Over the past few months I've been privately sharing my thoughts on how the wireless landscape changes with the looming AT&T/T-Mobile merger coming upon us. With the news today about the cable guys and Sprint working to take over Clearwire (a part of the scenario I've already been talking about) I figured it's time to share the crystal ball and some rationale behind the thinking.
First the AT&T merger with T-Mobile happens. It will come at a price and that price is competition (well perceived competition anyway.) The way it works is T-Mobile and AT&T will be forced to divest a percentage of their markets where they have say more than 50 percent market share combined. That diversiture will go to guess who? The cable guys who have the cash and as soon as they buy up Clearwire, a lot of spectrum to run LTE.
Next up, is the spectrum itself. AT&T has little use for the AWS spectrum from T-Mobile. That too goes, guess where--to the Cable guys.
Okay, so now it's what you would expect, but this is where the really interesting play comes. Google buys Sprint with the cable guys. Let's face it they're all in bed together now, and Sprint is the most inventive of the four major wireless companies, plus Sprint is in the backyard of where Google plans to roll out their broadband service first, so it fits like a glove.
Net net, the data network from Spint and Google in the ground, the Clearwire, T-Mobile spectrum, part of the customer base in markets where the cable guys can offer up FourPlay and you have a winner.