That being said, no one has put forth any real solid evidence and by that I mean someone of professional capacity that would validate any reason to truly believe that DT and Sprint could possibly merge. I'll chalk it up to the same rumor pool that keeps telling me the loch ness monster is real. http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2008/05/05/mean-street-just-say-nein-to-dtsprint/http://www.rcrnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080509/SUB/241395404/1011/FREE
I like this piece "Neither Sprint Nextel nor DT has denied the merger speculation." and just a couple days later,http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aTTIjQ8qgKEU
For better or for worse, this is very possible. All those working for T-Mobile expect alot of crazy change. Existing T-Mobile customers need not worry, T-Mobile was going to move on with or without Sprint. 3g is still there, thousands of new towers still being built, existing customers are the lucky ones.
First off, Nextel would be sold off. When you think about it, it could just be worth the low low value of Sprint right now just for the spectrum and the towers. Now you may go "Hey but they are CDMA towers!" and you are wrong, kinda of. The tower itself, the building, can be used to house GSM equipment. Ive talked to someone who gets zoning rights for T-Mobile(one of my customers), and it is no walk in the park. It can be extremely hard to get a tower built(the building itself again), she was telling me how just a word from the zoning committee can scrap your whole project. Also stories how a tower will be done and ready for equipment, which was in the middle of an industrial complex, and the committee made them rebuild it as a palm tree tower. Again that is in the middle of an industrial complex
. So you can imagine this kinda bs going on all the time, with tons of HOAs, city/county/state governments, business owners...ect. And the work force you would need to employ to get THOUSANDS of these done every month. Hell the Carolinas got 163 towers in 2 months!
So what that means is, yes the antenna and other GSM specific equipment would be expensive to replace. The parts from the CDMA towers would still work and could be resold at some fraction of their cost. Then the savings on labor for getting zoning and building the towers. So reequipping the towers wouldn't be that bad. What would be a problem is more internal logistical problems that would likely result in large churn for 1-2 years. Switching employees, stores, customers, all of that would be insane. Any store near an existing T-Mobile store is gone, the employees will need to be retrained to T-Mobile standards(the ones that make it), and converting around 40 million accounts which with such different bill systems would be fun. And what do you get from it all:
SPECTRUM AND 40 MILLION CUSTOMERS!! (Yes 40 million, Im not counting Nextel)
Now think about this, T-Mobile and Sprint both sat out at the 700mhz auction. Verizon and at&t bought ALOT of spectrum, 9 and 8 billion spent each. Now both Sprint and T-Mobile are way behind in spectrum, neither has enough for LTE while now Verizon and at&t do. However both T-Mobile and Sprint's spectrum combined could definitely do it. Imagine that if they were to merge, T-Mobile could spend the next few years migrating customers to AWS(1700/2100) for voice as they build it out. Then they could build out LTE on the 1900/850mhz which would be a large amount since both T-Mobile and Sprint are largely based in 1900mhz. 4g problem solved, and could be deployed about the same time and at&t or Verizon.
The 40 millions customers will help as well, but I imagine a realistic 25% churn of those customers. Even then that doubles T-Mobiles customer base and makes them a real contender because if they play their cards right, they will make up that loss real fast.
Ehh, but this is all really only IMO, who knows whats really going to happen.