Sprint’s CEO sees “logic” in potential LTE-based merger with T-Mobile USA 21
In an interview with The Financial Times, Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel’s CEO, discussed the company’s potential adoption of the LTE (for Long Term Evolution) 4G wireless technology for mobile phones. This technology has already been selected by T-Mobile USA (as well as Verizon Wireless and AT&T), although Sprint’s current 4G technology is based on the competing WiMAX standard.
The move toward LTE by Sprint led the Financial Times to ask Hesse about possible merger opportunities for the third (Sprint) and fourth (T-Mobile) largest US carriers. According to the Financial Times piece, "Mr Hesse accepted there was a 'logic' to a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile USA if they were both using the same 4G technology, but declined to comment about deal activity." The FT also notes that while Sprint has enough radio spectrum to roll out both 4G technologies, T-Mobile USA may not, further encouraging the merger. (This is quite a different situation from that which we reported last September, when T-Mobile’s parent Deutsche Telecom was considering purchasing Sprint.)
Given that there aren’t any (current) webOS devices using either 4G standard, the implications of this potential technology adoption and merger for the Palm community aren’t clear. Should Sprint switch to LTE, though, it would make the likely 4G hardware path for Palm much clearer, with all four (or three, if the Sprint/T-Mobile merger happens) major US carriers on a single standard, and could even help get webOS devices onto T-Mobile, where they currently don’t yet work officially.