Sprint responded to the announcement of the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T with a statement that expresses concern about the proposed merger. Sprint suggests federal regulators take a close look at the deal, which will dramatically change the structure of the wireless industry in the US.
The now #3 wireless carrier in the US points out that a post-merger AT&T and Verizon will control almost 80 percent of the wireless post-paid market and will set both the price and availability of valuable assets, such as backhaul capacity and wireless access, which the smaller carriers need to compete. The merger would also leave Sprint in the dust in terms of subscriber numbers.
Sprint has the most to lose from a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. The merger would vault AT&T to the top as the nation's largest GSM carrier with 130 million subscribers. Verizon would trail the merged company as the nation's largest CDMA carrier with about 100 million subscribers. Though it will be smaller, Verizon has a strong lineup of handsets with the Apple iPhone and Android offerings, such as the HTC Thunderbolt. Verizon is also successfully deploying its LTE network on the 700 MHz band and has little to fear from a stronger AT&T and T-Mobile.
Sprint, on the other hand, relies on its partnership with Clearwire for 4G expansion, but the carrier is considering a move to LTE. It has a plan forward for 4G, but its future prospect is not as strong as Verizon or AT&T in this growing wireless broadband market. Sprint also lacks the iPhone and other cutting-edge handsets like AT&T's dual-core Motorola Atrix 4G. It is already behind AT&T and Verizon and will be at a decided disadvantage if T-Mobile merges with AT&T.
The full text of Sprint's statement can be found after the break.