This was because of the ongoing 600MHz spectrum auction that included an anti-collusion rule. The source says, however, that once the auction ends, the two companies will start negotiating the idea of a merger.

SoftBank currently owns 83 percent of Sprint. Reports show that the Japanese multinational telco corporation has since been disappointed with how the carrier is expanding in the US. And since both CEOs of Sprint and SoftBank have shown interest in a possible T-Mobile merger, today's news does not really come as a surprise. But with today's political environment under the new US President, it just might be the best time for the two carriers to join forces.


Source: TMONews

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74 comments:

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  1. That's right. This is the best time for them to jump into Trump's train. As a result, their customers will be treated unfairly because of not many competitors. The qualities of their network will decrease as well. Their MVNO's will be forced to close by unfair deals to ensure people have no choice to leave. Welcome to Trump's era. :)

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    1. I'm all for this. It's hard to call Sprint a "competitor." If T-Mobile eats it, it could make T-Mobile truly competitive against AT&T and Verizon.

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    2. Considering the numerous Sprint based MVNOs, it is evident that Sprint is indeed an aggressive competitor in the wholesale market. Based on its postpaid additions, T-Mobile is already truly competitive with the duopoly.

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    3. "Based on its postpaid additions, T-Mobile is already truly competitive with the duopoly."

      There's a reason those companies are a "duopoly": extensive truly nationwide networks. T-Mobile is making strides to get there, but isn't there yet. It isn't really competitive against them, and this is reflected in its relatively tiny number of customers.

      When we can truly refer to a "triopoly", we will know that T-Mobile has arrived.

      I also don't see how having a swarm of mostly fly-by-night MVNO's associated with it makes Sprint "competitive" at all. Considering all the examples of Sprint MVNO's that cause the reaction of "Gawd, how can that still be in business?" with prices sometimes higher than those of Verizon's.

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    4. @anonymous743/1943: In any competitive markets there are going to be losers (been to a Kmart/Sears lately? Not many have.), but they are essential to a competitive landscape.

      Why do you think Verizon has suddenly brought back the unlimited option? Because the losers were forcing them to.

      TMobile was considered worse than Sprint not that long ago, but now they are considered a viable option that is quickly growing stronger.

      This is why numerous options are needed to have a truly competitive market. The truly hungry underdogs will sometimes surprise you and we the consumers benefit as well from the fierce competition. I just bought a year's-worth of service on TMobile's network for a price that works out to about $15/mo with 2GB high speed & unlimited fallback data. No way I could have done that without the competitive market that has been fostered under the previous administration. Now the Republicans want to undo all that.
      http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/01/trump-team-reportedly-wants-to-strip-fcc-of-consumer-protection-powers/

      Verizon's been forced to bring back the unlimited plan due to the competition - something they've known they need to do for a while, but resisted until they could no longer ignore TMobile's growth.
      https://arstechnica.com/business/2015/02/verizon-wireless-feeling-heat-of-competition-cuts-data-prices/

      http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2017/02/fourth-quarter-2016-prepaid-mobile.html

      Sprint is needed as a viable fourth option to continue fostering the competition we've seen. Without that option we will quickly go back to being price-gouged for lack of options, much like we've seen in the pharmaceutical industry of late.
      https://www.wirelessweek.com/data-focus/2016/09/fccs-mobile-competition-report-sparks-varied-reactions-industry-groups

      http://time.com/3957939/fcc-airwaves-auction/

      When Verizon and AT&T collect over 70% of the revenue in the industry, there is minimal competition. Removing a major option like Sprint is only going to make things worse.
      https://www.law360.com/articles/844501/fcc-refrains-from-claiming-competition-in-wireless-industry

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    5. A "triopoly" is a condition where all three carriers would be truly NOT competitive. This must not be allowed to occur.

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    6. Fair enough... I was never happy with the inapplicable term "duopoly" anyway... a mere T-Mobile marketing buzzword for companies that committed the crime of being a lot better at serving customers' needs.

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    7. You people OK with this are out of your minds, or shareholders. Fewer choices for customers is NEVER good.

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  2. I do not think that the FCC will allow this merger. Merging T-Mobile and Sprint results in many lost jobs; this will not be tolerated by President Trump. Moreover, because of the lack of wired internet infrastructure, this country badly needs four competitive wireless carriers to meet our growing demands for internet connectivity.

