The effect of the Sprint + T-Mobile merger on MVNOs will soon be discovered

T-Mobile Store
T-Mobile Store (Image credit: Android Central)

It's clear that the T-Mobile and Sprint merger will have a huge impact on the wireless space in the U.S., meaning that every nook and cranny needs to be checked before the deal can go through. As part of the latest step in this process, the Justice Department is now reportedly asking smaller MVNOs about how the merger will impact them.

According to Reuters, the Justice Department is specifically interested in whether or not the merger will affect prices of MVNOs that purchase network access from T-Mobile and Sprint.

It's noted that:

The Justice Department, which is evaluating T-Mobile's $26 billion deal to buy Sprint, has been speaking with small wireless operators that buy access to the major wireless networks at wholesale rates, and is seeking their opinions about the merger, the people said, who declined to be named because the talks are confidential.

How are these smaller MVNOs responding? So far, it's a mixed bag.

David Glickman of Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile was told the Justice Department wanted to talk with him, but "said he was not given additional details about what the department wanted to discuss."

On the other hand, Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton has previously stated that "A merger between T-Mobile and Sprint without any concessions would be bad for consumers."

Earlier this week, the Antitrust Chief with the DOJ commented that the U.S. going from four to three major network operators as a result of the merger wouldn't be a dealbreaker.

The T-Mobile / Sprint merger could be great for consumers, but it probably won't be

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Of course Boost Mobile will cry. They're a Sprint MVNO and rely on CDMA for a lot of their stuff. You better believe an S-Mobile priority would be killing off CDMA which could alienate Boost's existing customer base.
  • CDMA is done for regardless if it's a Sprint or Verizon MVNO and will be phased out for voice in another 2-4 years. This is a play to ensure that MVNO's are given fair if not preferred rates if the merger actually occurs.
  • Dude you're about 5 years out of date. All Boost phones have been 4g for several years. There are no doubt some legacy customers with ancient handsets. Boost would just need to give them a free update to a refurbished device like they did when they eliminated Nextel and the TracFone companies did when Verizon and AT&T phased out legscy technology. It's not a significant issue and they would need to do it merger or no merger.
  • Sprint and Boost still rely on CDMA for phone calls, except with some handsets that are beta testing VoIP over LTE. I'm sure that's what he was referencing.
  • When this whole merger thing was initiated by T-Mobile/Sprint, it was stated that the paperwork for the New T-Mobile would be filed by the end of May. I haven't seen anything to confirm this since it appears the government is starting the process by contacting MVNO's. Anybody know anything?
  • Seems like it won't be for sure until a merger happens. I mean is T-Mo going around saying " we will keep charging x price for access to our network?" without that it just seems like it will be a lot of uncertains until the merger goes through (or doesn't) in terms of how it would affect these companies. 
  • When this merger is complete the new T Mobile will continue to screw their customers, no lube, no mercy, surprised you say, why, they have been doing it since the beginning with no signal, dropped calls, can't get online crappy network, whatever is going on in the merger is for their benefit not yours
  • *opinion*
  • Sorry your experience has been that way. For me, we didn't have a good experience with Verizon. Had a dead spot in our home office. As well, we had calls that would ring on the one end, but not on our end. Then we would get a voicemail right after they finished. T-mobile has been awesome. And much cheaper. I only pay $17.99 a line on the T-mobile business plan.
  • i doubt your experience is recent. all your pain points are completely wrong to the actual experience on t-mobile.
  • My daughter has Boost Mobile and loves it. However she badly needs a new phone. I'm probably going to buy her one but Im worried that the new phone will need to be replaced soon due to this merger. She always keeps her phones a long time. Maybe I should try and talk her into switching to Cricket. That will be an uphill battle.