653 days ago, T-Mobile US and Sprint formally submitted the paperwork to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a $26 billion merger, and today it is officially complete.
As of April 1, 2020, the merged business unit will now trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol ‘TMUS’, officially bringing an end to Sprint as a corporation. This has been a drawn-out and very expensive period for the two firms, but the management teams can finally relax.
And for the energetic, erratic and eccentric John Legere, the days over leading the Magenta Army into battle have also drawn to a close.
This next part is bitter-sweet. I’ve been fortunate enough to lead this company & the amazing people who are part of it for 7+ years. But, it’s time to hand the reigns over to @MikeSievert so that he can lead the new company as CEO from day 1. #NewTMobile
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) April 1, 2020
Mike Sievert, the new CEO of the combined company, might not have the energy or flair Legere possesses, but perhaps that is a good thing for the next few months. Over the last few years, T-Mobile US perhaps needed a flamboyant CEO to mount a challenge to the leadership position of AT&T and Verizon, but the immediate future for this firm requires a different type of manager.
Now the legal and regulatory hurdles have been negotiated, the new business will need a logical, pragmatic and steady hand to lead integration efforts. Perhaps this is what Sievert is? Having been Legere’s first hire, maybe he was the yin to yang, the balance to the madness which the wild-eyed John brought to the firm.
“During this extraordinary time, it has become abundantly clear how vital a strong and reliable network is to the world we live in,” said Sievert. “The New T-Mobile’s commitment to delivering a transformative broad and deep nationwide 5G network is more important and more needed than ever and what we are building is mission-critical for consumers.
“With this powerful network, the New T-Mobile will deliver real choice and value to wireless and home broadband customers and double down on all the things customers have always loved about the Un-carrier. T-Mobile has been changing wireless for good — and now we are going to do it on a whole new level.”
With today (April 1) being the first day of operations under the new cloud of expectation, T-Mobile has to deliver on the promises it has been making. This is the challenge which Sievert will face.
Firstly, the integration of the two businesses is no small feat. Secondly, the aggressive 5G rollout has to continue. And finally, the promises made to the various different regulators and Attorney Generals will have to be honoured. And perhaps above all else, business value will have to be demonstrated to investors otherwise heads will roll.
And what do we have to look forward to over the next couple of years:
- The promise of a network which will have 14X more capacity than T-Mobile could deliver alone. The new company has set a six-year timeline to meet this milestone
- Within six years, the team promises download speeds which are 15X faster than what can be delivered today
- Also within the six-year window, 100 Mbps 5G download speeds will be available to 90% of the US population, while 5G will be available to 99% of the population
- $40 billion will be invested into the network
- The deal has promised to unlock at least $43 billion in synergies for all shareholders
- Create 1,000 jobs in a customer service centre in Kingsburg, California
- Create 1,000 jobs in Rochester, New York
- Open 600 new retail stores across the country
Some of these commitments will have been made to ensure the lawyers stop being a nuisance blocking the completion of the transaction, but now it is over to Sievert who has the unenviable job of delivering on promises made by wild-eyed Legere.