What Will Happen to Sprint?

Various sources are reporting (e.g., WSJ, reg. required) that Sprint may jettison Nextel in order to make itself more attractive for its own potential merger or acquisition (possibly with Deutsche Telekom).

Sprint, the number three U.S. carrier, continues to lose subscribers as rivals AT&T and Verizon grow. A combined T-Mobile and Sprint would become the largest U.S. carrier in terms of subscriber numbers but what's to guarantee that such a merger wouldn't be disaster redux. The Sprint-Nextel merger has emerged as one of the most spectacular failures in corporate merger history.

Yet given the negative trends at Sprint vs. its rivals the company is almost compelled to do some sort of deal to regain momentum.