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    1. @anonymous0517: Due to differing technologies, there will be significant additional costs to TMobile to convert Sprint's towers from CDMA to GSM. They've done it before with MetroPCS, but they were a much smaller company than Sprint.

      The FCC refused to say there's sufficient competition under current circumstances for a reason, do you really believe reducing the number of major carriers to only three is going to IMPROVE that?

      https://www.law360.com/articles/844501/fcc-refrains-from-claiming-competition-in-wireless-industry

      https://www.wirelessweek.com/data-focus/2016/09/fccs-mobile-competition-report-sparks-varied-reactions-industry-groups

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    2. "The FCC refused to say there's sufficient competition under current circumstances for a reason, do you really believe reducing the number of major carriers to only three is going to IMPROVE that?"

      Previous decision was a judgement call: number of competitors was more important to them vs. Sprint's argument that a combined, stronger company could compete more effectively.
      It's still a judgement call, and a different set of eyes at FCC and Justice would review any new deal, the new arguments, and perhaps make a different judgement. I think a combined company that can compete more effectively is better, and that competition would be even more fierce than it is now. I don't need you to agree.

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    3. "there will be significant additional costs to TMobile to convert Sprint's towers from CDMA to GSM."

      Of course. But that is a one-time cost that has a temporary effect on costs and profit.

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  3. Let me get this straight, two years ago Sprint/Softbank wanted to buy T-Mobile. Now Softbank wants to sell Sprint to T-Mobile! Am I reading this right?
    And why would T-Mobile even want to buy Sprint? The Sprint network won't do anything to expand T-Mobile's coverage and it looks like T-Mobile will have a much larger network by the end of the year without Sprint. T-Mobile would have to be nuts to pay a penny to buy Sprint. Sure, T-Mobile would gain Sprint's subscribers but T-Mobile recently sold off two brands to TracFone and pulled T-Mobile Prepaid out of national retail chains. T-Mobile doesn't seem to be as interested in gaining new subscribers as they used to be. The only buyer for Sprint that makes sense is Comcast but I don't think even Comcast wants them.

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    1. I am in total agreement with anon 8:12.

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    2. Sprint's spectrum holdings may be of interest to TMobile to expand their more desirable lower frequency coverage.

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  4. NO!NO!NO! I want more COMPETITION!!!! Verizon just entered Unlimited mud fighting!! This could not be happen!!!

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    1. Guess you considered my last comment too political and refused to show it, Dennis?

      The fact is the Republicans have been wanting to eviscerate the FCCs powers for as long time now and now they've got full control to do so.

      My favorite tech news site has several stories about what they're doing - you should read them along with any others linked within the articles to get the full picture:

      https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/12/fcc-republicans-vow-to-gut-net-neutrality-rules-as-soon-as-possible/

      https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/advocates-for-poor-people-stunned-by-fcc-move-to-limit-low-cost-broadband/

      https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/01/comcast-att-and-isp-lobbyists-are-excited-about-trumps-fcc-chair/

      https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/01/fcc-to-be-led-by-ajit-pai-staunch-opponent-of-consumer-protection-rules/

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    2. "Then the Republicans need to be ejected from office because they are working on deliberately weakening the FCCs power to enforce rules that ensure a competitive market."

      No, we need to give them a pat on the back know for returning the FCC to its actual mission. Which is NOT guiding and controlling the market with the iron hand of Stalin, picking and choosing losers.

      Its's great that the FCC is being "eviscerated" of powers that really belong to the people and not to the State.

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    3. There's A HUGE difference between "picking and choosing losers" and ensuring a fair, competitive marketplace by controlling how much of a very limited resource (useful radio frequencies) the big players can gobble up to prevent them shutting out new competition. If all radio frequencies were equal and nearly limitless, then I might see your point of view. Unfortunately, that's not the case and the FCC *exists* because of that fact and the need to properly manage their use. Free market rules do not apply well to significantly limited resources.

