Monthly cellular phone bills will not go up and also the wireless market can stay competitive if T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint goes through, T-Mobile chief operating officer John Legere told a legislature committee these days(Feb. 13). however some legislators expressed skepticism concerning claims that the planned merger would improve wireless coverage in rural components of the country.

Legere was joined by Sprint chief operating officer Marcelo Claure at the side of different supporters and opponents of the planned merger throughout a three-hour hearing before the House of Representatives’ communications and technology committee. Congress has no say in whether or not the T-Mobile/Sprint deal goes through — that falls to the Federal Communications Commission and also the U.S. Department of Justice — however that is not stopping legislators from consideration in on the matter.

Just yesterday, eight Democratic Senators — together with four UN agency have already declared plans to endurepresident in 2020 — sent letters to each the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justiceconflict that the merger ought to be rejected. therefore today’s hearing gave supporters and opponents the prospect to in public build their case for and against the $26 billion deal 1st declared last April.

For Legere, that meant talking up the advantages of what he known as a “super-charged Uncarrier” that mayproduce a quicker, broader network that may even have the flexibility to expand into the broadband market, difficult cable operators.

“The combined company can continue the T-Mobile tradition of disrupting the wireless area,” Legere told the legislature committee. “But we cannot stop there.”

Last week, during a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, Legere secure that wireless rates for the combined company would stay a similar or be higher for 3 years once the merger goes through. He reiterated that claim in today’s legislature testimony, even once ironed by Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) to create that commitment a condition of the merger.

“Our opponents square measure wrong after they claim the merger can result in higher costs,” Legere aforementioned. “In fact, the alternative is true.”

Opponents of mixing Sprint and T-Mobile worry that commitment will not be mobile virtual network operators UN agency pay those 2 carriers to use their cellular towers to supply cheap coverage. there is conjointly the prioritythat combining 2 of the massive Four wireless suppliers can mean a less competitive market, adversely touchingcustomers.

“Post-merger, the market won’t be competitive enough to discipline the 3 remaining carriers” from raising costsaforementioned Phillip Berenbroick, senior policy counsel for knowledge, a public-interest cluster targeted on competition within the digital market.

Claure countered that the market isn’t terribly competitive currentlycompetitive that Verizon and AT&T basicallyget pleasure from a duopoly over the wireless trade that has prevented T-Mobile and Sprint from a lot of sharplyinvestment in their own networks. That sentiment was echoed by Rep. Pakistani monetary unit Eshoo (D.-Calif.), who’s initiate in support of green-lighting the merger.

Both Legere and Claure argue that the merger can boost their combined company’s effort to create up a 5G network. however representatives on the legislature committee repeatedly came back to the impact the merger can wear rural areas, that square measure underserved by current wireless networks. “They’re still attending to be at the low finish of the pole,” Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) said.

That’s actually the position of the agricultural Wireless Association, that opposes the merger. Carri Bennet, general counsel for the trade cluster, blasted T-Mobile’s record on roaming and decision completion for rural customers and expressed considerations concerning what a integrated company would mean for the MVNOs that suppose different carriers’ networks to supply wireless coverage.

Another hot topic throughout today’s hearing involved jobs. Legere says the combined company “will be jobs-positive from day one and going forward,” with 11,000 a lot of workers by 2024.

Chris Shelton, president of the Communication staff of Amercia, doubts that mathematics, telling Congress that the merger would price thirty,000 Americans their jobs, with 25,000 of these coming back from duplicative stores.

“Take away competition, and also the remaining firms will throttle down on worker concentration whereas jacking up costs on customers,” Shelton aforementioned.