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Merger delays and teething troubles pull back Sprint and TMO 5G roll-outs

Delays may be hitting Rakuten in Japan (see previous item) but they are also a risk for other MNOs with particularly ambitious network roadmaps, especially when those roll-out plans are bound up with acquisition uncertainties too. Both Sprint and T-Mobile USA, whose proposed merger is still under regulatory review, are missing deadlines as they wait for clarity on their future position, allowing larger rivals AT&T and Verizon to forge ahead in terms of 5G scale and reach. The need to rival or better the big two’s 5G spectrum position is one of the drivers behind TMO’s planned acquisition of Sprint from Softbank. While the ‘Uncarrier’ has the best position in coverage-friendly sub-GHz spectrum in the USA, following its purchase of…

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