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FCC clears way for SoftBank to buy Sprint, Sprint to buy Clearwire

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced the removal of the last barrier to a three-company merger that will see Japan's SoftBank take control of Sprint Wireless, which itself is set to take over Clearwire.

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Sprint confirmed the regulatory body's decision midday on Friday, noting that its shareholders have already approved SoftBank's $21.6 billion bid to buy the United States' third-largest wireless carrier. Sprint's move to purchase the rest of Clearwire will go before shareholders on July 8.

Clearwire's Board of Directors have already recommended that Sprint's offer to buy a controlling stake in Clearwire be approved by shareholders. Sprint's offer ? which will see it purchasing the remaining 50 percent of Clearwire for $5 per share ? values Clearwire at $14 billion.

Sprint anticipates both transactions will close early in July, subject to the remaining closing conditions. The transaction will bring to an end a months-long process that has seen offers, counter-offers, and considerable competition.

Japanese cellular carrier and Internet solutions giant SoftBank initially offered to purchase a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20 billion in October of last year. The move was largely thought of as a means for SoftBank to continue growing as its home wireless market reached saturation.

In April, SoftBank saw competition in the form of Dish Network, which launched a surprise bid to acquire Sprint itself for $25.5 billion. Dish's offer would have required it to take on considerable debt in order to accomplish, though, and the company dropped out of the running late last month.

SoftBank eventually raised its offer to $21.6 billion, with the cash component of the deal for shareholders rising to $4.5 billion. The final offer leaves the Japanese carrier in control of 78 percent of Sprint.

SoftBank hopes to use both Sprint's and Clearwire's 4G spectrum holdings to improve service for existing customers and attract new ones along the way. In courting Sprint's shareholders, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son continually touted his company's expertise in 4G technologies, specifically its use of a single-frequency network technology. That tech could allow Sprint to reduce interference in its own network and provide its customers with improved reception.

In the first quarter of this year, Sprint sold 1.5 million iPhones, but lost 560,000 customers to competitors. At the end of the quarter, the carrier had 31.3 million customers on contract paying an average of $61.47 per month.
post #2 of 23

Ugh! 

post #3 of 23
Sprint sucks! Horrible data speeds, congested slow meteor even on LTE
post #4 of 23
Data speeds*
post #5 of 23

Sprint needs to be totally disassembled  Remember short circuit.  Lol.

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post #6 of 23
Did you know?!
Softbank ain't no Japanese company - it's a Korean conspiracy
post #7 of 23
Sprint Tokyo Drift Cup? We can say good-bye to "stock" cars.
post #8 of 23

With all of Softbank's money along with all that old 800MHz Nextel spectrum now shut down and being repurposed for Sprint along with the huge amount of Clearwire 2.5GHz spectrum Sprint is poised to do very well the next few years and give AT&T and Verizon a run for their money. Unlimited LTE with far cheaper plans is a big incentive. Most of the lost subscribers were the last remaining Nextel customers and good riddance. That was a match made in hell and possibly the worst merger ever but finally Sprint can use all that 800MHz spectrum for Sprint and not Nextel and by nor operating two completely separate networks it should save them billions and really improve wall penetration and coverage. 

 

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post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Punyumarukun View Post

Did you know?!
Softbank ain't no Japanese company - it's a Korean conspiracy

Really? Then how come Wikipedia mentions the following:  There is no mention of being a Korean company.

 

It mentions that Softbank is HQ'd in Tokyo, Japan.  It mentions NOTHING about being Korean.

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Punyumarukun View Post

Did you know?!
Softbank ain't no Japanese company - it's a Korean conspiracy

All it is is that the top guy, Masayoshi Son, is of Korean decent, but he has a Japanese surname to avoid any discrimination by having a Korean surname and the company is based in Japan.


It's like saying a company is German if someone's parents moved from Germany to the US, and then their kid starts a company in the US and calling it a German based company.  Seriously, the company is based IN JAPAN.

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

At the end of the quarter, the carrier had 31.3 million customers on contract paying an average of $61.47 per month.

I don't get why cellphone subscriptions and calling costs are so high in the US. And this one is probably one of the less expensive ones. I take it most of you guys are on AT&T or Verizon? Many times I see people posting their monthly costs, often exceeding $90. That's just...wrong.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


I don't get why cellphone subscriptions and calling costs are so high in the US. And this one is probably one of the less expensive ones. I take it most of you guys are on AT&T or Verizon? Many times I see people posting their monthly costs, often exceeding $90. That's just...wrong.

