April 1 (UPI) -- T-Mobile formally completed its $31 billion merger with Sprint on Wednesday, a union of the United States' third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers.
The new company, to be called T-Mobile, promised that its 5G network will reach 99 percent of U.S. homes within six years and offer 50 Mbps speeds to 90 percent of rural areas, to get Justice Department approval of the merger. It is also committed to 100 Mbps service to 90 percent of the population and free Internet access to 10 million homes. Sprint's prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, will be sold to Dish Network, a Justice Department demand to help Dish become a nationwide wireless competitor.
The DOJ review, and lawsuits from 13 states, forced the assurances of improvements and delayed the merger. The new company remains in third place in size, behind Verizon and AT&T.
It will offer "14 times more capacity in the next six years that T-Mobile alone has today," a company statement said on Wednesday.
No plans for use of the Sprint brand were announced on Wednesday, but T-Mobile said that John Legere, its CEO, will step down and be replaced by COO Mike Sievert. Legere led T-Mobile's turnaround, taking the company from a distant fourth place to the point it could acquire a competitor. In 2019, T-Mobile announced that Legere would leave the position, but remain on the company's board, once the merger was completed.
"During this extraordinary time, it has become abundantly clear how vital a strong and reliable network is to the world we live in," Sievert said in a statement. "The new T-Mobile's commitment to delivering a transformative broad and deep nationwide 5G network is more important and more needed than ever and what we are building is mission-critical for consumers."
It will remain on the Nasdaq stock exchange and continue trading under the name TMUS.