Sprint Joins the Rural Carriers Association to Help Fight AT&T’s T-Mobile Acquisition


Sprint and Dan Hesse are continuing to show that they won’t lie down in AT&T’s bid to buy T-Mobile. The latest move sees the nation’s #3 carrier joining the Rural Carriers Association, a union consisting of the nation’s less-influential carriers who fight to make sure they can run business as usual. (Dozens of the members make up the smaller regional carriers you often don’t hear about.)

“The competitive carriers who make up the RCA are engines of innovation in the wireless industry,” says Sprint’s Vice President of Government Affairs Vonya McCann. “At Sprint, we have many issues of mutual concern with RCA members and we look forward to advocating for policies that promote competition and a level playing field across the wireless industry.”

It’s one of just a handful of moves Sprint can make to help sway the FCC to not grant approval of the acquisition. One must ask, though: is it enough? Should Sprint have been working toward this before AT&T and T-Mobile announced their intentions or will they be S.O.L. for sleeping at the wheel waiting for Deutsche Telekom to “come around” and let Sprint buy T-Mobile instead?

Sprint had to know that T-Mobile was in trouble – just as they are now – and they had to know that Deutsche Telekom would be looking at options other than Sprint after seemingly being denied interest in any deal. (It was long rumored that Sprint and DT were in talks, but nothing was ever confirmed.) One thing’s for sure – Sprint has their work cut out for them and a new marketing campaign alone won’t help them. (Just as it didn’t help T-Mobile much.) [via IntoMobile]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Please sprint are such asshats. If this was them purchasing T-Mobile it would have been ok. Hypocrites

    1. Even if they had purchase T-Mobile they would not have the same amount of subscribers as AT&T or Verizon.

      Sprint needs to get back in the game. They should take advantage of the white space markets and make a WIFI calling app for their devices and MNVOS.

      1. Use your head. Its not being a hypocrite. Only having two national carriers means there will be no competition. Which means poor service and higher prices. Think.

        1. How does that equate to poor service… or high prices…. or only 2 carriers? I fail to see any of these in the realm of reality. Service levels would increase, and prices would actually fall… that’s why phone service was cheaper when there was a monopoly… what was the company called again? A something and something? I forget… Larger buyers equal cheaper prices they buy from their own suppliers, equals guaranteed revenue streams, equals lower prices.

          And in this game, spectrum is king… more spectrum equals better service…. for everyone.

          1. I disagree. It will be like the two gas stations on a corner. One will increase their price the other follows suit. You need a minimum of 3 carriers to have competition. This is standard for healthy competition. With that said, Sprint will not compete with AT&T/TMO and Verizon. All the best phones will go to the biggest carriers (better for vendors if more clients for more sales), network upgrades will be less impact on big carriers etc. It Sprint made an offer to purchase TMO themselves, then I think the FCC would allow it. Three equally sized carriers.

          2. Incorrect. And piss poor example. Gas prices are dictated by those trading futures in them. It isn’t a supply issue nor a competition issue. This is Economics 101… a topic always covered in Microeconomics. Economies of Scale. Purchasing, Managing, Financial and Marketing, all cost less with less players involved… thus, unless someone starts gouging, prices go down.

            Also, you’ve already identified “3 carriers” being needed, in your world, to have competition. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint…? That’s 3 last I checked. Lest not forget the multitude of other carriers… but all 3 are national. AT&T and T-Mo are spectrum strapped… Verizon and Sprint are not. This purchase is about spectrum – notably AWS spectrum… number of customers is a meaningless figure – ability to service those customers is what’s important, and a merger certainly wouldn’t take place without divestiture. Sprint chose to buy it’s AWS spectrum while in bed with cable TV companies. So they’ll live and die by the choices that large group of companies make. Sprint’s continued upper-managerial ineptitude does not make this a company incapable of competing.

          3. If they didn’t stay with CDMA, there would be NO problem whatsoever getting good phones. Poor choice with sticking with CDMA, no poor choice of AT&T.

          4. You can’t really be serious. If u only have. AT&T and Verizon they can just raise prices together and not care what kind of service they give. They don’t really care now. Its no wonder the two largest carriers have the worst rated customer service. It would only get worse. Its common sense.

