Deutsche Telekom is reportedly mulling a bid for Sprint Nextel and plans to combine it with its T-Mobile unit.
The move, reported by the Wall Street Journal, is interesting on a few fronts. For starters, a combined Sprint-T-Mobile would be the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. with roughly 82 million subscribers. In addition, WiMax, which has been championed by Sprint and others, would have more stable backing.
One lingering question: Would a bulked up T-Mobile keep its appeal? T-Mobile doesn't give you the best wireless coverage in the world, but it does stay on the edge with the latest devices and services. T-Mobile is a creative carrier. Sprint has been struggling of late and is much larger.
Bottom line: Instead of T-Mobile doing what it does best, parent Deutsche Telekom would be integrating different wireless technologies, melding managers and figuring out how to operate as a much bigger company. In that scenario it's unlikely that T-Mobile will keep its quirkiness and edge that differentiates the carrier in the first place.