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    4. +1. The Communications Act of 1932 that gave FCC its authority did not mention the Internet or broadband data service, for obvious reasons, and that law has never been modified to add FCC authority over those services. In fact, the latest Congressional statement added to the law regarding the Internet stated that Congress believed it should be free from regulation so that innovation would continue to thrive.
      Pai is holding his cards close right now, dealing with other issues like expanding broadband to underserved rural areas and eliminating Lifeline fraud the FCC identified in their 'secret' $50M study that Wheeler kept under wraps. Hopefully he will eventually correct the overreach that Wheeler and the White House made in asserting authority that was not in the 1932 law as amended. At least Pai ended the zero-rated data investigation and gave T-Mobile assurance that Binge On did not violate Net Neutrality. That is a good start.

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    5. Ape, bandwidth scarcity is a myth in the modern era and it is used entirely by some businesses to prevent competition from others. Unnecessary government regulation whose sole existence for being ends up "shutting out competition".

      With digital packet communication and such technology as point-to-point microwave, bandwidth is relatively infinite compared to what it was just a few decades ago. Your inapplicable argument about band with scarcity has been used to justify the FCC tampering woth and controlling cable television. Cable television... which doesn't use any scarce radio frequencies whatsoever!!

      The regulations necessary for the AM radio band do not apply whatsoever to the bands and communication technology that cell phone carriers used today.

      Significantly unlimited resources.

      And there will be great benefit to the people for scaling back the FCC to its proper role. And making it stop preventing competition. Get rid of the regulations that prevent a large number of foreign cell phone carriers from coming to the United States. And that also prevent new carriers from coming about. A very high level of Regulation favored by the few existing carriers in the US in order to block competition.

      And along the way past something at the federal level to prevent all the local laws that prevent Property Owners from putting cell towers on their own property. Protect the people's rights.

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    6. I am strongly in favor of net neutrality. But I am also in favor of getting rid of so much regulation which really harms the consumer and prevents competition. I guess I consider it to be a fair trade. There's much more benefit.

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    7. @anonymous1004: You obviously have no idea what you're talking about either.

      * "Digital packet communication" has long been the basis of ALL digital communications. Modern Cellular networks would be incapable of handling the number of customers they do without it. America stopped using analog networks a long time ago.

      * "Point-to-point microwave" - the name itself essentially spells out what's wrong with mentioning this tech. IT'S "POINT-TO-POINT" - two very specific locations using highly focused LINE-OF-SIGHT connections to send data. This is useful for communications between towers (cheaper than laying wiring/fiber as long as the two locations have direct line-of-sight available to them), does NOTHING for MOBILE devices.

      * "FCC tampering woth and controlling cable television. Cable television... which doesn't use any scarce radio frequencies whatsoever!!"

      I have no idea what you're talking about here, nor what it has to do with cell phones. More Republican FUD for people who want to complain without actually understanding what they're talking about.

      I'm not going to waste time on the rest of your post as it's obvious you have nothing but a bunch of buzz words in your head without any actual understanding of them. Typical.

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    8. @anonymous1005: When dealing with a significantly limited resource like useful radio frequencies, regulation is unfortunately necessary to ensure fair distribution.

      It's hard to find a good balance between over and under regulation - particularly with so many self-serving forces on both sides of the argument.

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    9. "It's hard to find a good balance between over and under regulation - particularly with so many self-serving forces on both sides of the argument."

      We need to draw some sort of dividing line between necessary regulations (clean air and water, keeping rat faeces out of hot dogs, etc) and the ones put in place by moneyed interests in order to prevent competition.

      There are so many examples of the latter... this ranges from very stiff licensing fees by local governments that prevent new small business from getting going, to the common regulations that ban healthcare companies from competing across state lines.

      Regulations should keep the people save, not keep business safe from competition.

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  5. Less competition means higher prices for the consumer. I hope that Sprint decides to hang in there or someone else (other than on of the existing providers )buys them .

