NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- T-Mobile (TMUS - Get Report) may not merge with Sprint (S) in the near future, but U.S. mobile consolidation is still a possibility according to Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges.
Shares of T-Mobile were falling 2.1% to $31.15 and Sprint was down 3.6% to $8.79 Thursday following Hoettges' comments.
In an earnings press conference Hoettges said "I don't want to insist on consolidation, but I won't rule it out." After regulatory opposition to the recent potential bid for T-Mobile by Sprint, the market will remain a race between the big four carriers for the moment.
Hoettges said T-Mobile has a good standalone position, and that it's building out. According to Bloomberg Hoettges is now "taking a long-term view" of T-Mobile in the U.S., and is looking to convert the carrier's large number of prepaid customers to postpaid plans.
Deutsche Telekom currently owns 67% of T-Mobile.