The long-rumored merger between T-Mobile and Sprint has officially been called off, the companies announced in a joint statement Saturday. Despite the failed merger, the US telecom industry could still face a shake-up.
Sprint is doubling down on network investments in the wake of the failed merger.
Immediately following the announcement, Sprint’s parent company SoftBank said it would invest $5 billion-$6 billion annually to improve Sprint’s network over the next few years. That’s up from $3.5 billion-$4 billion the carrier had expected to spend this fiscal year.
Infrastructure investment is crucial for Sprint to become more competitive against the rest of the Big Four. Slow mobile networks and poor coverage are two of the carrier’s most significant shortcomings. For example, Sprint’s 4G network ranks last in terms of both availability and speed, according to the most recent measurements from OpenSignal.
Here’s why increased infrastructure investment could make Sprint a more competitive player in the US telecom market.
- Sprint has struggled because it hasn’t delivered on the mobile offerings that US subscribers find most important. In fact, the carrier currently has the least loyal subscribers of the Big Four telecoms. Ninety-three percent of Sprint’s subscribers said they’d switch carriers when presented with a range of competitive mobile offerings — that’s well above the share of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon subscribers who said the same, according to BI Intelligence’s exclusive Digital Telecom Consumer survey (available to enterprise-level subscribers).
- The most significant shortcoming Sprint has to fix to be more competitive is its poor network. The biggest reason Sprint subscribers would leave is for better coverage. Half said they’d switch carriers for better coverage where they live (see chart, above). Sprint’s mobile coverage was <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://e.businessinsider.com/click/11209766.763/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cud2hpc3RsZW91dC5jb20vQ2VsbFBob25lcy9HdWlkZXMvd2hvLWhhcy10aGUtYmVzdC1jb3ZlcmFnZQ/56378b5356cf60046a8b4ca0B5d5053c7" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" Read More Here