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    1. It's quality and effectiveness of competition, not the number of companies that affect prices the most. There are hundreds of regional and local carriers, but they can only compete in a limited way.
      Verizon FINALLY caved and offers an unlimited data plan again. They held out for years becaue they could. AT&T just caved and finally offers unlimited data plans to all their customers. It took far too long for the efforts of T-Mobile and Sprint to bring those results. And Verizon is now sticking the knife in Sprint, and to a lesser extent T-Mobile, by offering unlimited HD streaming. This will depress revenues, profits and growth across all 4 carriers, and make the Sprint user data experience even worse when they match and offer HD streaming. Investment will have to be diverted to CAPEX to keep customer experience good. T-Mobile growth will probably slow as they divert extra money to CAPEX to keep up; less money for their Un-Carrier promotions. Sprint can't afford to do much more CAPEX. They will die a faster death, which will, not surprisingly drive them into the arms of T-Mobile or a cable company.
      This is a hugely capital-intensive business. Effective competition means having VERY deep pockets if you want to compete effectively nation-wide. Sprint does not have access to enough capital to pull it off. An even weaker fourth competitor will, at some point, show Verizon and AT&T they can raise prices and cut service offerings again. T-Mobile can then grow faster once more, but there are still limits on how fast they can catch up to the big two.
      A combines Tmo+Sprint with combined operational savings and economies of scale would do better.

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    2. "A combines Tmo+Sprint with combined operational savings and economies of scale would do better."


      You're stating this so well. Sprint is incapable of providing effective competition as is. A much stronger T-Mobile will mean much better competition for everyone.

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  6. Unfortunately the new FCC commissioners will allow the merger. It will lead to higher prices for consumers.

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    1. There is no logic to that. Prices are getting lower, and it is due to competition between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Sprint is having little impact on what is going on with all these companies offering unlimited data plans for cheaper prices.

      If Sprint did not exist at all, the latest moves with unlimited plans for lower prices would have still kept happening.

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    2. Yes. Less competitors equal more cost for consumers

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  7. nnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooo!!!

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  8. The Trump administration (FCC,DOJ,FTC) will green light this tie up. It won't be easy, but it will happen. Sprint has to agree to let Tmobile take the lead and run the new company.

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    1. I agree. I can't imagine any board of directors wanting Sprint to take the upper hand in this. Sprint has been so mismanaged.

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  9. So offensive political comments aren't allowed...unless they're anti-Donald.

    Ha.

    Anyway, Sprint's status as a glorified turd was already obvious to everyone who's been around for at least a few years.

    Their network's a spotty, mismanaged mess, and the entire company seems to be run by a bunch of unimaginitive buffoons who haven't cleaned house or innovated in over a decade.

    With the powerful corporate establishment running all levels of the company straight into the debt cellar, it's no surprise that Softbank's finally dropped any pretense that Sprint's worth any more than its spectrum.

    This is little more than the inevitable result of an ignorant foreigner not understanding America's corporate and political cesspools, which would rather stick Masa with a horrendous investment than let him use it as a stepping stone to buy out T-mobile.

    I'm actually glad, though, since the past couple years have more than proved that Masa's just too involved in his other projects to ever put forth the single-minded effort and fury needed to ever make Sprint great again, let alone run a successful super-carrier against the reigning duopoly.

    And because he's a man of Japan, with the corporate right of return to his cozy home country businesses, his dedication to Sprint was, from the very beginning, completely and selfishly half-assed, with little to no input from actual customers.

    The point is, stripping Sprint for parts is the best thing for it, since literally none of the people at the helm, with all their wealth, power and business degrees, ever had the common sense and rugged determination Sprint needed to once again become a real contender.

    Hopefully T-mo can put the scraps to good use...at least until Dutch Telecom finally manages to pawn them off onto AT&T.

    After that, we might as well resign ourselves to the shoddy service and perpetual stagnation of the Bell Twin supremacy, all while Legere retires to go kite surfing with Obama.

    Heck, it's almost as if Sprint's finally become a metaphor for modern America as a whole.

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    1. So much nonsense.

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    2. Masa meets M.A.G.A.

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    3. Sanctimonious Ape said: "
      My favorite tech news site has several stories about what they're doing - you should read them along with any others linked within the articles to get the full picture"

      Thanks for the suggestion. It is good to go there and read the good news.

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    4. I did like Dutch Telecom. Much easier to spell than Deutsche Telekom ;-)
      Kinda like 'Pennsylvania Dutch,' but different.