 

I pay $50 a month on Sprint and get unlimited talk minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data which includes LTE. I often exceed 10 or even 15GB of data. Nearly all plans here now include unlimited talk minutes. I have many European friends and I have looked at the websites to see their plans, for my usage I would be paying far more in Europe than here in the U.S. 

 

How much do you guys pay for gas? Food? Clothes? Electricity? And so many other items that are often 3 or 4 times what we pay. When I visit Europe I am shocked at the prices of common items at stores. The cost of living in the United States outside of some places like New York City, San Francisco and a few other places is far, far cheaper than Europe. So it is true you might have some cheaper phone plans than Verizon but that doesn't come close to the other 99% of items that are more expensive. You can buy a very nice and 3BR/2BA large house in many towns for around $70,000 on a half an acre lot for example. 

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

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Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

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post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I don't get why cellphone subscriptions and calling costs are so high in the US. And this one is probably one of the less expensive ones. I take it most of you guys are on AT

I pay $50 a month on Sprint and get unlimited talk minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data which includes LTE. I often exceed 10 or even 15GB of data. Nearly all plans here now include unlimited talk minutes. I have many European friends and I have looked at the websites to see their plans, for my usage I would be paying far more in Europe than here in the U.S. 

How much do you guys pay for gas? Food? Clothes? Electricity? And so many other items that are often 3 or 4 times what we pay. When I visit Europe I am shocked at the prices of common items at stores. The cost of living in the United States outside of some places like New York City, San Francisco and a few other places is far, far cheaper than Europe. So it is true you might have some cheaper phone plans than Verizon but that doesn't come close to the other 99% of items that are more expensive. You can buy a very nice and 3BR/2BA large house in many towns for around $70,000 on a half an acre lot for example. 

Good post, thanks. To me, European prices are just that - simply because I'm accustomed to it. Gas sure is expensive here: € 1,80 / liter (or $2.30 / 0,26 US gallon or $8.70 per US gallon). I think homes are a bit difficult to compare due to all the varying aspects like location et cetera. Though one cannot find a home for 70k (€ 55,000) over here. Probably because NL is so small: 17M people living in an area of 16,039 sq mi compared to the state of Texas (26M people): 268,581sq mi (1:16). I read that Cupertino is the most expensive city in the US. Don't remember if that was for homes or the cost of living...

Telco's: varying, obviously. A simple check gives me: € 45 for unlimited talk/text + 500MB per month (2GB for € 47.50, 4GB for € 55. All 4G, which doesn't work with the iPhone5 as these stupid telco's are running on the 800MHz. Subs for 3G: € 37.50 for 200min talk/text + 200MB. Pre-paid is € 10 cheaper. Though many MVNO offer cheaper rates; mine is 300 min talk/text with 200MB for € 11 / month. I have so many WiFi spots I don't use 3G that much.

Occasionally we get brag time discussions on telco costs. There was a French guy posting here, paying € 40 unlimited everything, including 1,000's of free WiFi spots.
post #14 of 23
Looks like some massive TD-LTE infrastructure coming. In terms of Apple, Finally a iPhone with TD-LTE could means it support Japan, China, Brazil, Russia and possibly US.

Since Apple would be concentrating on tuning and getting the 2600 LTE working as well as LTE-A in iPhone 5S, i think it would be until iPhone 6 before we see that. Luckily TD-LTE isn't set to explode into popularity until 2014.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I don't get why cellphone subscriptions and calling costs are so high in the US. And this one is probably one of the less expensive ones. I take it most of you guys are on AT&T or Verizon? Many times I see people posting their monthly costs, often exceeding $90. That's just...wrong.

Short answer... because they can 1smile.gif

Long answer... the United States is VERY big... 9.8 million square kilometers. There are 200,000 cell towers in the US... and tens of thousands of workers maintaining them. Cell phone carriers have a rather large network to operate.

But yeah... mostly because they can!
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


Short answer... because they can 1smile.gif

Long answer... the United States is VERY big... 9.8 million square kilometers. There are 200,000 cell towers in the US... and tens of thousands of workers maintaining them. Cell phone carriers have a rather large network to operate.

