It Takes Two: Verizon Considers Cable Merger And Sprint Partners With Tidal

Mobile Industry News for the Week of January 23, 2017

This week’s wireless news focused on new partnerships for carriers. Verizon is potentially interested in a merger with the cable company Charter Communications, a partnership that could help bring high speed wireless (also known as 5G) to households across the country.

Sprint forged a new partnership by signing a 33 percent stake in Tidal, Jay Z’s music streaming service. Is your commuter buddy listening to music and bobbing his head a little too ferociously? He’s probably a Sprint subscriber. The stories on our minds are below.

Cable and carrier unite — This week, we learned that Verizon is reportedly in talks about a merger with Charter Communications, a major cable company. According to Fortune, Verizon, like many other cable and telecom companies, is looking for a wireless solution to bring new, faster networks to American households. With a merger like this on the table, Verizon could eliminate the need to manually install fiber optic networks and reduce costs by shipping customers’ wireless routers to set up themselves. Since 5G requires more wireless cells than 4G, a merger with a cable company could also reduce the cost of deploying 5G since Verizon could utilize the small cells that Charter already set up in households. At the end of the day, these solutions will hinge on the success of 5G and whether it is possible to deploy reliable service across homes in America.

Sprint takes on music streaming — Sprint announced that it is taking a 33 percent stake in music streaming startup Tidal earlier this week, as reported by TechCrunch. Sprint’s 45 million customers can now utilize Tidal’s service and will have access to exclusive content on the platform. Carriers are constantly looking to differentiate themselves, and this partnership is a clear sign that Sprint is trying to cater to its customers by bolstering its entertainment offerings. Since millennial generations are particularly prone to using on-demand streaming services like Tidal, this could be a strategy to attract younger subscribers.

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