News: Sprint & T-Mobile to Merge for 5G Rollout? Softbank CEO Wants It

Sprint & T-Mobile to Merge for 5G Rollout? Softbank CEO Wants It

Last week, T-Mobile CEO John Legere got salty. He announced ever so cheerily T-Mobile's intentions to release the first true 5G network in coming years, all while gaily smacking AT&T around for their bogus "5G Evolution" reveal. But could Legere be wrong to say T-Mobile will be the nation's first 5G carrier? It looks as though that title may have to be shared with Sprint ...

Sprint announced today their own plan to build a 5G network by 2019. While Legere may be laughing away by beating Sprint in announcing their network first; Sprint is the only network to actually give any real deadline for their 5G project. T-Mobile was more than a little vague about release dates, setting themselves up for a sucker punch by Sprint.

Calendar'd. Image by Brice Sandler/Tumblr

But things may not be as competitive as they appear between T-Mobile and Sprint. Softbank CEO, Masayoshi Son, supports a Sprint / T-Mobile merger. A sentiment that actually raised T-Mobile's stock on Wednesday. "Where there's smoke, there's fire," isn't always true by any means, but let's just say that's some smokey news. Especially given that this news is coming from Sprint's majority owner in Softbank. (Those with long memories will remember that Sprint wanted to buy, and merge, with T-Mobile some years back, but was thwarted by regulators.)

If the two networks merge this time, the U.S. could see its first 5G network sooner than anyone expects. T-Mobile and Sprint are the only two of the four network giants to announce true 5G plans. If a joint 5G release were to happen, AT&T and Verizon would be placed severely behind. Verizon as of now has no official 5G plans, and AT&T won't be able to utter the words "5G" without being shamed by the masses until they have something more substantial to show.

Cover image via Wall Street Journal/YouTube

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