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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Thursday, April 2... 

T-Mobile Finally Completes Merger with Sprint
Following years and years of failed attempts and regulatory blockades, the plan to merge T-Mobile and Sprint has finally succeeded, with the official completion of the combination. The new company will continue to operate under the T-Mobile brand name, and will be led by new CEO Mike Sievert, with the combined carrier deciding to move forward with its transition from current CEO John Leger to the new Chief Exec ahead of schedule. The combined company issued several claims and predictions upon its merger completion, including a promise to have 14 times more network capacity within the next six years; a commitment to reaching 5G speeds of eight times current LTE download rates in "just a few years," and 15 times current speeds in six years; and a plan to reach 99 percent of the US population with 5G speeds in excess of 100Mbps within six years, and 90 percent of the rural US population with speeds of at least 50Mbps within that same timeframe. On the financial side of things, T-mobile has committed to $40 billion in network investments in the next three years to power the previously mentioned coverage proliferation, while it has promised $43 billion in additional value to shareholders through "synergies achieved from the integration." As of today, the newly combined company will trade on the NASDAQ under TMUS, while Sprint's shares will no longer trade on the NYSE. Sprint investors will receive 0.10256 shares in the new T-Mobile for each owned share of Sprint.

FCC Pegs Official Deadline for STIR/SHAKEN Compliance
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced an official deadline of June 30th, 2021 as the date by which all carriers in the US must implement the STIR/SHAKEN call verification standard. The standard in question was adopted by the FCC in order to combat unwanted robocalls, particularly those that use call spoofing to make recipients erroneously believe the incoming call originates from somewhere other than its actual source. The regulator believes the standard, which has already been adopted by several of the largest carriers in the US, will reduce the effectiveness of illegal spoofing, help law enforcement officials track down call spoofers, and help carriers more effectively filter out spam calls. The FCC claims the implementation could save Americans as much as $3 billion annually by reducing funds lost to fraudulent callers.

BlackBerry Suffers Losses for Q4, FY 2020 on Growing Operating Expenses
BlackBerry posted its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2020. For the quarter, the company's revenue reached $282 million, up from the $255 million posted for the same period in 2019. Despite the rise, it suffered a net loss of $41 million, or $0.07 per share, due primarily to a $75 million year-over-year uptick in operating expenses. This is a significant drop compared to profits of $51 million, or $0.09 per share, posted one year ago. For the full fiscal year, BlackBerry took in revenues of $1.04 billion, up from the $904 million reported for 2019. However, it suffered a net loss here as well, dropping $152 million, or $0.27 per share, compared to 2019's net income of $93 million, or $0.17 per share. This decline was also the result of spiking operating expenses, which rose by almost $300 million over the prior year.

....Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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