September 15, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Anyone who had doubts about how serious T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom is about becoming a more powerful carrier may want to listen to this little news item: DT wants to buy Sprint. The Telegraph reports that Deutsche Telekom is considering a bid to buy Sprint that would value the company at $10.6 billion (note: that’s the potential value of Sprint, not how much cash DT would have to pay).
This is not a new rumor. In fact, phone companies are often said to be considering buying and merging with another to better combat rivals. However, we saw with the recent link between Orange UK and T-Mobile UK that these aren’t idle possibilities.
What would this mean for T-Mobile and Sprint customers? That’s unclear at the moment. The T-Mobile/Orange joint venture has so far been described mainly as a behind the scenes link rather than a full merger of two companies. Both companies retain their brands but share some operational functions.
Sprint and T-Mobile are likely to employ a similar set-up stateside. T-Mobile USA uses GSM while Sprint uses CDMA and is in process of going to a new data standard in WiMax. It’s questionable that either would abandon its plans for billions of dollars in data network upgrades, so a T-Mobile/Sprint merger would spark some interesting questions.