Earlier this month, we asked you about your thoughts on a possible T-Mobile merger with some other company. After getting news that Sprint and Softbank had retracted their offer, media outlets started reporting that Dish Network was once again getting serious about a bid for T-Mobile. Dish’s chairman Charlie Ergen had apparently contacted Deutsche Telekom to indicate his interest in acquiring T-Mobile US, and he allegedly waited until Sprint’s and Softbank’s plans fell apart. He still hasn’t made a formal bid for the company yet, though.
Dish is the second-largest U.S. satellite-TV provider and is sitting on quite a bit of nationwide spectrum that it has yet to put to any use. Additionally, T-Mobile is planning to bid in the upcoming AWS spectrum, and Dish wouldn’t want to make an offer until that auction is complete. Combining with T-Mobile would immediately give Dish access to a nationwide network that it could begin supplementing with its own spectrum, which would allow the satellite company to begin offering mobile video services as a way to challenge the existing traditional cable/satellite TV model.
But is that really the best option for T-Mobile? Would Sprint have been better? Or could T-Mobile survive on its own?
The results are in, and I have to admit I’m somewhat surprised – but perhaps I shouldn’t be, given such a large percentage of our readers are Sprint fans. The vast majority of you – over 73% – said that T-Mobile needed to merge with someone. And of that, over 57% said that someone was Sprint and Softbank – that T-Mobile needed them to turn into a true competitor for AT&T and Verizon. The others who voted for a merger thought that Dish would actually be the least horrible option for T-Mobile.
Of the remaining poll respondents, only 2% said that T-Mobile should look at other merger options, like Iliad in France (no surprise there), although almost one quarter of the respondents – a very sizable minority – said that T-Mobile doesn’t need a merger. It can continue to grow and be successful on its own.
Did you vote in our poll? What do you think?