Better together? Carrier Mergers Possible Under The New Trump Administration, European Carriers Partner To Take On 5G

Mobile Industry News for the Week of January 30, 2017

The Trump administration fully supports carrier deals, which opens up the possibility for significant telecoms mergers in the coming years. Analysts expect that partnerships between Sprint and T-Mobile, among others, will be on the table. Across the pond, European carriers are taking a more collaborative approach to 5G, with Nokia and Orange partnering up to push innovation. Meanwhile, U.S. carriers like AT&T continue to forge their own path with 5G deployment. The stories on our minds are below.

Trump’s take on telecoms — Since the new Trump administration favors big business deals, we can expect that this year will bring many more telecoms mergers. According to The Financial Times, the administration is paving the way for megadeals by appointing representatives to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that are sympathetic to converging the top carriers. While carriers are currently banned from discussing partnerships because of the FCC airwave auction, analysts expect that rumors of “deal making” will circulate in the next few months, and that they could potentially include a Sprint and T-Mobile merger. As carriers continue their price wars and race each other towards digital disruption, combining resources via a big merger could significantly shake up the market.

Europe teams up for 5G — European carriers Nokia and Orange have decided to join forces to spur 5G innovation. Computer Business Review reports that the companies will work together to define and test 5G applications. They will also set up joint innovation programs and work with local and vertical startups to support the transition from 4G to 5G. This collaborative approach is in stark contrast to U.S. carriers, who are racing to deploy 5G as fast as they can on their own. Just this week, AT&T announced that it will be launching 5G services in Austin and Indianapolis later this year. Nokia and Orange’s collaboration shows how carriers in the European market feel much less pressure to differentiate themselves, an approach that could be significantly more productive for 5G.

What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.