AG Hood Settles Concerns on T-Mobile-Sprint Merger, Increases Services Available for Mississippians
Mississippians will have better access to 5G networks thanks to an agreement Attorney General Jim Hood reached recently with T-Mobile, as an alternative to litigation against the phone company’s merger, General Hood announced Wednesday.
Hood originally opposed the T-Mobile – Sprint merger as part of multistate litigation filed to prevent it. Before the agreement reached between Mississippi and T-Mobile, the merger did not include any specific commitments benefitting Mississippi. Only two percent of Mississippians would have benefitted from future 5G services by the stand-alone T-Mobile.
Instead, as a result of Hood’s agreement, the following commitments were made:
- Within three years of closing on the merger, the New T-Mobile will deploy a 5G network in Mississippi with at least 62 percent of the state’s general and rural populations having access to download speeds equal to or greater than 100 Mbps.
- Within six years of closing, it will cover at least 92 percent of Mississippi’s general population and 88% of Mississippi’s rural population.
- These commitments include 5G service in rural areas, including but not limited to Amite, Carroll, Choctaw, Covington, Franklin, Greene, Issaquena, Kemper, Lawrence, Marion, Perry, Smith, Tippah, and Walthall counties.
- The parties also made limited price commitments and, in discussions with the Attorney General’s Office, vowed to decrease prices as supply increased, particularly as DISH enters the mobile market.
“The world around us is almost fully digital, but Mississippi is lagging behind with internet deserts across the state” General Hood said. “My agreement with T-Mobile will help fill this gap, and I appreciate their commitments made specifically to Mississippi counties that lacked service. Access to the internet results in better access to education, jobs, and health care.”
This 5G technology is expected to drastically decrease latency or buffering, which will be more convenient for consumers and will enable access to valuable technologies in Mississippi, such as telemedicine, in ambulances and hospitals, and automated farming. The 5G internet service will be available to customers in their homes and businesses and beyond their smart phones, thanks to mobile routers. However, T-Mobile has also promised to roll out a broadband service that will be available to hundreds of thousands of Mississippians including those in rural areas.
In conversations with the parties, the Attorney General’s Office also confirmed that there would be no retail job loss and that new stores would be opened in rural areas.