Late in November, Sprint and T-Mobile ended their merger talks, concluding an extended period of uncertainty in the wireless industry. In the end, Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of Softbank Bank Group and chairman of Sprint, was unwilling to give up control over his struggling company. Softbank also pledged to increase its investment in Sprint by 85 percent.
Joe Mullin: The speculation of the proposed merger caused certainly slowed things down. Now that both companies have realized that they are going to go ahead on their own, it is a major growth opportunity.
Ron Bizick: T-Mobile continued business as usual during the merger talks, which for them meant continued enhancements to the existing network and new activity and investment in its more recent spectrum acquisitions. I think they learned from failed merger with AT&T that there are no certainties and they needed to maintain their pace during merger talks. Immediately after the merger talks ended, we are now beginning to see an active Sprint out in the marketplace, assembling site lists from tower companies and talking with tower companies about their potential upcoming needs. It should be a pretty darn good year for all of us.
For the last five years or more, we have had four place settings at the table and never had more than two people eating at a time. This year it feels like we are going to have all four people at the dinner table and that’s great. Who knows! Perhaps Dish will pop by for a bite and we will need to add the table leaf.
Tony Peduto: Sprint will now be spending money for the first time since their Network Vision build in 2013. This is great for towers. I also believe “once for sale, always for sale” and that this will lead to Sprint and/or T-Mobile looking at other M & A opportunities (cable providers/Dish/Amazon or Google).