But yeah... mostly because they can!

I use Sprint mostly because they had certain factors that made it cheaper.  I'm on 3G, so LTE isn't a concern.  The next go around when I get a LTE phone, I'm sure that will change. I just wish Verizon had a better plan. 

 

I've always hated the way these cell phone carriers operate.  

 

The other thing is that these companies are always trying to figure out how to deal with the peak hours and keeping the speeds as fast as they can.

 

I know one of those guys roaming around supporting Verizon systems and he gave me a heads up of what they are doing.  I just wish they had a better plan, otherwise I would have gone with Verizon.

post #17 of 23

As a Sprint user, let me say welcome to our new Japanese overlords :)  I'm still waiting for LTE to hit Louisville, supposedly it's coming 3rd quarter.  My contract is up in Feb, so hopefully by then things should be set.

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Good post, thanks. To me, European prices are just that - simply because I'm accustomed to it. Gas sure is expensive here: € 1,80 / liter (or $2.30 / 0,26 US gallon or $8.70 per US gallon). I think homes are a bit difficult to compare due to all the varying aspects like location et cetera. Though one cannot find a home for 70k (€ 55,000) over here. Probably because NL is so small: 17M people living in an area of 16,039 sq mi compared to the state of Texas (26M people): 268,581sq mi (1:16). I read that Cupertino is the most expensive city in the US. Don't remember if that was for homes or the cost of living...

Telco's: varying, obviously. A simple check gives me: € 45 for unlimited talk/text + 500MB per month (2GB for € 47.50, 4GB for € 55. All 4G, which doesn't work with the iPhone5 as these stupid telco's are running on the 800MHz. Subs for 3G: € 37.50 for 200min talk/text + 200MB. Pre-paid is € 10 cheaper. Though many MVNO offer cheaper rates; mine is 300 min talk/text with 200MB for € 11 / month. I have so many WiFi spots I don't use 3G that much.

Occasionally we get brag time discussions on telco costs. There was a French guy posting here, paying € 40 unlimited everything, including 1,000's of free WiFi spots.

 

I am 26 days into my monthly cycle and I have uploaded 1GB of data and downloaded 9GB of data on cellular. I have used 1,536 talk minutes. I am guessing that would be a lot more than the $50 I pay now in Europe for that level of usage. I never like to use public wifi since it is insecure if I can avoid it. Gas here is currently $3.19 a gallon where I live.

 

Cupertino may well be one of the most expensive cities to live. It is part of the San Francisco/San Jose metropolis and land there is also limited due to the geography surrounded by water and mountains which is why they tend to have much smaller homes than in many other cities. I have a friend who is a lawyer in SF with what I would consider a small and narrow home of 2 stories, 1,300 square feet. It is also not a new house, it was built in the 1970's. A home like that here  wouldn't cost more than $90,000 at the absolutest high end but she paid $1.3 million for it due to the location. And she has a tiny yard, more like a patio than a yard and the neighbors houses are right next to hers on both sides. That would drive me insane having neighbors so close that I can hear them talk or hear their TV. I like having a big yard and distance between my neighbors. 

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

Reply

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

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post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphafox View Post

Sprint sucks! Horrible data speeds, congested slow meteor even on LTE

I average 20Mbps and often higher and get full coverage bars wherever I go. Don't condemn and entire network because you get poor coverage where you live. And if it is that bad all you have to do is switch to someone else. No one has a gun to your head forcing you to stay. I have no idea what you mean by "slow meteor". Verizon should screen their online shills better that inevitably show up on any Sprint story. 

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

Reply

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I pay $50 a month on Sprint and get unlimited talk minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data which includes LTE. I often exceed 10 or even 15GB of data. Nearly all plans here now include unlimited talk minutes. I have many European friends and I have looked at the websites to see their plans, for my usage I would be paying far more in Europe than here in the U.S. 

How much do you guys pay for gas? Food? Clothes? Electricity? And so many other items that are often 3 or 4 times what we pay. When I visit Europe I am shocked at the prices of common items at stores. The cost of living in the United States outside of some places like New York City, San Francisco and a few other places is far, far cheaper than Europe. So it is true you might have some cheaper phone plans than Verizon but that doesn't come close to the other 99% of items that are more expensive. You can buy a very nice and 3BR/2BA large house in many towns for around $70,000 on a half an acre lot for example. 

