Should you switch to the new T-Mobile now? [telecom]

With the T-Mobile-Sprint deal approved, the combined company will be more than an alternate choice when shopping for a US wireless carrier.

By Clifford Colby

And another one's gone. With the Justice Department on Friday signing off on T-Mobile's $26.5 billion acquisition of Sprint, the number of nationwide wireless carriers will drop to three, for the moment. But joined together, the newly formed company has the potential to be much more than Sprint and the scrappy underdog T-Mobile were before. In both network coverage and subscriber numbers, it could become a significant rival of Verizon and AT&T.

The merged mobile carrier -- which will keep the T-Mobile name -- will have a combined 135.8 million subscribers, not far behind No. 1 Verizon's 158 million and No. 2 AT&T's 155.7 million. Perhaps most important for those 135.8 million customers, the combined carrier with its broader coverage will have a running start at building out perhaps the first usable 5G network that spans the country.

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Bill Horne
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