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AT&T to lose more than Verizon from the merger, as T-Mobile and Sprint users dig 5G

AT&amp;T to lose more than Verizon from the merger, as T-Mobile and Sprint users dig 5G
Barring unforeseen obstacles that the coronavirus situation may bring, the technical merger between the T-Mobile and Sprint networks is fast approaching, and the resulting carrier will be well-positioned to make a splash in the tranquility pond of the big two - Verizon and AT&T.

Sprint is the price king among the most affordable unlimited data plans, and offers the most perks to boot, with 5G and Hulu coming standard at even its most basic $20 a line for a family of five unlimited.

Its coverage area may be a deterrent where you are though, while T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T may get way more expensive than Sprint the more lines you add, but they'll offer you signal outside of big cities or major highways, especially Verizon. 

The combined T-Mobile/Sprint network, however, is not that far off from the AT&T coverage even now, let alone when the synergies from the two carriers' 5G spectrum holdings start bearing fruit, so which carrier stand to lose the most from the merger?

AT&T may lose more subs than Verizon after the T-Mobile merger with Sprint


The combined subscriber base of T-Mobile and Sprint will end up being more than a 100 million customers, which is still a far cry from AT&T's 141 million customers, or Verizon's 150 million subs. 

The researchers from Waveform, however, which provides signal boosting services, just ran a representative survey, and found out that many an AT&T customer may flock to the New T-Mobile entity.


Not only that, but T-Mobile and Sprint customers are significantly more excited about 5G than Verizon or AT&T. Here are the key takeaways from Waveform's survey:

  • AT&T stands to lose the most subscribers to a newly-merged Sprint and T-Mobile
  • 28.8% of AT&T customers polled are interested in switching to the New T-Mobile. Verizon is in a much safer position: 45.3% said they weren't interested in switching to New T-Mobile.
  • Many consumers still aren't sure of the benefits of 5G
  • Despite heavy 5G marketing, only 32.8% of consumers said they understand the benefits of 5G very clearly.
  • 65.7% of consumers said they weren't very excited about 5G. 
  • T-Mobile and Sprint customers are the most excited about 5G
  • The results show meaningfully higher excitement about 5G amongst Sprint and T-Mobile users - 22% of T-Mobile and 19% of Sprint subscribers reported being "extremely excited" about 5G, compared to just 12% of Verizon and 16% of AT&T subscribers
  • US consumers rate their home cell signal as significantly worse than in 2018
  • Only 29.3% of respondents reported very good cell signal at home, versus 40.3% when we asked the same question in October 2018.
  • Verizon has a significant lead in cell coverage experience
  • 38% of Verizon subscribers reported having "very good signal" at home, compared to between 23% and 26% for Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. 
  • A considerably lower percentage of Verizon subscribers reported having "very bad signal" or "bad signal" at home.

  • All in all, mobile subscribers in the US seem to be more content with Verizon, and its signal strength coverage may be the culprit behind those impressions, as the survey  reveals.

    It has also rolled out 5G exclusively in the fast mmWave bands, unlike AT&T which also has some slower 850MHz rollout. T-Mobile and Sprint are using the low-band 600MHz and mid-band 2.5GHz spectrum, respectively.

    Thus, while they can't yet boast the Ultra Wideband 5G speeds of Verizon, and, to a lesser extent, AT&T, the coverage and penetration rate of their combined spectrum is superior. 

T-Mobile also has mmWave holdings that it can deploy to notch the coveted  gigabit speeds when time comes, so the competition among the three major US carriers is about to get very interesting. 

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