With the major regulatory, judiciary and transaction hurdles overcome, I thought it would be timely to discuss the T-Mobile-Sprint merger’s implications for our economy and the future of 5G with Dan Hesse www.danhesse.com. Not only is he the retired CEO of Sprint, but Laptop magazine had recognized Dan as the #1 Most Influential Person in Wireless Technology (Steve Jobs was #2), so he is highly qualified to discuss these topics.
Robert Reiss: You’ve said that this merger is good for the country. Why did it take so long?
Dan Hesse: The USA is a large country in terms of both population and land mass, so it takes many billions of dollars of capital investment per year to provide high quality service. It’s a business of scale where size is crucial to having a competitive cost position and adequate financial resources. Today, only two US carriers have the scale to be able to make sustained large investments, Verizon and AT&T. Even though the new T-Mobile will still be the third largest US carrier, more customers plus the combined spectrum resources of Sprint and T-Mobile on one network will make it a solid player. Strong infrastructure providers like Verizon and AT&T are national assets, so adding a third stable leg to our national 5G infrastructure stool I believe is good. John Legere has demonstrated that he’s pro-consumer. John has created a culture of customer value creation at T-Mobile, and I expect his able successor Mike Sievert will continue in that vein. American consumers will now have three great 5G networks to choose from.
One has to give Masayoshi-Son, Softbank and Sprint’s government affairs team credit for perseverance for getting this far in a very difficult American antitrust environment, when others may have given up. Some regulators believed four national facilities-based competitors were better than three, regardless of the relative strength of the companies. The best time to put companies together is when they’re embarking on a major capital project, so the timing for this merger is fortuitous as both companies are beginning their 5G deployments. It’s been a long ride for Softbank since they first invested in Sprint in 2013. I was pleased the Sprint share price was still above Softbank’s purchase price the day I announced my retirement just over a year later, and it’s good to see that this seven year trip is going to have a good outcome for them and Sprint’s shareholders.
Continue reading The T-Mobile-Sprint Merger And 5-G Insights From Dan Hesse on Forbes
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