Sprint and T-Mobile restore merger talks

A Sprint and T-Mobile deal would combine the nation's third and fourth largest carriers.

Sprint's new LTE small cell boasts more and faster data Sprint's Magic Box is free to qualified customers and appears to be a win-win. Customers get better coverage indoors and Sprint gets inexpensive backhaul for its network.

Video: Sprint's new LTE small cell boasts more and faster data

Sprint and T-Mobile are back to talks about a merger that would combine the nation's third and fourth largest mobile carriers, according to The Wall Street Journal. The discussions are said to be preliminary.

Could the Sprint-T-Mobile merger be back on? (James Martin/CNET)

The carriers' latest talks come after walking away from preliminary discussions five months ago. Sprint-parent SoftBank bought more Sprint shares further exerting its control, instead of merging the companies. T-Mobile executives have openly stayed hopeful about a future merger.

Reports indicated that T-Mobile and Sprint hit turbulence during 2017 merger talks, but then T-Mobile sweetened the pot a bit with parent company Deutsche Telekom. However, a deal never materialized -- mainly because of control.

Read also: SoftBank to increase stake in Sprint after T-Mobile merge talks end | What's what with T-Mobile's 'free' Netflix plan | T-Mobile: Digital transformation has to start with your employees first | Comparing unlimited plans from T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T

There's no details about preliminary discussion specifics. We have reached out to Sprint and T-Mobile, and will update you if we learn more.

Following the report, Sprint shares are up more than 6 percent. T-Mobile shares are up more than 5 percent.

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