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The merger of T-Mobile and Sprint will help the new company to deliver 5G, but Dish’s future is not assured

Roberto Kompany Senior Analyst, Research

"The merger will give T-Mobile access to Sprint's 2.5GHz spectrum and significantly strengthen its 5G prospects; Dish as the new fourth player is unlikely to be a credible 5G competitor."

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) approved a USD26.5 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint on 26 July 2019, which forms part of a wider agreement between several states' attorneys general to allow Dish (an American satellite TV provider) to acquire Sprint's prepaid customer base together with some spectrum for USD5 billion. Dish will gain access to a wholesale deal with the new T-Mobile company, but the merger will reduce the number of nationwide mobile network operators (MNOs) in the USA from four to three for several years. This will lead to some consumer concerns such as increased prices and reduced overall competition in the market.

This comment examines the challenges and opportunities that T-Mobile/Sprint and Dish will face as a result of these new agreements and discusses why it will be challenging to maintain price competition. The comment also explains why Dish will struggle as a credible fourth player in terms of its size, brand and competitive position.