          5. You’re kidding me right? You speak of common sense, but you don’t realize… that cell phones are public utilities. **WE** own the air… they simply lease it. If they were to do such a thing, the government could easily revoke their licenses and the tens of billions of dollars they spent building networks would be lost.

            It’s also funny that Verizon has the highest rated customer service, isn’t it? Being the largest carrier and all… and whose prices have gone down since buying Alltel and incorporating them into their system, and even adopting some of their plan add-ons such as Friends & Family…

            And there’d be Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, MetroPCS, US Cellular & Cricket. Let me reiterate – number of subscribers is a meaningless number.

          6. You are a retard Tony you are they only one who thinks prices would drop. if this deal goes through prices will rise, quality will decrease and at&t will become more powerful and FYI T-MOBILE has been awarded the jd power award for best customer service NOT VERIZON for I believe the last 4 years t-mobile is the only company with great prices, great customer service, great phone quality and simply just great work practices something that cannot and will not ever be able to be said about any of the other carriers. if this deal goes through its the end of competition, quality service, and innovation. Grow a brain buddy.

          7. Uhmm… No, really… I’m not the only one that “thinks” prices will fall. I *KNOW* prices will fall. Prices now are at an incredibly low level, and have been falling for 30 years on mobile telephony as the market has consolidated. The first cell phone cost roughly $5000.00 in the 80s, which would be around 10 grand in today’s numbers. There were no minute plans, and if you were lucky you’d get a 30 minute plan for 50 dollars a month. Roaming cost extra, long distance was not included, and the average cell phone bill was $800… So yeah, cell phone prices have PLUMMETTED as companies bought out other companies and grew larger. So, since I’m the retard, yet in the real world only my stance on this matter is true.. what’s that make you?

            There’s 7 national carriers right now, not counting MVNO’s… so how would losing 1 end competition? How was phone quality before AT&T broke up in the 80s? Ever hear of the word “perfect”? How were their working practices? I mean, they only invented cellular, ISDN, Call Waiting, Caller ID, *69, satellite telephone, ISDN, UNIX (which led to Linux and thus Android, OSX and iOS), and the internet only runs on the back of their technologies…

            And also, since you obviously don’t know how to use Google. Here’s a tip: Verizon Wireless won 2010s Customer Care Performace… Sprint, that litte guy that has oh such great customer service? Dead last. Get a fucking clue, and perhaps some real world examples instead of hyperbole if you want to try to step to me.

          8. “Service levels would increase, and prices would actually fall”

            Really? These are corporations not nonprofits or local hippie cannabis collectives here. Face it, Verizon is already no 1 in the US and yet their plans are pretty expensive. Maybe back then, but not in today’s economy where profits, projections and Business BS can’t cut us consumers a break. Innovation and taking risks is something “losers” do to try to catch up and T-mobile helped give Android a start when all the carriers passed. With the iPhone and Blackberry market going strong why invest in a new phone technology/OS.

          9. Is there even a concise argument in this ramble? These companies are utility companies, selling services over public utility… notably, the air. Prices are justified, or they lose their ability to use public utilities to sell their service. Have you come across any air spectrum that hasn’t been sold as a public utility? Of course not… because it doesn’t exist.

            Verizon costs no more or less than any other carrier, when you cut it down to the actual services. It costs a Sprint user 80 dollars for 4G service, talk and text. It costs me 90. Whoopee. Corporate discounts bring it to 78. I have better coverage, so my pros outweigh the cons in my situation. In fact, once they got to #1, I was able to drop down to a 450 minute plan and achieve “unlimited” talk with Friends & Family… I used 2 of my peak minutes last month.

            T-Mobile gave Android a start? Barely. The G1 was a blip on the radar. Verizon gave it market dominance. Verizon. The formerly closed Verizon, noted for selling BREW phones and blackberries with the GPS chips turned off for any non-Verizon service… stepped out into the smartphone world and made history, with 1 device.

            And why invest in a new phone tech/OS? That’s not for carriers to decide, that’s for handset manufacturers. Unless you mean air technology, which that huge – literally a Trust of – GSM Association companies decides on every 10 years.