      But Son and Claure are "ignorant..unimaginitive buffoons," and SoftBank only bought them for the spectrum? Well, that is impossible to swallow.
      SoftBank's money saved Sprint, substantially upgraded their poor "Network Vision" by deploying lots more spectrum and combining spectrum, stopped postpaid subscriber losses and cut their bloated cost base. Voice quality and reliability went from worst in most key markets to one of the best. Son hired the hard-charging CEO Claure to replace "nice guy" Dan Hesse, and is keeping hands on to make sure the turn-around plan stays on track. The cost reductions certainly are, and postpaid subs are growing. Pretty impressive when you compare them to Hesse's operation.
      Sprint is still alive, fighting hard for customers and Sprint network phones work a lot faster and more reliably in a lot more places. Can't we thank Son for that, at least?

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    5. "The point is, stripping Sprint for parts is the best thing for it, since literally none of the people at the helm, with all their wealth, power and business degrees, ever had the common sense and rugged determination Sprint needed to once again become a real contender."

      If T-Mobile even sells Sprint hardware and towers to metal merchants.. and leases the Sprint storefronts to actually profitable nail salons and grow shops... maybe the public can see some good from it in a better T-Mobile.

      (And sell the "Boost" name for $800,000 to an energy drink company)

      The stuff's certainly not being put to good use by Sprint!

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    6. "The point is, stripping Sprint for parts is the best thing for it, since literally none of the people at the helm, with all their wealth, power and business degrees, ever had the common sense and rugged determination Sprint needed to once again become a real contender."

      If T-Mobile even sells Sprint hardware and towers to metal merchants.. and leases the Sprint storefronts to actually profitable nail salons and grow shops... maybe the public can see some good from it in a better T-Mobile.

      (And sell the "Boost" name for $800,000 to an energy drink company)

      The stuff's certainly not being put to good use by Sprint!

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    7. "Sprint is still alive, fighting hard for customers."

      Look at Sprint "BYOD" policies. and try to say that again with a straight face.

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  10. So all Sprint customers will need a new GSM phone once it becomes all TMo and most existing Sprint cell antennas will either be eliminated or converted to GSM

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    1. It had to happen eventually. CDMA is "state of the art" .... for 2002.

      Good riddance.

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    2. CDMA is going away without a merger. LTE and then 5G will carry all voice in the near future.

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  11. One of many articlasses about the myth of "scarce bandwidth". It's even less scarce now 10 years later.

    www.zdnet.com/article/the-bandwidth-scarcity-myth

    There goes through main reason given here for tight government control...

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    1. That 11 year old post is talking about wired and fiber broadband where the capacity of fiber is virtually unlimited as long as you can keep laying more cables.

      Like water and petroleum, radio spectrum is not unlimited. If it was the mobile operators would have put the cable companies out of business long ago.

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    2. It is quite applicable (and also consider that the FCC has interfered in fiber in order to stifle competition.

      The sky is the limit when it comes to the spectrum at this point, however. Technological improvements like digital packets have the effect of virtually increasing the amount of data that can be carried by a stretch of spectrum, and this is increasing all the time. Point to point communications broadband (i.e. microwave) is as infinite as grains of sand on the beach.

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    3. HOW has the FCC "interfered" with fiber competition? By keep Republicans from PREVENTING it???

      Republicans have driven laws in multiple states to prevent municipalities from setting up their own fiber - even in locations where there is NO fiber to begin with for there to BE any competition.

      And again you're repeating the same drivel over and over again about limitless bandwidth. There is no such thing when you're talking radio frequencies.

      But you don't care about that - like any self-righteous Republican, your only concern is that you keep claiming the same bullshit over and over again until you drown out the truth by wearing out your opponent and thus "win" the argument. Reality and truth need not apply.

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  12. Going down to only three national carriers is bad for all of us. In fact, four carriers isn't enough competition for a country this big. We need at least six national carriers, probably more, to have real competition. We need more cable companies and ISPs as well. Anyone who thinks that losing one out of only four national carriers is somehow going to benefit the consumer is delusional. If you want real competition, outlaw corporate mergers within the same industry.

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    1. Outlawing such mergers isn't the answer - that makes no sense. What *would* make sense is a graduated scale of government regulation. Less competition in any particular industry or class of products (such as medicines with only one manufacturer) would get more stringent oversight. As competition increases, the oversight can be toned down (outside such things as product safety which would affect all companies involved equally and be ever-present). The FTC would most likely manage this.

