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A merged T-Mobile and Sprint will still be smaller than AT&T or Verizon

The Big Four mobile carriers would become the Big Three.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere
T-Mobile CEO John Legere
Asa Mathat
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

T-Mobile announced yesterday that it’s going to try to merge with rival Sprint in a long-awaited bid to reshape the U.S. wireless market.

And while the $26 billion merger — if approved — brings the combined company closer in size to AT&T and Verizon, it won’t be enough to unseat its rivals as the largest U.S. mobile operator.

T-Mobile was the third biggest U.S. carrier by total wireless subscribers as of the end of 2017, and Sprint was the fourth largest. Together they’ll still be in third place, with a combined total of 126 million subscribers, according to data from Strategy Analytics.

Verizon is still in the No. 1 position, with 150 million total subscriptions, followed by AT&T with 142 million.

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