Softbank's CEO thinks that buying T-Mobile will solve Sprint's ailments. Scale is not the issue here. Poor strategy is one problem. Want examples: the Nextel integration; destroying the Nextel brand; WiMax for 4G; Clearwire two-stepping - need I go on?
How about sloppy execution of strategy? The acquisition of Midwest assets didn't result in customer retention in the region. Going WIMax first and LTE later was an expensive rebuild which left customers with 4G phones that didn't work.
Sprint had a great wireline network. Remember the pindrop ads for long distance? Sprintlink was a great Internet pipe. What happened to that? How do you let a huge asset like that decline?
Why do you need scale when your base product is so sloppy? Buying T-Mo isn't going to solve the poor 4G network (and slow 3G network) problem. Alas, it will likely add to it, since Sprint, Clearwire, T-Mo and MetroPCS (which T-Mo bought) are all on different spectrum and the 3G networks are CDMA and GSM. Oh, yeah, that will work out.
Scale has not resulted in a significant win in the US telecom market to date.
Remember Intermedia (ICI), the first billion dollar CLEC? Crushed by the weight of its own short term debt. Bought by MCI, which itself wasn't big enough to survive. Paetec, Level3, EarthLink and Windstream are examples of integrations gone wrong and synergies never quite met.
No, scale isn't the issue. Make a strategic partnership with T-Mo if you want, but the issue is that you don't have a plan - other than a price war with your two much bigger rivals.
Want to win? Strike unique deals for gadgets or content or apps; get M2M to work big time; double down on the IoT; and think of ways to be unique to your loyal customers.
How about tracking for parents? Built-in Lojack for devices? An easy MDM option on every device?
You don't need Scale; you need Innovation. As Tom Peters says, RE-THINK. Excellence is in your next five minutes, Sprint.
Side note: Does Sprint even have a Culture built to win?