T-Mobile US could close its tie-up with Sprint in Q1 2019, the company’s CFO Braxton Carter said, as regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) resumes its review into the mega merger next month.

In comments cited by Reuters, Carter said at the Morgan Stanley TMT conference this week that T-Mobile is hopeful of getting “some early indications of where these regulatory agencies are at by the end of this year”.

“At this point, it’s more pointing to the second quarter as more probable, but it could still be first quarter,” he added.

The $26 billion deal, first announced in April, is currently under review by the FCC and the US Department of Justice.

The FCC’s review was however put on hold in September for almost three months, as the regulator sifted through additional documentation submitted by the operators. It said this week it will pick up where it left off on 4 December, with third parties also set the same deadline to weigh in on the newly submitted materials.

Both T-Mobile US and Sprint have maintained they are expecting the deal to be cleared by the first half of 2019 and this is the first time a timeline of Q1 2019 has been suggested.