Today’s guest contribution comes from first time Pocketables contributor Jeremy Sutter and covers a little bit of the why and what of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger:
T-Mobile and Sprint’s recent merger has been in the works for nearly two years. Now that the table for this historic event is finally set, how will one of the biggest telecommunications mergers of the 21st century impact ordinary consumers?
Before we dive into that question, let’s examine the reasoning behind the two telecom companies joining forces.
The Next Generation of Mobile Telecom
One of the biggest drivers for this merger involves the implementation of 5G technology. Industry analysts suggest that AT&T and Verizon possess a strategic advantage in rolling out this next generation of mobile telecommunications.
5G communications promises up to 10Gbps for those who have capable devices. Experts suggest that 5G could revolutionize the way we communicate. Outside of mobile devices, 5G communications opens the doors to sophisticated technologies such as smart cities and IoT.
In order to remain competitive, T-Mobile and Sprint came to the bargaining table and decided to join forces. While 5G will change the way we communicate, how will it change the way consumers deal with these telecommunications giants?
What to Expect from the Merger?
The first reaction that consumers ask after a merger is: What about my bill?
This is a natural reaction because less competition typically means that a company can corner the market and demand higher monthly fees.
According to Consumer Reports magazine, customers of these two services will have their current rates locked in for the next three years. This is a breath of fresh air for consumers who seemingly get the short end of the stick each time two corporate powerhouses come together.
Consequently, customers should get better 5G availability due to the deal.
The newly merged company boldly claims that the new partnership will be able to provide 5G coverage to 99% of Americans nationwide. In order for the merger to get past an antitrust lawsuit, the two companies navigated a maze of complex regulations for nearly two years.
Some pundits believed that the deal wouldn’t get done.
After it was all said and done, the deal ended up being worth about $37 billion dollars. The Deal was closed on April 2nd.
What Happens in the Coming Months?
As a goodwill gesture, the two telecom giants have announced that they will offer free services for first responder agencies in the United States. Unlimited streaming and weekly giveaways are some of the perks that will be offered to new and existing members. T-Mobile Tuesdays coming to Sprint has been one of the many perks that both customer bases will now enjoy.
The deal allows its members to get unlimited 2G data in other countries and it also provides its members with the ability to send SMS messages while visiting more than 210+ countries worldwide.
Customers will retain access to “Netflix on us.” This goodwill gesture is a way to provide mobile television and movie streaming directly to your mobile device at no extra charge. The Sprint side of the deal will also offer an unlimited “Line on Us” Offer, which gives any Sprint customer one line of free service with an existing Sprint line. Many customers have inquired if T-Mobile will gain access to Sprint’s free Hulu and Sprint will gain access to Netflix; while that may happen in the future, as of now, they will not cross over.
If you’re fortunate to fly on an airline that has GoGo enabled wireless internet, you’ll be able to surf the internet on your mobile device for up to 1 hour without paying any additional premiums.
T-Mobile and Sprint also claim that customers who have questions about their service will be able to talk to a human whenever they have to make an inquiry about their account. With other providers, you’re forced to talk to a bot whenever you have a question about your service. In light of the merger, these two carriers seem committed to providing high levels of customer service.
Existing Customers Should Not Experience a Major Impact
The good thing about this merger taking two years is that the two companies have all of this time to plan out the migration and alleviate any customer concerns. The two companies have had to answer questions from regulators as well as consumers. While there have been some hiccups, with much of the combined service being taken down on the East Coast for a while, the companies hope to continue forward without there being too many disruptions.
This feedback has been valuable for the two telecom giants and it should help put new and existing customers at ease when evaluating mobile plans in the future.