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  13. This place is getting just as bad as YouTube comments section. Guess it's time to get my cellular news elsewhere. I certainly won't miss the occasional product press releases pretending to be news stories.

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  14. I hope not! I would like to see a T-Mobile/Dish Network tie up. I believe this makes more sense in light of data revenue steadily falling. T-Mobile needs another source of revenue.

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    1. I'd only like that if it meant that T-Mobile encouraged Dish to get rid of the dish. I'm not sure if it is too-weak signal or too-tiny dish, but home satellite has always been a failure due to the signal going away when it rains.

      AT&T has started to get rid of the rusty birdbath on the roof by making DirecTV Now dish-free. That is the way to go.

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  15. OpenSignal follow-up report on LTE availability and speeds by carrier in all US regions:
    https://opensignal.com/blog/2017/02/16/lte-how-us-operators-stack-up-by-region/

    170,000 users, 4.6 Billion measurements in Q4 2016, and the results are very interesting.

    T-Mo came in second to Verizon for LTE availability in all five US regions.

    Verizon tied T-Mo in LTE speeds, winning two regions each, and a statistical tie in the fifth.

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    1. From https://www.cnet.com/news/real-talk-deciphering-the-wireless-marketing-hype/

      "While such tools can be useful in showing where high-speed coverage is available, it doesn't provide a statistically relevant result that can be used to compare different networks. Why? For one, the data is crowdsourced using a mobile app, which means participants in the survey are self-selecting. In statistics, a self-selecting sample introduces bias, which makes it difficult to draw conclusions from the data. In order to get a scientific and statistically relevant result, the sample needs to be random.">


      The article likens Open Signal to conducting a poll of Fox News viewers on who will be President!!!!

      Interestingly, when you use unbiased statistically-sound comparisons, Verizon wins in just about every category (with AT&T a close second, but still second)

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    2. Nothing is more "self-selecting" that a few people driving to specific places to measure LTE availability and performance. AT&T and Verizon win coverage tests because the drive-around tests are trying to measure breadth of coverage as a key variable. For potential T-Mobile and Sprint customers who do not need the extra coverage the other networks provide, those drive-test results are not really relevant.

      Sure, OpenSignal users choose to install the app ("self selection"). That does not negate the relevance of their experiences using LTE with carriers, given the sheer number of 170,000 users and 4,600,000 measurements. If you were also trying to measure nationwide >coverage,< however, it would not be scientifically sound.

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    3. There is no logic to your first statement. If many locations to be compared are RANDOMLY SELECTED, they aren't biased or "self selected".

      OpenSignal has more statistical validity, but it is good ad copy. That has to be the only reason you like it. A "shear number" of anything chosen in a biased and invalid way proves nothing. A million worthless data points are worth no more than a single worthless data point.

      If you read the article, you will find that OpenSignal is worthless for everything.

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    4. ". For potential T-Mobile and Sprint customers who do not need the extra coverage the other networks provide, those drive-test results are not really relevant. "

      Do you have any sort of justification for this claim about T-Mobile or Sprint customers not needing extra coverage, as opposed to those who need extra coverage but put up with poor coverage to save money? Or are you just making stuff up off the cuff... entirely unrelated to OpenSignal and its conclusions...not even found in the T-Mobile ads?

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    5. "The article likens OpenSignal to conducting a poll of Fox News viewers on who will be President!!!!"
      I agree. OpenSignal methodology would be much more accurate, just like Fox News viewers. ;-)
      I'll bet the author would like to take back that comparison. I see "someone" had to change it below (after they read what they posted????).

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    6. "I'll bet the author would like to take back that comparison."

      Why would they take it back? Anyone other than a pedant or troll would get the point. If you don't get it, consider the idea of selection Fox News viewers only in an opinion poll for the Presidential elections of 2008 and 2012.

      If that is too much to grasp, substitute MSNBC, so you get "The article likens Open Signal to conducting a poll of MSNBC viewers on who will be President!!!!"

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  16. OpenSingal data is invalid for such conclusions: the "Crowesourced" nature has a bias which tends to weed out areas where a given carrier has no coverage.

    You might end up with two carries, one with geographic coverage twice the other, but on "OpenSignal" the results tend to be the same (instead of a much more accurate huge discrepancy) because those using the smaller carrier don't go into the coverage-free areas as much.

