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What does a T-Mobile / Sprint merger mean to Ting customers?

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After many false starts, it looks as though the long-rumored Sprint and T-Mobile merger will be going ahead. For customers of an MVNO that offers service on both carrier networks, there are some very reasonable questions that come up.

What does a T-Mobile / Sprint merger mean to Ting and to Ting customers? For the foreseeable future, it doesn’t mean anything at all. Looking a little further downfield, we see this as a positive thing for Ting and for customers of established MVNOs like Ting.

First, we have no reason to believe that the conjoined entity will value the wholesale part of the business (that is, MVNOs) any differently than either carrier does today. What a viable MVNO like Ting offers to a carrier partner is guaranteed revenue with a minimum of effort attached. Easy money in so many words. We don’t see either carrier walking away from that, not now while they’re operating quasi-independently or later when they’re one carrier.

Sascha Segan from PC Mag takes the argument a step further, making a strong case for why the new T-Mobile needs to keep MVNOs happy.

The soon-to-be megacarrier has already talked about roaming across the two networks. Taking a longer view, the two networks will necessarily become one. Both in the near and the longer term, that means broader coverage all across the US on what is, for all intents and purposes, one network. That’s a good thing for Ting customers overall, so we’re happy about that too.

All these positives aside, Ting has always been an advocate for more competition, not less. Three “major carriers” is obviously less than four. Were this merger approved even six or seven years ago, the outlook might have been very different. However, MVNOs are one-way competition has been effectively forced on an industry that’s, shall we say, change-averse.

We always have and will keep our options open when it comes to working with carrier partners. In short, though, it’s MVNO business as usual.