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T-Mobile-Sprint merger wins Justice Department OK thanks to Dish


T-Mobile and Sprint become one.

Josh Miller / CNET

After more than a year of regulatory battles, T-Mobile's $ 26.5 billion takeover of Sprint is near that. Antitrust Head of Ministry of Justice Mankan Delrahim said on Friday that DOJ would approve the deal because T-Mobile's parent Deutsche Telekom signed an agreement to sell several Sprint assets to Dish Network creating a new national wireless carrier. [1

9659005] Under the agreement, Dish will acquire Sprint's 800Mhz wireless spectrum, Sprint-Boost prepaid brands, Virgin Mobile and Sprint prepaid – and their combined 9.3 million customers, as well as networking agreements that will allow Dish to use the T-Mobile for seven years while building its own 5G network.

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T-Mobile and Sprint will also have to provide Dish access to "at least 20,000 cell sites" as well as "hundreds of retail outlets." In a joint press release, T-Mobile and Sprint said Dish could "take lease contracts for certain cell sites and retail outlets that will be decommissioned by the new T-Mobile for five years"

Dish will pay T-Mobile approximately $ 5 billion for the assets it acquires: $ 1.4 billion for prepaid businesses and $ 3.6 billion for the spectrum.

The move can transform the wireless industry and shake where you get your wireless service. The deal gives Dish the fast access tools to wireless business through access to the T-Mobile network. Meanwhile, T-Mobile will combine with Sprint to create a much tougher competitor for AT & T and Verizon in the US wireless market. T-Mobile claims that its combination with Sprint will reload the 5G deployment across the country as well as expand its customer reach and scale to match Big Two: AT & T and Verizon.

At the end of the deal, which T-Mobile claims to be in the second half of 2019, Sprint's prepaid companies and customers will instantly move to Dish, as well as over 400 employees and a national independent network Retail, which maintains more than 7,500 retail outlets, "Dish said in a statement.

There remain some questions about Dys' legitimacy as a wireless player – one of the main concerns of state attorneys who have filed a blocking claim for a merger. After all, the dish shows little interest in starting their own wireless service, although it sits on a mountain with a valuable spectrum.

But Chief Executive John Legare offers rare protection to an outside company.

"The dish will be a very credible, destructive fourth player," Legerre said in an interview with analysts and the media on Friday.

Double Drop

Just when Dish will enter the market, however, is unclear as he has to wait for the T-Mobile-Sprint merger to be completed before he can take over the assets sold. But the company says that by June 2023 there will be a 5G broadband network capable of serving 70 percent of the US population. "

T-Mobile's chief technology officer, Neville Ray, said Dish and other wireless retailers would be able to access their upcoming 5G network right away." A decade ago, when 4G was on the rise, operators protected his network at that time, of the so-called mobile virtual network operators, in the same way, the company will implement all of the Sprint-based distributor agreements, including a deal with Altice's cable supplier

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Dish has long sought to enter the wireless business. Accumulates billions of dollars of wireless airwaves on the latest spectrum auctions, facing a deadline of March 2020, to use it or risk losing its license. Earlier, Dish said it was working on a narrow-band wireless network for "Internet of Things" devices – such as intelligent thermostats, power meters, traffic lights and security systems – although this network is not designed for mobile phones and tablets.

As part of the deal concluded with DOJ and T-Mobile, Dish says it has "requested that its spectrum licenses be modified" to reflect its new promise to deploy a 5G network to cover 70 percent of the population by June 2023.

Dish gave many promises for a possible wireless 5G network. But through the T-Mobile deal, he will be able to offer wireless calls, text messaging, and data services in the combined T-Mobile-Sprint network while building his own service.

Dish could follow Sprint's footsteps with aggressive offers to try to send subscribers away from the new Big Three, but this game did not handle Sprint in the long run. But in recent years both Sprint and T-Mobile have put pressure on AT & T and Verizon with unlimited data plans, cheaper monthly tariffs and packages that add service subscriptions such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Tidal and Amazon Prime.

On Friday, "developments are more than two decades of work and more than $ 21 billion in spectrum investments designed to make DISH a connectivity company," said co-founder and chairman of Dish Charlie Ergene in a statement. "Taken together, these options will lay the foundation for our entry as a fourth national wireless competitor to the country and will accelerate our work on launching the first single broadband network in the 5G country."

