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US Wireless Outlook: T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Accelerates 5G with 17% Uplift

Report Summary:

With two big mergers waiting for approval (AT&T/Time Warner, T-Mobile/Sprint) and new push into wireless by cable companies, the US wireless market could see significant change in the next several years:
  • A merged T-Mobile/Sprint would create a new #2 player  and would increase 5G uptake by 17% by 2023
  • Convergence is underway and expanding the competitive landscape, with Comcast reaching over .5 million subscribers on its MVNO Xfinity Mobile in its first year and Charter Communications and Altice USA planning wireless service
  • Dish says its prepping to launch a network for IoT and plans to invest in 5G build
Network competition still fierce and important as 4G matures and 5G preps:
  • Networks in terms of reach and quality of service are still extremely important to end-users and thus competitive positioning of the carriers
  • In the US, by end 2018 4G LTE networks will be near parity among the Tier One carriers
  • There is opportunity in 5G for a new network leader to potentially emerge, at least in the early years
  • T-Mobile and Sprint merger, if approved, would lead to three large wireless carriers of somewhat similar scale and spur additional 5G investment 
Competition for growth and profits looking to content, entertainment, enterprise transformation (including IoT), government and public safety
Heading into 5G competition era, off to a strong competitive start with promises of initial commercial 5G network deployments in late 2018 for Fixed Wireless Access and mobility, handsets not expected until 2019

Table of Contents

• Executive Summary
• Competition in 2018: Key Themes and Competitive Overview
• Competition in 2019-2020: 5G Takes Off
• The New T-Mobile: Impact of T-Mobile/Sprint Merger
• US Carriers Positioning and Priorities 
• Conclusions and Recommendations

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