Sprint and T-Mobile merger takes giant step toward approval [Updated]

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FCC chairman Ajit Pai isn’t down with China Mobile coming to the United States.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai says its OK for there to be three nationwide carriers instead of four.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

Your iPhone may soon have one less option for wireless service. The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has signed off on the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. This is a significant step toward the third and fourth largest U.S. carriers becoming one.

Update: An unconfirmed report indicates that the Justice Department might nix this merger.

Sprint and T-Mobile merger talks are dead

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere shared the news with staff in an email.
Photo: T-Mobile

A possible merge between Sprint and T-Mobile has officially collapsed, based on a disagreed about which entity would have control over the merged companies.

A new report suggests that the talks broke down over a recent dinner in Tokyo, Japan, at which T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom made Sprint parent company SoftBank an offer — and had it shot down.

T-Mobile tattoo lands Arizona man free iPhone 8

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free iPhone 8
Philip Harrison got a free iPhone 8 from T-Mobile for this permanent advertising inked on his arm.
Photo: Philip Harrison/Twitter

There’s a story behind every tattoo, but there may be only one where the story includes a free iPhone.

Philip Harrison of Phoenix, Arizona called out to T-Mobile CEO John Legere on Twitter, saying he’d get the cellphone carrier’s logo tattooed on his arm if the company sends him a free iPhone 8.

T-Mobile lures Pokémon Go fans with free data

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Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go players might want to switch to T-Mobile.
Photo: The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Go players have been busy laying lures at Pokéstops across the globe for the past week, but T-Mobile CEO John Legere just baited his own trap to draw in new customers.

Starting on July 19th, T-Mobile will offer all Pokémon Go players free data when playing the game for the entire year, giving you no excuse to not catch ’em all.

T-Mobile’s next Uncarrier move could be unlimited streaming video

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Details of the November Uncarrier event may have gotten an early reveal.
Photo: T-Mobile
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Details of the November Uncarrier event may have gotten an early reveal. Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is hosting its 10th Uncarrier event on November 10 and @evleaks was on the case to find out what the carrier has in store for us. The very reliable Evan Blass tweeted that the Uncarrier 10 move will offer unlimited video streaming from services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO that doesn’t count against your data plan.

Why T-Mobile’s maverick approach isn’t sustainable

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What, me worry? Photo: T-Mobile
Photo: T-Mobile

From its outspoken CEO with his unabashed Apple love, to the company’s insistence on trying unorthodox strategies to hook customers, there’s plenty to like about T-Mobile. Plenty to like, that is, unless you work on the business side of things.

In a new interview, Timotheus Höttges, CEO of T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom, says that while he loves the carrier’s “super-maverick” approach to the mobile business, it’s just not sustainable in the long term.

T-Mobile CEO was told to grovel to get the iPhone on his network

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T-Mobile CEO
T-Mobile CEO John Legere was told to grovel to get the iPhone on his network. It seems to have paid off. Photo: GeekWire Summit 2014

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is one of my favorite people in high tech right now. Not only is he doing a great job of turning T-Mobile business around, but in an industry that’s often dominated by buzzwords and corporate speak, he may just be the most publicly outspoken executive since Steve Jobs.

During Recode’s Code/Mobile event yesterday, Legere took the stage to talk about a few topics key to T-Mobile’s turnaround — and, wouldn’t you know it, the iPhone was mentioned pretty heavily.

Legere mentioned that his explicit instructions upon taking over as T-Mobile CEO was to “get down on your knees” and grovel to get the iPhone on his network, which he finally managed (the deal that is, presumably not the literal grovelling) in April 2013. The strategy apparently paid off, too, since the iPhone now accounts for 20% of the carrier’s smartphone base.