If Sprint buys T-Mobile, the carrier field gets a little smaller. There aren’t a lot of consumers that are particularly happy about this idea. Only having three major carriers to choose from takes us back to the not so good-old-days. But right now this is theoretical. Real competitive reduction has just taken place: Cincinnati Bell has sold all of its spectrum to Verizon for $210 million, removing itself from the wireless industry altogether. The regional carrier’s network will run as usual until the deal’s expected closure in the second half of 2014, but the company plans to move customers to other providers shortly after that. It’s bowing out because it simply can’t afford to compete — it’s too “economically challenging” to build an advanced network, CEO Ted Torbeck says. The move should help Cincinnati Bell concentrate on its fiber internet and TV plans, but it’s not great news for subscribers who’d like to hold on to as many carrier choices as possible.

Cellular competition shrinks as Verizon swallows another small-time carrier.