In context: Those living in rural areas of the country often only have access to one Internet service provider and usually, it’s very slow service like DSL. 5G is poised to change that with the promise of speedy home broadband service and the new T-Mobile aims to lead the way.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday said he would recommend to his colleagues that the commission approve the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.
Commitments by the combined company were instrumental in winning Pai’s support. The nation’s third and fourth largest wireless providers, for example, have committed to deploying a 5G network that will cover 97 percent of the country’s population within three years of closing on the merger and 99 percent within six years.
The company’s network will also cover 85 percent of rural Americans within three years and 90 percent within six years. Furthermore, T-Mobile and Sprint promise that 90 percent of Americans will have access to mobile broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Mbps and 99 percent will have access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps.
T-Mobile and Sprint have additionally decided to divest Boost Mobile in a bid to address potential competitive issues in the prepaid wireless segment. They’ve also promised not to raise prices for a period of at least three years.
T-Mobile and Sprint in April 2018 finally reached an agreement to come together after years of rumors on the matter. Should the two companies not make good on their promises, they’ll face significant penalties including fines of billions of dollars.
The FCC plans to draft an order to resolve the merger matter in the coming weeks.