According to reports out this morning, there is a new deal on the table to let T-Mobile and Sprint Merge while keeping a fourth mobile operator in the market. Dish Network has agreed to a $5B deal under which it would buy wireless assets from the two companies.
More specifically, Dish would apparently be buying a selection of prepaid mobile businesses as well as a pile of spectrum, a seven year wholesale agreement for T-Mobile wireless services and a three year operational services deal. Dish would also be agreeing that it wouldn’t sell those assets for at least three years.
Nobody is talking about the details yet, and of course those details are going to matter quite a bit. But no doubt the parties involved are still making the case for the deal to regulators at the Justice Department. The FCC of course has already cleared the deal.
This could be the final attempt by T-Mobile and Sprint to gain approval for their merger. Regulators have not been looking favorably on the idea, and a parade of possible divestments that might keep a #4 provider in the market have been floated.
Dish has long held an interest in entering the mobile business, and perhaps this is their opportunity. On the other hand, it’s one thing to want to be in the wireless business, and another to actually have to build out 5G infrastructure.
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