T-Mobile dangles $15 plan, 5G gains, big freebies to get Sprint deal done

From CNET: It's been more than a year and a half since T-Mobile and Sprint announced their $26.5 billion merger in a bid to revamp the US wireless industry. With the deal stuck in legal limbo, T-Mobile on Thursday used its latest Un-carrier event and the promise of a combined 5G network to make its most compelling case yet.

In addition to announcing that its new 5G network will cover 200 million people nationwide from Dec. 6, the carrier unveiled three new programs as part of its "New T-Mobile Un-carrier 1.0" event that will take advantage of the increased capacity created by the combination of T-Mobile's and Sprint's networks.

The first is a $15-a-month phone plan; the second a pledge to offer free 5G service to police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians for the next decade; and finally a program to offer home broadband access and a mobile hotspot for free to 10 million low-income households with children.

But here's the catch: The company says that none of the programs will happen without T-Mobile and Sprint getting together. T-Mobile said this only works thanks to the extra capacity provided by Sprint.

"Everything we announced today is dependent on the massive capacity expansion that comes from the new T-Mobile," T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert said in a call with reporters. He noted that the company has offerings similar to what it announced Thursday already in the market, but it needs the merger to take this next step.

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