Print 12 comment(s) - last by DanNeely.. on Dec 17 at 3:28 PM

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse
Sprint buys Clearwire spectrum

Rumors were circulating late last week that Sprint and Clearwire were close to a deal that would see wireless carrier Sprint acquire all Clearwire shares that it didn't already own. Sprint has announced today that it has entered into an agreement that would see it acquire 100% ownership at $2.97 per share.

Sprint says that it is uniquely positioned to leverage Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum assets. Sprint also believes that the purchase will strengthen its position and increase its competitiveness in the wireless industry within the U.S.
With all outstanding shares Sprint is purchasing, the deal values Clearwire at $2.2 billion. The transaction gives Clearwire a total enterprise value of about $10 billion including its net debt and spectrum lease obligations of $5.5 billion.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse championed the move, stating, “Sprint is uniquely positioned to maximize the value of Clearwire’s spectrum and efficiently deploy it to increase Sprint’s network capacity. We believe this transaction, particularly when leveraged with our SoftBank relationship, is further validation of our strategy and allows Sprint to control its network destiny.” 

Source: Sprint

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Not quite...
By morgan12x on 12/17/2012 9:35:30 AM , Rating: 2
- "allows Sprint to control its network destiny."

Except that Sprint relies heavily on partner networks for even adequate coverage. This new spectrum does nothing for them since Sprint will definitely not be sharing something they just paid a premium for. I also feel bad for the Clearwire employees (I know a few personally) who now work for Sprint. Sprint has a storied history of firing huge numbers of employees and using contractors. I hope this is different but I'm not holding my breath.

RE: Not quite...
By CZroe on 12/17/2012 9:41:38 AM , Rating: 2
Then they can be the contractors.

Good luck to them.

RE: Not quite...
By othercents on 12/17/2012 9:57:13 AM , Rating: 3
Except that Sprint relies heavily on partner networks for even adequate coverage.

I disagree. First many people don't think Sprint's coverage is adequate. Second I don't see sprint using partner networks in cities only rural areas that typically are not big Sprint customers.

Hopefully will all this done, Sprint will start rolling out their LTE quickly and discontinuing their WIMAX service. The hope is that their level of service in cities will increase to something usable and they will quit loosing customers due to data speeds.

However after getting Sprint for 3 months in 2000 and cancelling them for lack of service in my area (Denver), I doubt I will be looking at going back anytime soon.


RE: Not quite...
By euclidean on 12/17/2012 10:28:34 AM , Rating: 3
So you only have adequate coverage if you own every tower your customers use?

That's a lot of wasted capital for everyone, and no 1 wireless company owns their entire network.

Now, I would agree that their performance is in-adequate, but coverage is pretty awesome (both City & Rural). This is why I'm waiting til the End of this next year (2013) to see how it's LTE roll out goes. If it's successful, and they keep their current plans & pricing, then I'm not sure if I would ever think about switching to the others (unless I start traveling outside the country more...).

And, to add a bit to the "sharing" comment - Sprint shares it's network quite a bit already with other carriers (including Verizon & AT&T) - if they acquired more spectrum, and translated that into new coverage - why wouldn't they look at sharing?

Can't comment on the Working conditions though...but I would say there are a lot of companies that go the route of Contractors, not just Sprint...

RE: Not quite...
By RufusM on 12/17/2012 12:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
If this adds to Sprint's coverage, then more power to them. They definitely need a coverage boost. In Minnesota T-Mobile, VZW and AT&T beat Sprint for metropolitan and rural coverage.

If this only allows Sprint to roll out better LTE then let's hope they hake some more deals to provide better coverage.

I agree that I don't see why Sprint (or any carrier) wouldn't sell excess capacity to MVNOs if they have it.

RE: Not quite...
By DanNeely on 12/17/2012 10:29:41 AM , Rating: 3
Splashing out to expand the footprint of their directly owned towers is something I wouldn't be surprised if Sprint decides to do. Given Sprint's current relatively weak position vs ATT/VZW, I doubt that taking over clearwire will be the end of Softbank's throwing it's money into the company to try and improve it's position.

Expanding the footprint of their network would really help the MVNO partners that are a relatively large fraction of Sprint's aggregate customer base and improve their standing in the national comparison maps the big two use to claim their superiority. Currently VZW isn't letting Sprint's MVNO's roam onto their 3g network; and I wouldn't hold my breath on them letting anyone else onto their LTE network for at least the next few years.

RE: Not quite...
By Shig on 12/17/2012 2:59:11 PM , Rating: 2
You have to do your research with sprint and really know how much you'll be traveling around the country. Sprint is quite good in Chicago, but absolutely terrible in other big cities. Not only that but you have to research where in certain cities there is good coverage.

I'll still take unlimited data over data caps though. Absolutely no point with being on a super fast network and being capped to the bone.

RE: Not quite...
By DanNeely on 12/17/2012 3:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
I have done my research and where I live Sprint's coverage is ~50% roaming onto VZW's network (by area covered). As a result my voice/3g coverage wouldn't be significantly affected by going to Sprint but unless they expand their footprint my LTE would probably be patchy until/unless VZW started allowing roaming access to it.

Sprint's unlimited data really doesn't matter to me; what I'd be more interested in would be going to one of their MVNO's that offer significantly cheaper plans for light users (probably Ting); but since VZW isn't currently letting any Sprint MVNO's roam onto their data network I'd frequently just have an over sized voice only phone when away from home.

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