T-Mobile completes long-awaited mega-merger with Sprint

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere with the Phone BoothE.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is stepping down as big boss.
Photo: T-Mobile

The T-Mobile and Sprint merger is now officially complete, transforming the third and fourth-biggest wireless carriers in the U.S. into a more giant-sized rival to take on Verizon and AT&T.

The New T-Mobile, as it will be known, will be run by CEO Mike Sievert. Sievert takes over from T-Mobile boss John Legere, who has been chief executive of T-Mobile since 2012. Legere will remain on T-Mobile’s board until June.

Wednesday’s completed merger has been almost two years in the making. At that time, the combined companies were given a value of $146 billion.

“During this extraordinary time, it has become abundantly clear how vital a strong and reliable network is to the world we live in,” Sievert said in a statement.

“This is about bringing together these two companies and the uniquely positioned assets of the two to unlock the potential of massive scale and invest the synergies of that massive scale into creating the world’s best 5G network,” Sievert told CNBC Wednesday.

The New T-Mobile has made several pledges to carry out as part of its growth plan. These include:

  • Growing a network with 14x more capacity in the next six years than T-Mobile alone has today.
  • Giving customers access to average 5G speeds up to 8x faster than current LTE in “just a few years,” and 15x faster over the next six years.
  • To provide 5G to 99% of the U.S. population and average 5G speeds in excess of 100 Mbps to 90% of the U.S. population in the next six years.
  • To cover 90% of rural Americans with average 5G speeds of 50 Mbps. That’s twice the speed of current average broadband.

T-Mobile and Sprint merger: Some time in the making

The merger between T-Mobile and Sprint has been in the works for some time. The long-delayed megamerger ran into problems last year when an “unusual suit” was filed by attorneys general from 13 states, alongside the District of Columbia. They were concerned that a merger would reduce competition in the industry. This, in turn, could drive up cellphone bills for average users.

T-Mobile and Sprint say a merger will help them spur growth. Particularly, it will help them to develop 5G technology. This next-gen cellular network technology will get a big boost later this year due to the rumored first 5G iPhone.

As part of the deal, T-Mobile and Sprint will sell off a large part of their businesses to pay-television operator Dish Network. It will form a new major wireless company.