T-Mobile and Sprint -- are pursuing negotiations for a possible merger. According to a recent report published by the Wall Street Journal, however, it appears that those talks are put on hold, because Sprint is currently engaging in exclusive discussions with Charter and Comcast (with both cable companies negotiating as one party).
This exclusive deal with Sprint is said to be backed by John Malone (whose Liberty Broadband is the largest stakeholder in Charter) and Brian Roberts (the current chief executive officer of Comcast). As reported by the WSJ, Charter and Comcast are negotiating to have the right of first refusal when it comes to acquiring Sprint.
Among the Big Four carriers in America, Sprint is considered the fourth biggest behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile. But industry watchers would be quick to point out that Sprint considerably owns more spectrum assets compared to any one of its rivals. With 5G wireless technology about to become a reality by the end of the decade, carriers and even cable companies like Charter and Comcast would want to gain access to high-band airwaves, such as those owned by Sprint.
It is quite possible that instead of acquiring Sprint outright, Charter and Comcast may be looking to strike a reseller agreement with the major US carrier. The two biggest cable companies in the country actually already have the right to resell mobile services using spectrum from Verizon Wireless. Comcast, in fact, had debuted its Xfinity Mobile service last April thanks to an MVNO agreement it had signed with the Big Red a while back.
As for Sprint, it may boast a wealth of spectrum, but it also needs capital to properly roll out the infrastructure needed to fully take advantage of its extensive spectrum holdings. SoftBank, the majority shareholder of Sprint, has provided capital to the carrier, and Charter and Comcast may also be looking to do the same.
Source: RCR Wireless