T-Mobile's Legere (on left) and Sprint's Claure taking questions via Twitter on Sunday. Photo: T-Mobile

One of the biggest challenges for Sprint and T-Mobile over the next few months will be building for two different futures.

The two companies are hoping to merge in a year's time and build their 5G network together. But each company must also plan for life should the deal fall through. Executives from both companies acknowledged that there will necessarily be some duplication of effort, but downplayed the impact.

"It turns out that an awful lot of the things that you would naturally do as a standalone company wind up being accretive to that ultimate 5G network."
T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert tells Axios

But, but but: That said, Sprint will be building some things that it needs as a standalone company that wouldn't be needed if the deal goes through. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure tells Axios that Sprint will increase its spending on network infrastructure this year and next.

"We're going to continue to invest as much as we said we will, which is significantly more than in previous years," Claure says. "But in addition, as part of this transaction, we signed a roaming agreement with T-Mobile that gives Sprint customers access to the T-Mobile network."

  • The roaming agreement will live on even if the deal falls apart.

Baked in: T-Mobile says its analysis of the cost savings from the deal accounts for the fact that Sprint will have to build some "stranded" network capabilities that won't be needed if the deal is successful.

"There is an understanding that as this deal gets approved over the next year, there may be some need for Sprint to deploy capabilities, the majority of which would enhance our ability to migrate after the deal is approved." "But yeah, some will be stranded capabilities."
T-Mobile CEO John Legere to Axios

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11 mins ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.