    "Verizon tied T-Mo in LTE speeds"

    Average in the large territory with Verizon coverage and no T-Mobile at all, and then this "tie" goes away. In other words, these conclusions fade away if you ignore such invalid cooked conclusions.

    If you want something hugely more accurate than Open Signal, then take a bunch of random data points across the US... without any bias toward a carrier being present in a certain spot.... and average out the coverage for each carrier at each point.

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    1. The point of the OpenSignal follow-on report is rate the LTE experience of carrier users. And that is exactly what it does. I guess you thought it was a just a coverage test.
      The arguments above sounds like the person who posts here that PoPs mean nothing because as soon as a T-mobile or Sprint customer walk outside their front door they have no coverage. As if the signals are beamed like a laser to the center of each rooftop, and don't even reach the sidewalks.
      It's silly to say that real world testing with 170,000 phones and 4,600,000,000 measurements is less realistic than a few drivers with 4 phones driving around to a relatively very limited number of spots.
      It's even sillier to argue that Sprint and T-Mobile customers never go outside of great LTE coverage areas much. It doesn't matter whether they do or not. On average, these 170,000 users got the best LTE experience on Verizon and T-Mobile.

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    2. "The arguments above sounds like the person who posts here that PoPs mean nothing because as soon as a T-mobile or Sprint customer walk outside their front door they have no coverage"

      Actually, POPs do mean nothing when it comes to mobile carrier statistics, since they are home-addressed based. They are great for talking about in-home landline replacement, though.

      Delete
    3. "It's even sillier to argue that Sprint and T-Mobile customers never go outside of great LTE coverage areas much. It doesn't matter whether they do or not."

      It matters a lot, and is in fact the most important thing when it comes to how the OpenSignal "studies" are completely invalid.

      If these Sprint and T-Mobile users don't venture into the territory where Verizon has LTE and Sprint/T-Mobile have 0 speed (and they will tend NOT to go there) then the study will under-represent all those data points of Verizon LTE vs no speed at all on yellow and megenta.

      Yeah, you betcha T-Mobile is going to love such a study where the places where it's bad get weeded out.

      Again...real slowly... to have a valid study, you need to randomly select a set of geographic points without any regards to whether or not a certain carrier has coverage there. Do a fair comparison, nothing but the facts.

      Delete
    4. The structured test you advocate would be completely unrealistic to represent typical or average LTE user experience, the goal of the OpenSignal report. Random location selection gives equal weight to huge parts of the US where people rarely or never go, so the results would be heavily biased to rural areas. This is unrealistic in measuring the experience of the vast majority of cellphone users.
      The test results would certainly please Verizon and AT&T, but they would be very biased against accurately measuring the typical or average experience of T-Mobile and Sprint users, who choose these carriers knowing the smaller LTE networks meet their coverage needs.

      Delete
    5. A valid test (you use the word "structured") such as what you oppose would have no bias against or for any carrier.

      "OpenSignal report. Random location selection gives equal weight to huge parts of the US where people rarely or never go, so the results would be heavily biased to rural areas. This is unrealistic in measuring the experience of the vast majority of cellphone users"

      A very wild assertion, but it is clear that you are opposed to any sort of validity and accuracy. It would be far more realistic, if we were to accept conjectures, to assume that the experience of the vast majority of cell phone users has to do with these areas you dismiss.

      AT&T and Verizon cover the areas you dismiss much better: many tens of millions need cell coverage in these areas. A statement that the "vast majority" of cell users have nothing to do with these areas is either ignorant or an intentional lie. The vast majority of cell users choose AT&T and Verizon because the do a much better job of covering America.

      But you are at least admitting that a valid study would make a carrier you are a fan of look bad.

      "The test results would certainly please Verizon and AT&T".

      That might or might not be the case with a valid study. If and when T-Mobile has an objectively better network (which you insist will happen in a decade), such an accurate study would make AT&T cry instead at that point.

      Of course, since your interest is in deception (why else would you so strongly oppose valid studies?) you would immediately embrace valid studies and oppose rigged OpenSignal type ones once your favorite carrier started to look good.

