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Both network operators say this is a way to stay competitive in the race for the fastest 5G network. If approved, Sprint will be integrated with T-Mobile.
USA TODAY

The potential relocation of four major US mobile operators Up to three could lead to big changes in your mobile plans and services.

On Sunday, T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans for a $ 26 billion merger that would combine the two companies into a larger No. 3 network, behind AT & T and Verizon.

The deal is still awaiting regulatory approval and raises many questions when you pay Sprint or T-Mobile for your service.

This new company would represent more than 90 million retail wireless phone customers in the US, about one-third of the market, said Resea rch company Recon Analytics.

So does that mean you pay more? And will your phones still work when the companies get together? Here's what we know (and do not know) how this wireless merger might affect you:

Service on both networks could get better

According to RootMetrics researchers, Sprint and T-Mobile rank third and fourth in Mobile -Performance in the second half of 2017. John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, has always denied RootMetrics and cited crowdsource information such as the tests of the research firm Ookla T-Mobile as the last network last year.

With the two companies Combining their networks can improve service on both sides. In a joint statement, companies promise that existing customers with both services "benefit from higher speed, coverage, and performance when the two companies' networks come together." However, it is likely that we will know more about the quality of performance as soon as the shift actually takes place.

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They could pay more, especially for unlimited plans

Currently, Sprint offers the cheapest unlimited plan in the group, at $ 60 a month for a line. In addition, Sprint offers HD video streaming and the ability to use up to 10 GB of data when turning your phone into a mobile hotspot.

T-Mobile's unlimited plan starts at $ 70, but if you want similar perks for the Sprint Plan, you'll need to pay an additional $ 10 a month. So would Sprint owners have to switch to the T-Mobile plan? Could T-Mobile's "grandfather" have Sprint users on the plan so that they can keep their current prices until they volunteer?

In their joint statement, Sprint and T-Mobile have committed to continue offering lower prices than their competitors, AT & T and Verizon, but have not gone so far as to clarify which of their respective current plans would be maintained.

What? About perks, such as free Netflix?

On T-Mobile, plans with two or more lines come with a free Netflix subscription. At Sprint, it's music service Tidal (for six months) and Hulu if your plan is justified. It's possible that customers might end up with a really strong deal on streaming services, but companies still have to confirm their fate.

I'm on Sprint. Does my phone work on the T-Mobile network?

While T-Mobile and Sprint use different radio bands for their networks (Sprint on CDMA, T-Mobile on GSM), a merger should not complicate things too much. More and more phones are supporting the LTE networks of both companies.

Many of the latest iPhones and Samsung Galaxys will work seamlessly across the two networks (some may be slightly better than others depending on how up-to-date the phone is.) For example, the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9 works across all carriers.

The two were even used together in the past. Google's Project Fi relies on both T-Mobile and Sprint for its nationwide wireless network, switching to the strongest network.

And companies have signed a roaming agreement that gives Sprint users access to the T-Mobile network. So, if you have a newer smartphone, you should be covered. Of course, it all changes as the new T-Mobile tumbles at speeds of up to 5G, which no current smartphone supports.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23 .

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