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Sprint, one of America’s best-known brands, no longer exists

“I want to acknowledge the Sprint story and its 120-year legacy that is now part of our legacy as we enter this new era,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile, in a statement, adding, “We did it! Another historic one. ” Day for new T-Mobile! “

The long-awaited merger marks the end of Sprint’s long history, but it also lays the foundation for several bloody decades of failed betting and is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Although it was the fourth largest mobile operator in the country, Sprint’s missteps have put it far behind larger competitors Verizon (VZ) and AT & T. (T.) (CNN̵
7;s parent company) in terms of customer numbers and network performance, and the costly rollout of 5G was imminent. Without T-Mobile (TMUS)Sprint would likely have had difficulty staying afloat and could have ended up in a bankruptcy court, which even Sprint indicated.

Sprint was born from thousands of kilometers of telegraph wire that ran along the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks to make it easier to send trains. The name “Sprint” was short for the system: Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Networking Telecommunications. In the 1970s, the group opened private customers access to the long distance network.

Sprint Corporation became its own company two decades later and entered the mobile business in 1992 with the acquisition of Centel. It was the only provider of mobile, long-distance and local calls in the country. The following years were relatively successful for Sprint, possibly supported by his famous “Pin Drop” commercials with “Murphy Browns” Candace Bergen who promote the network’s performance.
In 2004, Sprint merged with Nextel to dramatically expand its mobile customer base and – sound familiar? – compete better with Verizon and AT&T. But this deal was a pitiful failure, and Sprint’s overall success collapsed.
The Nextel deal had several issues, including incompatible technologies: Nextel phones weren’t working on the Sprint network and vice versa. This meant that the merged company was unable to take advantage of its combined infrastructure. Customers fled from Nextel and did not necessarily join Sprint. Sprint eventually wrote down almost the full value of the merger and closed the Nextel network in 2013.

As a result of the failed merger, Sprint’s balance sheet was exhausted, so that the same amount of money was no longer available to invest in improvements to its network as its competitors.

Sprint also made a wrong bet on 4G technology. It rode the WiMax horse, which was 4G’s Betamax. That made it “wrong” when all other carriers chose the LTE standard for their 4G networks, said Craig Moffett, founding partner of the research company MoffettNathanson. SoftBank acquired Sprint in 2013 and made an initial attempt to merge it with T-Mobile. However, efforts have been hampered by regulatory concerns.

However, an below-average network was enough to attract customers, as Sprint was willing to charge below-average prices. Over time, however, this became less attractive. Nowadays people need their phones for everything from banking to paying for the subway. So low prices are less important than a network that works anywhere, anytime.

“Sprint used the weird slogan: We’re almost as good for less money,” said Moffett. “And, for obvious reasons, almost no good is a terribly convincing value proposition.”

According to Moffett, the company lost money to many customers who attracted it with strong promotions. They would choose Sprint over competitors if it offered them a discounted service, but if they raised their prices to a price that was sustainable for the company, they would switch carriers.

Sprint had net losses of hundreds of millions of dollars last year. It has also lost tens of thousands of postpaid subscribers who are most likely to pay their monthly bills and are the least likely to change providers.

The new T-Mobile

A federal judge ruled in February that Sprint and T-Mobile may be combined. This decision has dramatically changed the landscape of the US mobile communications market. Verizon, AT&T and the new T-Mobile are now roughly the same number of customers.

However, the combination of Sprint and T-Mobile will not be easy. They use different network bands and technologies – something that T-Mobile is familiar with after the merger with MetroPCS in 2012. The integration can take some time.

Although Sprint is dead, T-Mobile is in a festive mood.

“This is so much more than just renaming thousands of sprint locations with a fresh coat of magenta,” said Sievert. “This is about giving customers even more access to our expanded retail presence … and taking advantage of the new T-Mobile!”

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