Clyburn said in an interview with Cnet that she is helping T-Mobile address digital divide issues. CEO John Legere said in the company's earnings announcement.
With little news to share on the earnings front, the prospects for T-Mobile's merger with Sprint was the predominant focal point during the call.
Consumer advocates have said that since Sprint and T-Mobile have a big market share in prepaid plans favored by the poorest wireless customers, they were likely to be disproportionately hurt by the planned deal.
However, a number of consumer groups oppose the deal, arguing that eliminating one of the four largest carriers would reduce competition, cost thousands of jobs, and lead to higher prices for consumers.
From his perspective, "regulators are ignoring the noise and conducting a fact-based review". T-Mobile has been by far the fastest growing wireless carrier in recent years, but ended 2018 with just under 80 million customers, trailing AT&T (t) and Verizon (vz), which reported 153 million and 118 million subscribers, respectively. Congressional hearings on the matter featuring Legere and Sprint's CEO Marcelo Claure are scheduled for February 13 and 14.
Considering this letter was posted yesterday, February 4, 2019, that would mean entry-level prices would not exceed the base-level $70 unlimited plan T-Mobile now offers, which includes all taxes and fees in the price.
But having served for almost a decade on the commission, Clyburn knows all the ins and outs of the agency and how it approaches merger reviews, making her experience invaluable to T-Mobile as it tries to persuade the FCC and the Justice Department to bless its acquisition. "The core tenet of the New T-Mobile is that by bringing these companies together you get something very different from the T-Mobile you know today plus the Sprint you know today", he said. As well, legacy plans may be adjusted to reflect rising tax costs that would be out of the New T-Mobiles control.