Recent acquisitions flag opportunities in the wireless market

Recent acquisitions flag opportunities in the wireless market

The US mobile carriers seek acquisitions to add prepaid consumer business and expand private fixed wireless in the business segment. T-Mobile acquires Ka’ena Corporation and its subsidiaries (including Mint Mobile, Ultra Mobile and Plum) in an investment move to further control competition in the wireless market. Smartphone vendors seeking to leverage 5G ecosystems should keep an eye on the infrastructure buildout of Dish Wireless and AT&T in 2023, specifically for partnership opportunities for consumers in unique segments.


The T-Mobile acquisition is a move to further centralize power in the market to shape and define 5G access provided to consumers, specifically for prepaid customers in the consumer segment. Mint Mobile is currently on 5G, so this acquisition is one that benefits T-Mobile in a different way. Mint Mobile is known for its competitively low monthly payment, where consumers enjoy T-Mobile’s 5G network at an affordable price. Contrary to popular belief, this is a move to drive competition among Tier-1 carriers in the US market as increased concerns about consumer spending during an impending recession impact the wireless market. Acquisitions, such as Mint Mobile, are key to controlling lower pricing strategies seeking to alleviate customer hardship through pricing for services. Though wireless access is a necessity among consumers, top US carriers drive competition in the market to avoid the loss of postpaid and prepaid consumers.

In 2020, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger was allowed by the Department of Justice, US, at the negotiation of allowing the fourth mobile carrier, Dish Wireless, to enter the market in purchasing both spectrum and infrastructure assets in the wireless mobile industry. Dish Wireless is in the process of building its 5G infrastructure, moving from 20% to 70% 5G coverage in 2023. Eyes should be on Dish Wireless’s acquisition strategy as those in the wireless industry impacted by Tier-1 network providers' actions seek to build their own strategies. For smartphone vendors, this should mean positioning themselves in a favorable way to allow for maximum benefit and ROI, especially in recent trends, to optimize partnerships and services driven by US carriers. AT&T and Dish Wireless allow for strong strategic partnerships that benefit competitors beyond Apple and Samsung, for example, Samsung’s partnership with Dish Wireless is key to the 5G buildout strategy. Motorola, OnePlus, TCL and even Pixel should continue to watch developments of Dish Wireless as the year continues and the fruits of its infrastructure labor are witnessed. The consumer base in the focal point for Dish Wireless as it includes mid-to-small-sized towns in the US, where 2023 shows potential to be a breakthrough year for the number four carrier. Due to government mandates by the FCC seeking to protect monopolization of the wireless industry by keeping competition healthy, Dish Wireless must deliver on this by year-end 2023 and according to Telco leadership, is on track to do so.

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