Sprint & T-Mobile USA Merger Would Involve Dealing with CDMA, iDEN, GSM, EVDO, WiMAX, UMTS & HSPA+

Here’s a “headscratcher” news item from Bloomberg Businessweek:

Sprint, Deutsche Telekom Said to Discuss T-Mobile USA Merger

Sprint apparently has a thing for merging with firms that use uncompatible networks. Remember their purchase of Nextel back in 2005? The two networks are still not merged. If you walk into a Sprint store, the Sprint CDMA phones are on onside of the floor and the Nextel iDEN are on the other. Sprint stock performance has not been stellar since the merger (see the chart to the left).

The article reports that A tie-up would allow Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest phone company, to keep a stake in one of its biggest markets while making it easier to finance investments for a faster next-generation network. But, which network are they talking about? The merged company would have 7 network protocols to deal with: There’s CDMA, iDEN, and GSM on the voice side and EVDO, WiMAX, UMTS and HSPA+ on the data side.

However, with both firms reportedly losing customers to AT&T and Verizon, their merger talks are understandable though the actual technology merger would be a mess.