The news of the day is the proposed Sprint T-Mobile merger. The last time I remember T-Mobile in play was back when regulators nixed a similar purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T. That purchase fell on the rocks when regulators deemed it was not in the public interest because it would limit competition and thereby have adverse effects on the end-user or consumer.
This time, I am not hearing the same sable rattling because neither T-Mobile nor Sprint have been all that successful in challenging the big two. Another reason for the sale is Deutsche Telekom wants to concentrate on challenges in the EU where it faces an auction of radio spectrum. Analysts believe Deutsche needs the cash to invest more in fibre optic broadband.
Will this combination of lesser gods in the mobile spectrum actually spell competition for AT&T and Verizon? I don’t think so. Without a better value proposition than it saves you money and/or we are everywhere you are, things in the mobile telecom market will remain pretty much the same.
I might think differently about this non-event if either T-Mobile or Sprint had a brand proposition that was in anyway persuasive or important to prospects. Even as a brand guy, I am hard pressed to find anything claimed in either emotional or rational terms that differentiates either brand from its much bigger brothers.
Yet, I am sure in the corridors of their marketing halls, they have printed and framed posters talking about just that. It is no doubt filled with platitudes on how their value and promise is based upon differentiation and innovation. However, there will be large paragraph omissions as to exactly what those things are. As if it is enough to just say them. Somewhere, the companies copied the chapter headings in branding books but never answered the questions.
So, I’m unimpressed with this merger. Like the rest of you, I will be mainly unaffected by it. I guess regulators are only interested in mergers and acquisitions when they don’t matter.