            By the way, what happened when a corporation, not a non-profit or local hippie cannabis collective, achieved monopoly status in the computer OS realm? Did PCs go up in price? Or drastically spike downwards? So much so, that they went from luxury items that you marvelled at when you went to a friends house that actually were lucky enough to own ONE IBM or Apple IIe… but to a point where almost everyone in every household in America owns their own personal computer. Yet, their monopoly status didn’t stop Apple from making its own OS… nor did it stop UNIX (ironically, UNIX was made by Ma Bell, a monopoly!) from maturing into LINUX and taking over server infrastructure the world over.

    2. Not to me it wouldn’t.. I like having more than one GSM carrier, and I think it’s good to have more than one CDMA carroer.. but if I really had my “druthers”, I would prefer if they were all GSM, so that taking your phone with you when switching would be easy.. and GSM would be the better choice because it’s used elsewhere in the world.. The FCC has totally screwed over the US consumer allowing proprietary phones.. When phones cost $100, that’s not a big deal.. but smartphones are over $500 now.. it should be a requirement that they work on multiple carriers in the US.

    3. Sprint purchasing T-Mobile is different than AT&T purchasing them. Look up their market share and what the acquisition would mean for each Company. You might also want to look up the word hypocrite as it doesn’t apply here.

  2. I applaud Sprint for this.

    1. If you do not want this deal to go through, email here:

      [email protected]

    2. Nothing beats Sprints industry leading 21st and 22nd 4g devices…Definately not Verizon, Ass t&t, or tmobile if your on these carriers your only fooling yourself with data caps and nickel and diming which verizon and ass t&t specialize in…

      1. I can’t argue about the “data caps and nickel and diming” since I have never used their services and therefore can’t say for sure that it is true, but I can argue one thing about your entire statement. The fact that you continue to say “22 4G devices” on the Sprint network is completely false. Sure, there may be 22 by the end of the year, but certainly not now. Look on the Sprint website if you don’t believe me. I can’t fake a corporate website. Either correct your lies or don’t say another word about this. You’re clearly an idiot.

  3. cry me a river sprint

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong but if we’re bought out by AT&T then the next National GSM carrier in line is TracFone?? And then there’s nobody?

    1. Exactly. Well, except for the smaller, regional GSM carriers. But them are far and few between as well.

      I am still can’t believe how our country is so far behind when it comes to adopting GSM technology. I’m also peeved that we let our carriers dictate so much as to what tech we buy, and on how we have to buy it on their terms. I suppose we (as a country) do it to ourselves by continuing to support these carriers with these plans and phone sales model.

      I use AT&T too, but the only reason I am with AT&T is because I can swap out my SIM when I am in another country. I can’t do that with the other phone companies.

      1. you can do it with other companys, I am with sprint and I have the htc evo 4g and the blackberry tour. My blackberry tour is a world phone. Yes it does have a sim slot and sim card so if I went overseas I could still use it… just FYI, you can jump ship from att and get on with SPRINT… LOL

      2. This country is “behind” other countries in adopting GSM because it was a garbage technology that is rightfully now dead with the advent and then sunsetting of EDGE in favor of W-CDMA… and now LTE. All totally separate technologies. None compatible with others. All that is compatible, is the radio frequency… which was paramount to their adoption.

        I believe what you should be saying is, “I can’t believe how our country is so far behind in spectrum synchronization.” Which would allow for SIM swapping without loss of service level… like I dunno, switching a SIM from AT&T to T-Mo or vice versa, with their incompatible 3G radios…

        1. You do realize that LTE is GSM based, and it is the most advanced technology to date. I mean, you do know that, right?

          1. Bzzzt, wrong again… LTE is not GSM based. LTE is a totally new, separate technology. A technology that the GSM **ASSOCIATION** — which Verizon, a CDMA 2G/3G company, is a member of — decided to use as their 4G technology so they could maintain a “global standard”…

            GSM, as a technology… a TDMA technology… died with EDGE. They haven’t invested any further funds into researching or developing GSM-based alternatives. It was supplanted by UMTS/W-CDMA. Just so we’re clear here… TDMA and CDMA (and the wideband variant used as 3G for GSMA carriers) are totally different air-interface technologies. Just as LTE, with it’s ODFM, is another totally different air-interface technology.