And that's precisely why the prices in the US are ridiculous. It doesn't match the rest of the lower cost of living. Even the second tier carriers are too expensive. Republic Wireless with the $20 unlimited talk+text+data hybrid plan is the only sensible plan in the US. Too bad they have only 1 phone and it sucks. Plus it's CDMA. Still - for my son, it's a great option.
post #21 of 23

Sprint now has the cash to complete their network overhaul, and lord knows, they need to tend to their network which is basically falling apart. Anyone in a Sprint 3G only market knows exactly what I mean.

 

Nextel is dead, so now Sprint has wonderful 800Mhz spectrum repurposed for LTE

 

Then there is their 1.9Ghz and 2.5Ghz holdings, which puts Sprint in a position for some truly glorious tri-band LTE coverage

 

And now they can actually speed up their LTE rollout which thus far has been a complete joke.

 

Could be great, and a kick in AT&T and Verizon's gut. Or Sprint can be the same old lame Sprint with the best unlimited sub-dialup speed in the USA.

 

 

post #22 of 23

This sucks. 

 

Dish really wanted Clearwire, and no matter what you may think about Dish, what they were looking to do could have benefited millions of rural Americans either directly or indirectly. 

 

Their goal was to acquire Clearwire to help them develop a wireless Internet infrastructure in rural areas of the US that are being ignored by broadband providers.  They needed the spectrum and technology Clearwire had.  Sprint will just use it to make their sad network a little better in the urban areas they already service.  They will continue to ignore rural markets as they always have.  No one in my area has Sprint if they intend to make actual phone calls.  The signal is a joke.  On the other hand, Dish is already testing their wireless Internet to the west of me.  

 

So, at least for me, a company that could have benefited me and millions like me lost out to a company that may use the technology to benefit their existing customers, but they'll continue to ignore towns like the one I live in.  

 

Please don't insult me with the "it benefits the market with choice" crap.  We have several options in this area for wireless providers.  Having a choice of cell phone providers is not a major issue when compared to lack of choice of broadband providers.  There are plenty of places around where your only option is DSL.  Or where your only option is Cable.  If you are lucky, you may have a choice of both, but the least you'll pay is $60/month because you won't bundle it with services you do not want or need.

 

Dish Internet was my chance at a bundle I would actually find attractive.

 

Die Sprint.  Just die already.

 

[edit: This doesn't kill Dish's idea but it surely slows them down]

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by rednival View Post

This sucks. 

 

Dish really wanted Clearwire, and no matter what you may think about Dish, what they were looking to do could have benefited millions of rural Americans either directly or indirectly. 

 

Their goal was to acquire Clearwire to help them develop a wireless Internet infrastructure in rural areas of the US that are being ignored by broadband providers.  They needed the spectrum and technology Clearwire had.  Sprint will just use it to make their sad network a little better in the urban areas they already service.  They will continue to ignore rural markets as they always have.  No one in my area has Sprint if they intend to make actual phone calls.  The signal is a joke.  On the other hand, Dish is already testing their wireless Internet to the west of me.  

 

So, at least for me, a company that could have benefited me and millions like me lost out to a company that may use the technology to benefit their existing customers, but they'll continue to ignore towns like the one I live in.  

 

Please don't insult me with the "it benefits the market with choice" crap.  We have several options in this area for wireless providers.  Having a choice of cell phone providers is not a major issue when compared to lack of choice of broadband providers.  There are plenty of places around where your only option is DSL.  Or where your only option is Cable.  If you are lucky, you may have a choice of both, but the least you'll pay is $60/month because you won't bundle it with services you do not want or need.

 

Dish Internet was my chance at a bundle I would actually find attractive.

 

Die Sprint.  Just die already.

 

[edit: This doesn't kill Dish's idea but it surely slows them down]


Just off the top of my head:  I dunno what Softbank plans to do, but maybe a combo of Sprint, Clearwire AND Dish could be interesting....???  And there's the kinda maybe interesting Project Loon out of Google piloting up in New Zealand....

Meanwhile lots of my watching-their-budget friends are using Sprint tower lessees like Cricket and now starting up, Republic, so dunno if these moves will benefit the MVNO's.  Whatev', all is not lost.....  ....nor found, of course.  

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