News by Michael Oryl on Tuesday July 13, 2010.
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Even though in late 2009 Clearwire's CEO said that his company could shift from its current
The talk of Sprint switching to an LTE based 4G future gives more credence to the ever circling rumors that T-Mobile USA parent Deutsche Telekom is considering a merger of its #4 T-Mobile USA division with Sprint, which currently is a distant number 3 in the U.S. market. In the past, the differing 3G technologies (CDMA vs. UMTS) made a merger seem unlikely, but if both were to plan ahead for LTE, then the two companies' futures would be a bit more in step.
Regardless of chosen 4G technologies, there are 48 million Sprint customers using CDMA devices and 34 million T-Mobile customers using GSM and UMTS devices. That's a lot of baggage to deal with, and Sprint already failed to combine an existing iDEN infrastructure with its own when it purchased Nextel in 2005, a deal that is now largely considered to have been a failure.
In his talks with Financial Times, Hesse did admit, though, that there was a certain "logic" to a Sprint and T-Mobile USA merger, but declined to discuss any active talks that might be taking place. He told FT "I don't see a need to scale larger, but if there's an acquisition that makes sense for us, I do want to have a balance sheet that would give me the flexibility of making good acquisitions when we see them."