US mobile giant Sprint has entered into exclusive talks with domestic cable operators Charter Communications and Comcast, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The exclusive talks – which will run for two months – have dampened long-running speculation regarding a merger between Sprint and its larger rival T-Mobile US. The sources have outlined a number of possibilities that are on the table, ranging from a joint acquisition of Sprint by the cable duo, to an MVNO pact at the other end of the scale.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in May this year Comcast and Charter signed an agreement to explore potential opportunities for ‘operational cooperation’ as they seek to participate in the national wireless marketplace. The companies, which have each separately activated a long-dormant MVNO reseller agreement with Verizon Wireless, agreed to ‘work only together with respect to national mobile network operators, through potential commercial arrangements, including MVNOs and other material transactions in the wireless industry, for a period of one year’.