If Sprint and T-mobile decide to build their own separate networks, along with LightSquared's LTE build that would increase competition quite a bit. Of course the issue though is one of capital, which is why this market is so darned uncompetitive.
The incumbents have all the advantage in the world.
BTW, doesn't Sprint own a majority of Clear? Why would they build their own separate network? Wasn't Clear planning on going dual WiMAX/LTE?
Also WiMAX 2 will be out much earlier than LTE-A, and will speed everything up another 10 fold. So wouldn't that be something for Sprint and Clear to take advantage of?
Yes sprint does own the majority of Clear- and the spectrum that Clear uses for the most part. They were talking about running the dual network for roaming. That's the part where TMO comes in. Sprint/Clear could use it as well for roaming if they created a multi-mode device for that. But when you do that more battery is sucked with all the radios that are powered- UNLESS they do like BB and allow you to shut the different radios off and only use certain ones at a time.
I don't see Sprint building out another network. Especially when $$$$ are limited with them already and it just makes since for them to team up with Clear and TMO.
The ONLY competition that will really be seen is if LightSquared's network takes off for roaming Other than that; I don't see anything really happening that hasn't already. We'll still have TMO, Cellco, T, and Sprint. All the others just are MVNOs for the most part. If Metro can't find a roaming partner- they'll be required to sell their network or take a HUGE back seat as more and more Next Gen networks are built and the old networks are shut down over the next 3-10 years. Cricket hasn't announced anything and does mainly rely on Sprint and CellCo for their roaming; which again; will have to take a back seat if they can't merge in or start building out their next gen network either.
This is the time when we'll see mergers and or closings when more and more incumbents start building out their Next-Gen networks