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Sprint and T-Mobile are all about 5G—or so they say

April 30, 2018

The long-sought corporate fusion will shake up the mobile telecoms landscape in the US—if Washington lets it happen, that is.

And then there were three: T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the move via Twitter on Sunday. The new company (which will keep the T-Mobile name) will compete against AT&T and Verizon for dominance in the wireless market.

Some background: Sprint and T-Mobile have tried this before. The first go-round failed in 2014 after pushback from regulators in the Obama administration. Attempt #2 fell apart last year because the two sides couldn’t agree on how the new company’s leadership should look.

Why now? Two words: 5G and Trump. By combining forces, the new T-Mobile aims to be the first company to bring widespread 5G wireless to consumers. But while the alliance could indeed be beneficial to efforts to build a new network, heralding 5G is likely more about pandering to the Trump administration’s worries that China could beat the US to 5G. And with Trump seen as more open to large corporate mergers, the two companies are hoping that this time regulators will let it happen.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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