            What the GSMA did, was ensure that when they adopted W-CDMA that it would be backwards compatible via hand-offs. Which is precisely what Verizon has done with LTE to CDMA2000… and what others are doing with LTE to W-CDMA.

            GSM only exists now, as a 2G technology, with it’s 3G candidate, EDGE, being referred to as 2.5G. It has never advanced any further. Nor will it ever advance any further.

          2. In laymen’s terms, it kind of is.

            LTE has the advantage of being backwards compatible with existing GSM and HSPA networks

          3. Sorry, don’t mean to be argumentative here, but really… in no terms is it GSM – it’s the technology decided on by the GSMA – which is the webpage you linked to. Even the logo says “GSMA”… and that page even lists the radio technologies that GSM isn’t but LTE is… OFDMA. GSM is TDMA.

            Here’s a simple way of telling if technologies are related… ask this one question. “Did getting this technology on my phone require the operator to put up a new Antennas?” If that answer is “yes”… then it isn’t the same technology. For example, GSM to GRPS to EDGE, all the same antennas. 3G? New antennas. Different technology. That’s precisely why EDGE is everywhere GSM was, while 3G is not. Moving from W-CDMA, to HSUPA/HSPA, same antennas… same tech. LTE, new antennas, new tech.

            LTE is also backwards compatible with CDMA… if we were to apply the same rules, then LTE is “kind of” a CDMA technology. But it isn’t. It was made to work that way by design…

  5. Ok I refuse to think Tony is that dumb. He has to be just playing around…

    1. nope. He believes that if there were like 230M subscribers between ATT and VZW that they would compete against each other and then we would all have Sprint/T-mobile like pricing.

    2. I’m not. Spectrum. The game is spectrum. Spectrum-strapped companies can not compete. I’m not sure what’s so difficult to understand about that. Addition by subtraction.

      People can bitch and moan all they want about total subscriber numbers… but again, subscribers DO NOT matter. It’s about spectrum. A subscriber is replaceable. Spectrum is not. There’s only so much spectrum, and to achieve the best networks, we need spectrum consolidation. You can’t be using AWS, the global standard frequency sets for LTE… for HSPA+ as T-Mo is. It’s a waste of spectrum.

  6. AT&T and T-Mobile is like the Government telling you for all the years you gave your money to Medicare and Social Security hear is $15,000 now go purchase some health Insurance at the age of 65 or 67. And by the way you get no more money. Any additional costs you will have to pay out of pocket. (average $6,400) Then if you want another agreement we will raise the roaming fees on you, If you don’t like it, to bad. Pull yourself up by your boot straps. Now go away before i make some more laws to take the rest of your money.

    By the way this has nothing to do with Sprint.

  7. It’s always good to stand up strong for what you believe in especially every aspect of life privately and business. Sprint rules

  8. And for the record this is all about spectrum nothing more. At&t can’t finish their deployment of hspa plus without purchasing tmobile. It’s pretty clear that at&t will be in bad shape if this deal is not approved. Mr. Hesse knows sprint will be fine and will continue to be as they move forward into the future if the deal goes through then they will be the last man standing as far as affordable carriers and people off of tmobile will flock to sprint. If the tmobile customers wanted at&t they would’ve selected them as their carrier so it’s pretty clear they have no desire for at&t. Sprint represents android well much better than at&t ever will so yes sprint will benefit either way they have the best android devices on any carrier at&t will never beat sprint competition wise when it comes to android.

  9. sprint is so full of crap. they completely cut off service to north dakota, montana and wyoming except for 30 cents per minute roaming. per a friend of mine who drives truckout there.

  10. These fanboi’s complain well there would only be one GSM carrier, well if Sprint bought TMO, there still would be only one GSM carrier. Sprint isn’t smart enough to convert CDMA to GSM (like the vast majority of CDMA carriers have done in the world). Point shown with WiMAX, they will keep it, while its a sinking ship.

    1. I guess you didn’t see the report where Sprint is working out a deal with Lightsquared, which is LTE, which is based on GSM, and until that’s ready to roll, they will contine with WiMAx.

    2. Part of the rumored talk was that T-mobile/Vodafone would also have close to 50% stake in the new company. Screw that since Sprint had more subscribers and actively doing more to future proof their company’s technology. Knowing Sprint they probably would have kept GSM like they had to for Nextel.