"This is a great victory for US 5G leadership, "T-Mobile, in the meantime, has the size and customer base, and it's a good idea," said Brendan Carr, the Federal Communications Commis- sioner, in an interview that agrees that the combined companies can build a network that no one can do alone

in order to compete better with its larger competitors.Telecommunication business is scale-dependent, with larger investments in network subscribers base.T-Mobile will support Sprint's 2.5Ghz spectrum, the radio waves that Sprint are already using to place 5G in five cities across the country, and this is a valuable part of the spectrum because the company seems to transfer 5G to a wider part of the country. "With this merger and concomitant sales, we are significantly expanding , ensuring that large quantities of unused or untapped spectrum is being delivered to American consumers in the form of high-quality 5G networks, "Delrahim said.

Changes in pricing?

Asked if this deal would lead to the end of the era with aggressive promotions and cheaper plans, T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Severet dismissed the idea.

"We'll get the improved capability and we'll go on with AT & T and Verizon, as they have never seen before," he said.

T-Mobile has agreed to block prices over the next three years, although it does not talk about Sprint's plans. Legend hinted of big things ahead.

"We will not waste time to clarify what this network is capable of," he said, rejecting the idea that T-Mobile will become fat and arrogant as its competitors.

Sievert also repeated the company's plans to ultimately offer 100 megabits per second coverage to 99 percent of Americans and Ray talks about his plans to offer 5G across the country next year.

Challenges Still Coming

Until the DOJ's decision smooths the way for the T-Mobile-Sprint deal, it has not yet been signed, stamped, and delivered.

Thirteen state attorneys, as well as the District of Columbia, filed a lawsuit to block the T-Mobile-Sprint deal on the grounds that it would lead to higher prices and less competition. Although the new deal paves the way for Dish to replace Sprint as the fourth wireless carrier, it remains to be seen whether states will continue their legitimate actions.

In addition to concluding a deal between T-Mobile and Dish, the DOJ has also reached an agreement with five state lawyers general services: Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

No agreement has yet been reached with New York or California leading the case against the merger. In a statement issued by New York-based Attorney General James James, the group of 13 states, as well as Columbia County, stepped up their opposition to the deal, citing Dish's previously disrupted promises and his credibility to use T-Mobile's network for a foreseeable future. "

" The promises made by Dish and T-Mobile in this deal are the kinds of promises that only strong competition can guarantee, "says James in a statement ." We have serious concerns that reconciliation this new fourth mobile player with the government that chooses winners and losers will not solve the harm of merging consumers, workers and innovation. "

" A market with less active competitors increases costs, reduces consumer choice and frustrates innovation, "said California Attorney General Xavier Air Bessera. "We intend to be ready to try to fight for a fair, competitive and fair market for consumers across the country."

The California Utility Commission also has to give its blessing on the deal, and on Wednesday, the report says Cable Wire Paper wanted to bid for Sprint's assets but never heard back from the DOJ . It is unclear what possible effects the news on T-Mobile's deals with Sprint and Dish might have.

At the time of the appeal, Legere said that it was a priority to look at the problems of the state AGs and the California Commission. Siever said the companies would not continue the deal without first quitting the litigation.

Different Technologies

There are wrinkles from the need to integrate two networks with different technologies. T-Mobile has a blend of 5G, 4G LTE and 3G based on GSM technology. Meanwhile, Sprint has 5G, 4G LTE and 3G technology called CDMA.

Work for Companies: Very popular 4G phones, including recent iPhone and Galaxy phones, support network support for both operators. Google Fi now seamlessly switches between T-Mobile and Sprint for its mobile service.

But we also saw what happens when integrations are not being processed properly. Sprint has been catastrophically trying to break both of the network technologies when it merged with Nextel in 2005. T-Mobile faced a similar scenario when it purchased MetroPCS, which also uses CDMA technology. But according to T-Mobile's chief technology officer, Neville Ray, T-Mobile was smoothly switching customers out of the old network.

All of this, of course, will happen on a much larger scale with Sprint, which has 54.5 million customers with T-Mobile's 83.1 million.

The story, originally published at 8:30 PM HP
Update, 11:50 PM PT: To include additional comments from the executive and information.
Update, 5:50 pm PT: Add a quote from FCC Commissar Brendan Carr.

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