NEW YORK, Sept 25 T-Mobile US Inc Chief
Financial Officer Braxton Carter said on Wednesday that he
expected more consolidation in the U.S. wireless market and made
a case for a deal between his company and bigger rival Sprint
Carter declined to say whether T-Mobile US, the No. 4 U.S.
mobile provider, and Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. operator, had
talked. "It's the logical ultimate combination," Carter told
Reuters on the sidelines of the Goldman Sachs Communacopia
investor conference in New York.
"We think it's not a question of if but when that there's
further consolidation in our industry," Carter told the
Carter conceded that the current U.S. regulatory environment
was "tough" for consolidation as the government already blocked
T-Mobile's proposed sale to AT&T Inc in 2011, saying that
the market needed four national operators.
He said a deal involving the smaller national operators
would be good for the industry. He described the U.S. market as
a "duopoly" because AT&T and larger rival Verizon Wireless
are far bigger than T-Mobile and Sprint.
So if a consolidation resulted in a much bigger No. 3 rival
to AT&T and Verizon, "you create a more competitive
environment," Carter said.
However, such a deal might take time to come together.
Carter's comments followed a prediction by No. 2 rival AT&T
Inc's chief executive officer, Randall Stephenson, the day
before about the unlikelihood of any major mergers here in the
next few years because regulators appear to want four major
Since it closed its merger with smaller provider MetroPCS in
April, T-Mobile US itself has been improving its customer
numbers by competing aggressively against AT&T with new consumer
offerings and direct marketing.
AT&T's Stephenson had said Tuesday that his company was only
affected by the tougher competition from T-Mobile US in the
"price-sensitive" part of the market.
But on Wednesday T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Mike
Sievert quipped during his appearance at the conference that
"the price-sensitive part of the market is the lower 90
T-Mobile shares were up 2.7 percent at $26.12 on New York
Stock Exchange on Wednesday, while Sprint was down 0.5 percent