Sprint/Tmobile Merger Complete!

Its been in the news a few times the last couple years, Sprint and Tmobile might actually get along and decide on a merger. It still most likely would have to be approved by the higher government powers that be…and most likely blocked, in my opinion.

But just say for the sake of discussion, that a merger does happen. What does this mean? Will things all stay the same as they are, separate companies names and plans/services. Or, will one brand get dissolved, and now, say a consolidated Tmobile, would then now be a dual band carrier, as in their devices/SIM’s would (eventually) be able to hop between both of their GSM and CDMA networks as needed (kinda like Fi can do). I, for one, really like this idea.

How would such a merger affect MVNO’s?

EDIT 4-29-18: Its official now

1 Like

Lower competition can lead to higher prices over time but the biggest thing to change would be the combined cell bands on Sprint and T-MOBILE, which would probably have the best cell service in the nation.

1 Like

If Sprint and Tmobile becomes ONE unified network under the same name…then Google Fi gonna have to change their advertising. As its a big thing for them to have 3 usable carriers. Maybe they could add VZW to make up for it and keep their 3 carrier thing.

I wonder if their will ever be a service like Fi that can use all cell carriers. or at least all the big ones. Sprint, Tmobile, ATT, VZW, USC, CSpire.

One would think that it would be best service wise, just to simplify and unify all the carriers and make them all just one that all devices can use. But then its a monopoly…like Comcast for CATV/internet. and they do what they want and charge u what they want cause there are no other options.

1 Like

From a technical standpoint, it might be sooner than one might think. CDMA as a technology is dying. LTE is based on GSM not CDMA technology, so effectively today’s CDMA carriers are really already hybrid GSM/CDMA carriers. As 5G technologies (also based on GSM) emerge and existing 4G LTE becomes legacy fallback technology, all U.S. carriers will be effectively GSM carriers. At that point, it would be technically possible for all U.S. carriers to conclude reciprocal roaming agreements with one another. Whether they’ll choose to make that business decision remains to be seen. A couple of cases in point.

T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular have a reciprocal roaming agreement for LTE despite TMO being a GSM network and U.S. Cellular being a “CDMA” one. Implementation of this agreement is dependent on U.S. Cellular’s rollout of VoLTE.

Verizon is on record as saying it intends to phase out 2G and 3G CDMA fallback technologies on its network as soon as 2020. Today, Verizon sells (of all things) an LTE only dumbphone, the LG Exalt LTE.


I once got in to a deep discussion on a far more technical web forum site…(smallnetbuilder or Howardfourms i think)

I always thought that CDMA was old and dying tech. And that GSM was newer and far superior.

However, multiple users, including network engineers kinda went flame war, telling me to research the topic and educate myself (quite rude). They insist that CDMA is superior technology wise. And is better penetrating for buildings and underground than GSM.

Whatever…most users, even techy users, it doesn’t matter to them the technical backend. They just want a good signal for clear, reliable calls, and fast LTE speeds. In my area, that seems to be Tmobiles GSM network. However, I have found several locations where Sprint’s CDMA network far beats out Tmobile.

LTE on a CDMA carrier is the same as LTE on a GSM carrier. And, LTE is based on GSM not CDMA technology. The only non-GSM 4G technology deployed in the U.S. was Sprint’s brief flirtation with WiMAX.

It no longer matters what any network engineers say, GSM has won, CDMA has lost. It’s over. As for those engineers who might want to argue CDMA technology is superior to GSM (they’re wrong but it’s irrelevant), I’ll refer them to the example of Sony’s Betamax vs. VHS. Betamax was widely seen as technically superior to VHS. VHS won anyway.

For the sake of clarity, I’m talking about GSM and CDMA as network technologies not coverage provided by either of Republic’s cellular network partners. One partner happens to operate a GSM network, the other a CDMA network. Neither GSM or CDMA as technologies impact a given carrier’s network coverage footprint. Verizon and Sprint could convert their networks from CDMA to GSM tomorrow without impacting their coverage footprints one iota. They don’t because it would mean stranding customers whose phones only work on CDMA. Canadian wireless carriers Bell Mobility and TELUS transitioned from CDMA to GSM several years ago.


Whomever told you this was just wrong. The building penetration is based on frequency, not technology. It just so happens that the CDMA carriers (Verizon & Sprint) in the US have the lower frequencies. However they could switch to GSM or to Nextel’s old iDEN technology and the penetration would be the same.

This has changed with T-Mobile’s deployment in the 700MHz band and their in process 600MHz band deployment

1 Like

Well. CDMA was invented after GSM. So it is technically newer, at the very least.
And when u google it…u always get something like this:"
CDMA was designed to be technically superior to GSM, providing greater efficiency to the carriers and a better security system.* More of the US is currently covered by CDMA networks than GSM networks. GSM built in support for simultaneous voice and data channels, so you can browse while on a call.”"

