After more than a year in review and several extensions, the FCC has finally given T-Mobile Sprint merger its final approval .
The new carrier – which people have called New T-Mobile – will be the second largest US carrier with control of 29.4 percent of the postpaid wireless market according to previous data this year. This share is significantly behind Verizon's 40.9 percent and just barely ahead of AT & T's 28.9 percent.
However, T-Mobile and Sprint will be forced to dispose of at least 20,000 cell sites and a number of retail outlets to dispose of at least 20,000 cell locations and a number of retail outlets to Dish, which will become the country's fourth wireless provider. Dish will also access New T-Mobile's network for seven years while expanding its own coverage.
The big concern for consumers is how T-Mobile and Sprint's merger could negatively impact the price of wireless plans across the country. Despite T-Mobile CEO John Legere promising not to raise the price of wireless plans for three years after the merger, the data from suggests that reduced competition could lead to higher prices in the long run.
Another potential benefit of the merger is a faster rollout of 5G networks. Even before the merger was approved, T-Mobile and Sprint had worked on complementary 5G strategies where T-Mobile focused on low band Sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies, while Sprint focused on expanding its mid-band 2.5-GHz coverage. Combined, the two carriers' joint networks will provide both high speeds and better long-distance coverage than both companies would be able to deliver on their own.
However, in a disagreement, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Stark wrote:
Based on my review of the record, I believe T-Mobile and Sprint have failed to prove that their merger will be of benefit to the public . While the parties promise that their merger will speed up the availability of some form of & # 39; 5G & # 39; For some Americans, history teaches us that the most likely effect of this merger will be higher prices and fewer options for all Americans.
In a statement sent to Gizmodo, former FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel reiterated Stark's opinion:
We have all seen what happens when market concentration increases following a merger. A condensed airline industry brought us baggage fees and smaller seats, even when the price of fuel fell. A condensed pharmaceutical industry has led a handful of drug companies to raise prices for life-saving medicines and exploit those struggling with illness. There is no reason to believe that the mobile phone industry will be different.
While it is still unclear how exactly the merger will affect current T-Mobile and Sprint customers, we expect to hear more about T-Mobile's next Uncarrier event  scheduled for later this week, November 11.