      "The test results would certainly please Verizon and AT&T, but they would be very biased against accurately measuring the typical or average experience of T-Mobile and Sprint users"

      Not at all. A biased study, which you oppos, is biased for and against no carrier at all.

      "who choose these carriers knowing the smaller LTE networks meet their coverage needs."

      Another wild assertion you use to justify your support for rigged studies: you have no idea how many of these users put up with the lousy coverage in order to save money. But it doesn't matter either way. Such wild guesses have nothing to do with the fact that OpenSignal has flawed methodology and its results tell us nothing.

      You are easily fooled... but as a rah-rah fanboy, it is not surprising.


      Delete
  17. "The point of the OpenSignal follow-on report is rate the LTE experience of carrier users."

    It has no validity for this, so there is no "point". It is like rating Presidential populularity by polling Fox News viewers.

    "It's silly to say that real world testing with 170,000 phones and 4,600,000,000 measurements is less realistic than a few drivers with 4 phones driving around to a relatively very limited number of spots."

    IF those spots are chosen entirely at random, without selection bias, they have worth. Unlike Opensignal "results".

    "It doesn't matter whether they do or not. On average, these 170,000 users got the best LTE experience on Verizon and T-Mobile."

    Totally meaningless, as you have arbitrarily thrown out any users with a difference experience. Wow, you go out of your way, out on a limb, to stick up for a discredited "study".


    I suppose you rely on this click-polls on websites too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OpenSignal is not an orchestrated test, where some people in a van try to simulate real-life situations by driving around the country over six months.
      They don't drive "at random." They include selection bias.
      To imply that 170,000 OpenSignal users move around to specific spots just to make their carrier look good is not rational.
      The drive-by tests Verizon pays for finally include VoLTE; previous testing had really biased results against T-Mobile.

      Delete
    2. "OpenSignal is not an orchestrated test"

      In order to have any validity, a statistical survey will need to be "orchestrated" to some degree. Or else it ends up being as worthless as one of those Internet polls.

      "To imply that 170,000 OpenSignal users move around to specific spots just to make their carrier look good is not rational."

      They do this, but not out of intention to give a carrier good ad copy. It's irrational to deny this fact.

      "The drive-by tests Verizon pays for finally include VoLTE; previous testing had really biased results against T-Mobile."

      I am not sure which tests you are referring to, but unless Verizon used truly random data point selection, that test was invalid too.

      But if the tests you refer to did indeed use a valid method to determine geographic data points, then there was no bias against T-Mobile, just another reflection of the cold hard facts that T-Mobile is probably 70% as good as Verizon, and not anywhere close.

      Delete
    3. Apparently you still don't understand the OpenSignal study.
      They were trying to assess LTE user experience where app users actually traveled. The results speak for themselves. A structured test with random location selection was and is irrelevant to their goal.

      Delete


    4. "Apparently you still don't understand the OpenSignal study."

      I understand it completely. You are still fooled by it.

      "They were trying to assess LTE user experience where app users actually traveled."

      Thanks for describing the selection bias which invalidates this for being used for anything more than ad copy and corporate press releases. You have very low standards, it seems.


      "A structured test with random location selection was and is irrelevant to their goal."

      Only if their goal is "no statistically valid conclusions". Because the requirements you dismiss are necessary for this.

      Delete
    5. If T-Mobile stops where it is, and never expands coverage beyond the current point, it's growth relevant to AT&T will quickly stop.

      But if it keeps expanding coverage, which is necessary in order become a true nation-wide network, T-Mobile won't have any problem equaling or surpassing AT&T using a truly objective and valid study...once it has at least the same extensive coverage as AT&T does.

      But it's not there yet, and no such study has been presented yet as well.

      It does no good to just pretend that T-Mobile is at this point now even though it is likely they will one day be as good as Verizon or AT&T.

      Relevant to the post, I think that swallowing up the sick dog that is Sprint will put T-Mobile in a much better position to become a truly viable third competitor that most people would want to use.

      Because right now there are only two serious choices, and I would love there to be a third much sooner than later.

      Delete
  18. FCC Pai says wireless mergers are just fine as long as they have benefits for consumers. No more arbitrary number of competitors required.
    https://www.wirelessweek.com/news/2017/05/fccs-pai-wont-rule-out-wireless-consolidation

    ReplyDelete
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