Today, I circulated an order that would approve, subject to conditions, the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. The deal would advance fast #5G across the country, help close #digitaldivide, and put critical mid-band spectrum to use. My full statement: https://t.co/fBKvLnPgmm pic.twitter.com/21r3Us9cUG
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) August 14, 2019
He added that, under the conditions laid out in the draft order, “the merger will promote robust competition in mobile broadband, put critical mid-band spectrum to use, and bring new competition to the fixed broadband market.” Before they can seal their union, Sprint and T-Mobile will have to sell parts of their businesses, including Boost Mobile, to Dish Network. That company plans to establish itself as the fourth nationwide provider. It’s set to gain access to T-Mobile’s network while it builds out its own 5G network.
Pai claims the combined capabilities of Sprint and T-Mobile will speed up the deployment of a 5G network. The order requires Sprint and T-Mobile to provide 5G coverage to 99 percent of Americans within six years.
Pai’s recommendation is not much of a surprise. He’s been open about his support for the deal, believing it to be “in the public interest.” Still, it’s another significant step towards Sprint and T-Mobile completing the deal. However, several states are attempting to block the merger.