Finally, with the Justice Department offering Sprint a thumbs-up to T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion mergers, the US wireless sector can start to prepare for its new reality. Sprint is gone, T-Mobile is getting much larger and Dish is set to become a fourth wireless competitor after years of hoarding spectrum.
All this moving and shaking is bound to have an effect on mobile phone service with the broad reach of the agreement, including how much it costs and from whom you get it.
While more legal difficulties still lie ahead, including a lawsuit by more than a dozen state attorneys general attempting to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, what will this fresh wireless world imply for the cost of your phone bill and service right now? In this list, we will attempt to break that down, which we will update as occurrences unfold.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere had earlier promised the Federal Communications Commission that the business would not increase wireless rates for three years after approval of the merger, and that promise remains after the DOJ blessed the agreement.
If you are currently a T-Mobile customer, if available in your area, you can expect to continue using the same service plans— including 5G.
Sprint will continue to function separately for the time being until the remaining legal hurdles are cleared, with plans and promotions working as they were before the DOJ’s decision.
What will happen to Sprint’s plans is not yet known as the businesses continue to integrate, such as whether they will be grandfathered in and continue to operate at T-Mobile, or whether subscribers will have to select fresh plans. But in the brief term, thanks to a roaming agreement between the two businesses, Sprint consumers will be able to begin taking advantage of T-Mobile’s network.
These three Sprint prepaid brands will head to Dish after the merger is formally closed, covering 9.3 million individuals. They stay with Sprint for now, however, and nothing changes their rate plans or services.
Even after the deal has been approved, service should remain the same as T-Mobile has agreed to allow Dish users to use its network for seven years while Dish is building its own 5G network.
T-Mobile said Friday it would not adjust the contracts of any agreements with it or the mobile enterprise network providers of Sprint as part of the agreement. Also known as MVNOs, these are carriers like Google’s Fi and Ting that use current infrastructure to lease room on a nationwide supplier to offer their own wireless service.
Both Project Fi and Ting use a mixture of T-Mobile and Sprint networks and as part of the agreement should continue to function usually. New MVNOs, such as the forthcoming offer from cable business Altice, which depends on the network of Sprint, will also be able to continue to operate as scheduled.
What may happen in the future is uncertain, but the agreement should not have an effect on those networks for now.
Regulators hope that AT&T and Verizon will be challenged by a stronger T-Mobile and a fresh player in Dish, with the renewed competition pushing the telecom giants to give customers better prices.
However, for now, nothing has altered for the two biggest carriers in America. Both businesses have not adapted their recent plans for any of their strategies or pricing.