Softbank may be the shot in the arm that Sprint Nextel needs to finally be competitive with the big boys in the U.S.Sprint and Softbank confirmed early Monday that they had agreed to a deal in which Softbank would spent $20.1 billion to take a 70 percent stake in the company. Softbank will pay shareholders $12.1 billion and invest $8 billion in the business. But the deal underscores an increasingly evident reality for Sprint: that the growing pressures of the wireless industry are too much for the company to handle alone. It already must deal with … Read more
It's not exactly clear what's behind Softbank's tentative proposal to acquire control of Sprint. But that hasn't stopped lots of folks from trying to make sense of a cross-Pacific deal that hasn't even been formally struck yet.
At least the outline of a possible transaction is coming into focus. According to The Wall Street Journal, Softbank -- which zoomed to success in the Japanese market thanks to a years-long exclusive on the iPhone -- would pony up as much as $12.8 billion to acquire a roughly 70 percent stake in Sprint Nextel. That payment … Read more
EarthLink can now offer its Internet customers a high-speed connection through Clearwire's 4G broadband network, the companies announced today.
The agreement allows EarthLink customers to access the service through Clearwire, which runs its own 4G WiMax network. The deal also opens the door to Clearwire's planned 4G LTE network, the companies said in a statement.
EarthLink was a major player in the late 1990s as one of the largest Internet service providers supplying dial-up Web access. But as consumers moved to broadband services largely provided by the big telcos and cable companies, the company saw its user base … Read more
Sprint Nextel saw its second-quarter loss widen because of ongoing costs related to the shutdown of its Nextel network, its Network Vision upgrade project, and its investment in Clearwire.
The Overland Park, Kansas, wireless carrier posted a loss of $1.37 billion, or 46 cents a share, on revenue of $8.84 billion. A year ago, it reported a loss of $863 million, or 29 cents a share, on revenue of $8.31 billion.
One-time costs include 26 cents a share for Network Vision, 6 cents a share related to the shutdown of Nextel towers, and 7 cents a share … Read more
NEW ORLEANS--Sprint Nextel is preparing to bid adieu to the Nextel side of the business.
Sprint executives today ran through its Network Vision upgrade plan, which includes the decommissioning of its Nextel iDEN network. The company has already shut down 1,900 cellular sites and plans to turn off 9,600 sites by the end of the third quarter, Bob Azzi, senior vice president for networks at the company, said here today. The entire network will go dark by the middle of the second half of next year, he added.
By shutting down its Nextel network, Sprint can reuse the … Read more
NEW ORLEANS--Clearwire, often seen in the industry as the odd duck of the wireless providers, may actually be on the unlikely path to offering a globally compatible device.
At least that's what CEO Erik Prusch believes. With major carriers in China, India, and Europe supporting the same spectrum band and variant of LTE, it's possible that a phone running on Clearwire can hop on to international networks with little fuss.
The advent of LTE was supposed to bring a universal standard to carriers. But the wide variety of technology standards and different spectrums has left the carriers as … Read more
NEW ORLEANS--The carrier networks aren't the only 4G LTE game in town.
Qualcomm today announced its intention to support Clearwire's forthcoming TDD-LTE network in a select line of chipsets that power mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Qualcomm already has what are called multi-mode, multi-band LTE chipsets, which enable devices to ride more than one LTE frequency.
Mobile device-makers that use Qualcomm's chipsets to power their products will be able to offer their customers other solutions for LTE, since their products will be able to ride the data network provided by Clearwire's wholesale service.
"We … Read more
Editors' note: This is a guest column. See Roger Entner's bio below.
One thing is clear about Clearwire: no matter what happens, it needs Sprint more than ever.
Just look at 2011. The 4G WiMax service provider's best news was the increase in subscribers, from 4.4 million to 10.4 million. Impressive as that was, it came solely on the back of Sprint.
With growth like that, and lingering fears about its survival, you'd think Clearwire would play nice. But Clearwire played a high-risk game of chicken with Sprint during negotiations to extend its resale agreement, … Read more
Did Sprint Nextel really need the iPhone?
That's what one Wall Street analyst is asking after looking at the company's year-end performance, which Sprint disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. The results show that a bulk of Sprint's customers would have joined the carrier regardless of whether the iPhone was available, and only a fraction of the customers would have left the service for the iPhone elsewhere. Sprint began carrying the iPhone in October.
The numbers, while still early, fly in the face of Sprint's repeated comments that the iPhone is … Read more
Cricket has signed on to use Clearwire's forthcoming 4G LTE network to augment its own next-generation deployment.
Cricket, owned by parent Leap Wireless, and Clearwire said today that they have signed a five-year wholesale deal. While Cricket is building a 4G LTE network across two-thirds of its own territory over the next three years, it will need Clearwire's wider reach and ability to relieve its own traffic load.
Clearwire is in a strong position as the only wholesale partner left in town after the implosion of LightSquared. Clearwire secured financing from Sprint Nextel--its largest customer and investor--and has … Read more