By Joyce Deuley
Wednesday, it was announced that Deutsche Telekom and US-based cable and Internet provider, Comcast, were in discussions to have Comcast buy out T-Mobile US. Not too surprising to hear that the carrier is still searching for a potential buyer, particularly since it’s negotiations with an AT&T buyout fell through due to regulatory concerns. And while T-Mobile numbers have been struggling for the last couple of years, the company has launched some innovative initiatives that have helped revamp the current mobile market, including transitioning from the traditional 2-year subscription plan to something more flexible as well as introducing upgradeable plans and offering rollover data plans.
There are those who fear a deal with Comcast—which is somewhat understandable. It is one of the largest cable companies and is certainly keen on deepening its stronghold within the entertainment industry, as well as broadening its portfolio to include offerings within the wireless markets. If the deal between T-Mobile and Comcast goes through, then Comcast will gain about 39 million cellular customers, firmly rooting itself into the US wireless industry.
But, Deutsche Telekom isn’t fully sold on the idea yet—the company is in conversations with Dish as well, and the CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, stated that the Dish deal was “fascinating to consider” and that it “offers a great opportunity for the country and possibly T-Mobile” (CNET). But, this isn’t just a positive option for T-Mobile, as it would offer Dish a chance to gain some spectrum since the Sprint deal fell through due to SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint for a cool $21.6 billion. However, there is a snag—Dish doesn’t seem to have enough capital to purchase all of T-Mobile’s shares outright, thus making Comcast the stronger financial offer of the two because it could fully remove the T-Mobile burden from Deutsche Telekom’s shoulders.
Comcast’s potential entrance into the wireless market could prove interesting as the IoT continues to push ahead. Having a portion of spectrum and carrying over T-Mobile’s M2M customers will help position Comcast within the IoT space. But for now, we will just have to wait and see how this plays out over the next few months as Deutsche Telekom prepares to unload its “Un-carrier”.