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Sprint and T-Mobile – What does this mean for IoT?

August 13, 2019Blog, News
Sprint T-Mobile

Shifting the Connectivity Landscape

If you’ve tuned into the news in the last year, you have probably heard a little bit about the Sprint/T-Mobile merger. This potential deal has now dragged on for a solid two years! However, over the past month, some critical steps have been taken by federal regulators (FCC) in the recent weeks to push the closing of this merger nearly to the finish line.

There still remain a few obstacles to overcome, including dealing with a variety of lawsuits by states looking to block/modify the deal. In spite of those hurdles, most think that the deal is likely to happen within the next couple of months.

What does this mean for the Internet of Things?

New Competition

This potential deal not only creates another giant in the IoT space, comparable in size to Verizon and AT&T, it also (as part of the agreement with the US government) would introduce a new wireless carrier into the US market. That new carrier is Dish Network. Dish has been holding a fair amount of spectrum (radio waves used to transmit wireless signals) and would now be pushed into using that spectrum to serve the market.

Faster to 5G

The potential of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger would bring together arguably the most robust spectrum offering in the country. The new entity would be able to use that spectrum to quickly deploy a significant 5G network footprint in the United States, while putting pressure on AT&T and Verizon to accelerate their 5G buildout.

While we usually think of 5G networks as being insanely fast and power consuming, the 5G standard actually incorporates lower speed, power-conscious networks like NB-IoT and LTE-M. Businesses need to know that these networks are coming soon, and they should be making network migration plans to move from legacy 2G and 3G networks.

Are you ready for change?

While there is good reason for excitement and anticipation as these new networks become real, the reality of sunsetting cellular networks is something that is stinging many. The truth is 2G and 3G networks were always good enough for most IoT applications. Of course they knew this day would come, but it still doesn’t help many businesses that have invested significant resources on legacy, sunsetting network technologies.

As you plan your network strategy, please reach out to us. Integron has managed some of the most high-profile and successful IoT deployments in the world. We’ve seen a few network sunsets in our 30+ year existence, and we’d love to help you.

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