Sprint and T-Mobile's chief executives announced the deal in a video Sunday. Screenshot: Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint executives said that the coming together of tech and media, along with the looming arrival of 5G networks necessitate their combination. The companies also said a deal will create jobs, not kill them.

Why it matters: The companies face a tough battle to convince regulators to allow them to merge, reducing the number of national cell phone providers from four to three.

What they're saying: In a conference call on Sunday, the CEOs of both companies made the case that the deal will allow the combined entity to do things that neither could do operating solo, including building "the first and best" 5G network.

  • T-Mobile CEO John Legere, who is slated to run the combined company, promised the deal will create thousands of jobs and said he is convinced regulators will approve it.
"These companies just make sense together."
— T-Mobile CEO John Legere
  • "Now is the time to come together," said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who will not have an executive role but plans to join the combined company's board.

Focus on jobs, rural impact: Executives may have been talking to reporters and investors, but a big part of their pitch was to regulators, playing up how a deal could benefit rural consumers and create U.S. jobs.

"This is a job creating transaction," Legere said, adding that it expects to have more U.S. employees on its payroll after the deal than the current companies do today.

(Of course, if the companies add jobs between now and when the deal closes, that would make that statement true. The real question is what happens a year or two after a merger.)

On merging networks: T-Mobile plans to use its network as the basis for the combined company. It will move Sprint's legacy voice network, known as CDMA, over to LTE over time. T-Mobile President Mike Sievert said T-Mobile will use its handling of the MetroPCS acquisition as a blueprint.

The companies are also counting on network overlap to provide much of promised cost savings, including the decommissioning of about 35,000 cell sites that would not be needed. On the small cell front, T-Mobile would build around 50,000 up from about 10,000 today for the combined company. But, he said, far more would have been needed had the two companies operated solo.

Lots of brands: T-Mobile will also have to sort out all its combined brands, which include T-Mobile, Sprint, MetroPCS, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, as well as a few others. It says it will announce plans once the deal closes.

Go deeper

Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 21,056,850 — Total deaths: 762,293— Total recoveries: 13,100,902Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m ET: 5,306,215 — Total deaths: 168,334 — Total recoveries: 1,796,309 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health — FDA releases first-ever list of medical supplies in shortage.
  4. States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  7. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.