Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the $26 billion T-Mobile-Sprint merger. This deal combines two of the country’s largest wireless service providers into a unified company that serves more than 80 million mobile subscribers.

Though legal challenges from state attorneys could still create potential roadblocks for the merger moving forward, this action signals the final step of approval required at the federal agency level.

What the T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Means for the Future of Mobility

Before the merger is officially finalized, T-Mobile-Sprint will be required to hand over wireless spectrum assets and subscribers to Dish – a satellite TV company working to build a competing mobile network.

By doing so, DOJ Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim believes that everyone will benefit. Consumers will experience increased connectivity and new service capabilities, and the industry will become more competitive and, therefore, more innovative as a result.

This divestiture is intended to create a fourth major U.S. carrier – Dish – capable of transforming the bulk of unused and underutilized wireless spectrum into high-quality 5G services. In fact, the company has already committed to a June 2023 deadline for achieving 5G network availability to at least 70% of all U.S. consumers.

While there are concerns that the merger could result in higher prices for consumers, T-Mobile and Sprint deny these claims. Instead, the combined organization claims this merger is necessary to expand the next generation of mobile connectivity – especially where rural coverage is concerned.

As part of the agreement, T-Mobile-Sprint has pledged to provide 5G network coverage to 97% of Americans over the next three years and 99% within six years.

So, What’s Next?

A lawsuit from nearly a dozen state attorney generals is the last – and potentially lengthy – hurdle to overcome before the merger can be considered official. Legal experts expect litigation to tie up the process for months, if not years, as courts investigate the claims of potentially unhealthy market concentration.

Regardless of the outcome, there’s one thing you can be certain of: 5G is well on its way to becoming a reality. Is your organization ready?

Check out AOTMP® University’s mobile environment optimization course to ensure you’re prepared for the next generation of technology.