And u can see something of a comparison here on wikipedia:

I do like the VHS vs BETA MAX comparison example that was mentioned by rolandh. That pretty much sums it up nicely. Cold also say HDDVD vs BLURAY.

I am not trying to argue anything regarding technical superiority. CDMA licensing fees prevented it from being deployed worldwide and the sheer weight of the US being on an island standards wise, sunk CDMA.

That being said, what I was pointing out is that the building penetration argument is pure bunk.

1 Like

Yea. Thats what i had thought. And believe me i tired to argue that back to the folks that said other wise. I gave up. I am not trying to start an argument about which is better…“better” is most often subjective anyway. :sunglasses:

The average person…well…I hear alot them complain that say Tmobile(GSM) is very poor for them inside buildings in their area, where as VZW (CDMA) is excellent… So they just believe that is the way it is whenever they hear CDMA vs GSM. When in reality, there is far more to it than that.

Also, its no secret that, in the past, Tmobile and Sprint both have always been much more lacking in service coverage than the big VZW and ATT. This has very much changed in the last few years, especially for Tmobile. I personally have experienced, in my area, TMO’s improvements from terrible to “better” than the rest (most of the time).

When both the GSM and CDMA carriers started their 3G services, which is based upon wCDMA, they have been using essentially the same technology except that GSM uses the removable SIM and CDMA doesn’t. The true GSM technology is the old 2G networks that is gradually being turned off and will probably not be used after 2020.

So today when someone talks about GSM, basically they are talking phone services that use a removable SIM to identify it on the cellular network.

I had my MXP and had to ‘shelve’ it over my X2 for months and months because GSM was not good in my area. Tried again maybe (6-months later?) with the same results.

Finally got an invitation to switch to a CDMA sim, and coincidentally, GSM/LTE “lit-up” in my area, in the same ~48’ish hour time-frame.

Been on GSM without issue ever since. :grinning:


That is by far the single best advantage to todays GSM, imo…the ability to just remove SIM card and pop it into literally any GSM phone and it works. No stupid having to call into carrier and give phone info and re-provision. This is a needed thing for folks that switch devices constantly, say if they are a tech reviewer etc.

I found out this the hard-way when I switched off my parents VZW family plan to a Tmobile prepay. Also, now that my primary phone is on Sprint (Free 1yr until July), they told me that no, i can not remove SIM and put in some other device, it will not work unless i call in and get it provisioned. Also, the promo I am on, if u change to a non-quailfied device, it cancels the promo plan and switches to the normal $60 plan.

1 Like

An update post for the Merger:

Thanks for the update…what does 26 billion mean? …is that like a name of a band?.


There is a new type of SIM called the eSIM (embedded SIM) that is just starting to appear on the market, and Verizon & AT&T are not happy because because it makes it even easier to move ones service from phone to phone or even change carriers.


Indeed. I read about eSIM when I was looking at the Pixel 2.

As of last I read, the eSIM is only supported by Project Fi currently.
That is quite neat, as if u have a Pixel 2 device, u don’t need to bother to order a SIM, just install the app and sign up for Fi.

I also read that it also acts as a Dual SIM device. Where u can switch the phone between eSIM and external SIM in the settings.

cdma is code division multiplex / time division an gsm is freq. division based on the
radio an type of multiplexer it uses an freq.

“The number of major wireless carriers in the United States could shrink from four to three. Sprint and T-Mobile have announced that they intend to merge. The merger will need to be approved by regulators and the company’s shareholders.”

Source: The Verge, April 29, 2018

“The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close no later than the first half of 2019.”
Source: BusinessWire, April 29, 2018


I found this interesting, too:

“There is no breakup fee associated with the deal, they said. However, there is a roaming agreement that will kick into effect between the companies if a deal is rejected. Sprint customers would be allowed to use T-Mobile’s network if they’re out of range, two of the people said.”

Source: CNBC, April 27, 2018

Well. assuring it is approved…bring up so many questions.
What happens to active Sprint devices, plans, promos?
What happens to Sprint’s MVNO Boost etc?
What happens to Sprint’s MVNO partner agreements…etc?

R.W. may no longer be able to have “2” network partners. All up to Tmobile in the future.

I’m sure one of the biggest questions R.W users will have is:

Will the older “legacy” phones continue to work? (since those are exclusively on Sprint CDMA 3G/4G).

These questions probably can’t be answered for some time. If the merger isnt actually approved until 2019, then it takes them time after that to do the actual planning and marketing…could be 2020 by the time customers see any actual changes.

Message an
Expert customer