  11. I commend sprint for this, but why don’t you get some 4g love in michigan. I have a evo and no 4g.

  12. If the merger does not happen what are the options?

    1. Sprint has no interest in buy or selling to t-mobile. Offers have been made and if was going to happen it would have by now.

    T-mobile merges with another smaller company…nothing really changes.

    3. T-mobile goes bust. At&t would buy most of t-mobile assets considering it is the same tech.

    1. Tmobile would not go “bust” with the breakup fee from AT&T. But someone else will buy them eventually. If it’s not AT&T or Verizon, I would be fine with it.

      1. That’s why I think that Deutches is in a win-win situation. If the deal goes through, they get rid of what they consider a poor investment. If the deal doesn’t go through, they get money and spectrum from AT&T without using their own money.

  13. Wow so many quarrels going on in this post. I just like the fact that Sprint is voicing their disapproval. I could careless about what motive they have for doing so as long as it benefits the bottom line. Which is I rather AT&T go and work with the customer base they have and leave T-Mobile alone.

  14. I agree with sprint taking on this crazy duopoly of a merger. But i dont know why sprint is talking to lightsquared for its lte upgrade. They own a majority stake in clear which even though they arent doing well they have an ass load of spectrum and their lte tests out in pheonix were crazy fast. I saw the video 50mbps down and 15mbps up in a moving car on the freeway, and the got 91mbps down nd 24mbps up on a laptop at an office. i’m pretty sure that would blow verizon out of the water. I hope clear doesn’t fail.

  15. If you do not want this deal to go through, email here:

    [email protected]

  16. WAAAAHH! We made stupid business moves (nextel) and our service is inferior. Our company cant compete so we want the Government to intervene. Get a clue Sprint, you had your chance….

  17. listen i dont want at&t to take over t-mobile i like my phone carrier. if i wanted at&t i would have whent into their store and become a customer i didnt do that. i went to t-mobile becuz its my carrier of choice. honestly i dont know what i would do without them. my phone the nexus s has been a great device under the t-mobile network. now im being stripped of my google be free phone if at&t take t-mobile over. i know for a fact that at&t customer service sucks camel nuts. why go to at&t, why… for what… if they’re so big why would they need t-mobile and its customers. it seem kinda odd that at&t wants t-mobile now that the iphone is on verison. they lose customers all of the time look at there history. an it will only repeat itself, why did they buy cingular wireless when this company was around? where was at&t during that time cingular wireless, t-mobile, sprint, and verison was all in the market? at&t destroys other companys with there shitty service after taking over then disappears and wait for more companys to arise that has something that they dont have to take over again. why am i the only on seeing this? at&t has all this money to throw around to buy out companies smaller than them, why dont they work on there network and service with the same money they are looking to buy t-mobile with that would seem smarter than just buying then fixing there networks to be compadable.

    1. I hated AT&T before I switched to T-Mobile which took place in 2003 for me. IF this deal goes through, I will jump ship to some other carrier. Not sure who yet, but I hate AT&T.

    2. I agree 100% couldn’t have said it better myself…Ass t&t is for losers and they care less about android. Nobody should have to be forced to be a customer of that crappy network….The iphone is GARBAGE and so is ASS T&T

      1. Maybe they just want to stick with AT&T because that’s what they’ve had for awhile. Just because you’re with AT&T doesn’t mean you don’t care about Android. Sure, AT&T might not have the greatest selection, but they still have Android devices. And from a purely objective standpoint, if the iPhone were truly “GARBAGE” as you say it is, it wouldn’t be selling as well as it has/is. If you remember, Verizon even put out a press release citing the highest selling initial launch in it’s entire history for guess what… the iPhone. Have the balls to acknowledge that much at least. “Ass t&t”? “Thunderdud”? Really? How juvenile are you that you need to create pseudo-names for companies/devices that you hate? Just state that you hate [real company’s/device’s name] and move on. Degrading the company/device name only serves to make yourself look like an ignorant fool instead of a well-educated, well informed person of society.

  18. All I know is that when I fill up with gas I ask how prices are heading and the answer is always… Dunno we just go up when the folks across the street do. No one ever stays a dime or even a nickle lower to attract more customers-they charge what the market will bear. Go figure. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

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