T-Mobile and Sprint won’t shutter their prepaid brands even if the blockbuster deal between them closes.
The two U.S. carriers have told the FCC that, in the event their merger gets approved, the companies will continue offering various prepaid service under the new entity. T-Mobile owns and operates MetroPCS. Meanwhile, Sprint holds the U.S. licenses for Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.
Between them, there are millions of customers on the line. The concern is that T-Mobile and Sprint would kill off their prepaid brands and force customers to choose a more expensive plan.
Here’s what T-Mobile said in a statement:
“In response to a question, the executives stated that New T-Mobile will retain T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s current prepaid brands as they target different types of customers. Moreover, since New T-Mobile will be incentivized to fill its expansive capacity, it will offer attractive plans to MVNOs.”
While the names are different, the networks are identical. T-Mobile and Sprint leverage their prepaid brands to offer cheaper services that aren’t associated with well-known postpaid brands. Both also lease capacity on their networks to third-party mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
Other prepaid carriers might be put in jeopardy, though. Many partners believe T-Mobile and Sprint will ignore MVNOs after the deal closes, but executives for both claim they’re committed to that revenue stream. In fact, T-Mobile’s been pushing MVNOs to make the merger more attractive for consumers and the U.S. government. The merger is still under investigation.
Companies like Dish Network and Altice have already voiced their concerns, encouraging regulators to look at how the merger impacts everyone else with aspirations to enter the wireless industry.
As the U.S. government continues examining it, we recommend taking a look at the potential effects of this merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.