Sprint Nextel + T-Mobile: Industry Consolidation at the Expense of the Consumer

If there’s ever an industry bedeviled by the inability to standardize for the betterment of the customer, it’s the telecom sector, and today’s news speaks to that. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Telekom AG, the provider of T-Mobile USA, is considering a possible purchase of Sprint Nextel. Such a purchase would propel the German giant to the No. 1 position within the U.S.

But as is usually the case with mega mergers like these, does the end result really benefit the customer? The answer is rarely ever a “yes,” and certainly doesn’t appear so here.

Sprint Nextel has a well-documented history of providing poor customer service, and when combined with a T-Mobile provider not known for providing the best wireless coverage (but stays creative with the latest devices), it begs the question would the bulked up company keep its appeal?

Both providers operate on disparate wireless networks, which would have to be integrated, as would management and operations, etc. Ala the airline industry, which is ripe with talk of consolidation during a time of economic difficulties, it seems that many consumers have a hate/hate relationship with their telecom providers, and it doesn’t seem like merging big business is necessarily the answer.