& cplSiteName &

Sprint: 4G & M&A Still Unclear

Raymond McConville
LR Mobile News Analysis
Raymond McConville
5/7/2008
50%
50%

At last we finally have a clear picture of where Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) stands with WiMax. (See Sprint, Clearwire Create $14.5B WiMax Giant.) But what the service provider plans to do with its own cellular network and its own M&A strategy going forward remains unclear.

The issue at hand is that Sprint now has 50 million subscribers set to potentially migrate to WiMax services. But the company will only have 51 percent ownership over any customer that makes that migration, as opposed to a 100 percent ownership that it would have over a customer on any 4G network it potentially built on its own.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse addressed the issue on a conference call this morning saying: “It [the new Clearwire] provides lift to our 3G products because we will be able to go to market uniquely with not only our capabilities under 2G and 3G, but we’ll be the only company also offering in available markets a 4G offer.”

Aside from getting to market sooner with the new Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) venture, Hesse added that “because of being an early investor, we feel the economics of this company to Sprint will be very favorable. It will allow us to bring these 4G products to market without the capex investment required if we were to build the network on our own.”

Hesse did not address directly whether this eliminated the possibility of Sprint building out 4G on its own at the later date, but it may not have the resources to do so anyway. The spectrum Sprint owns, with which it is building out so-called "4G" WiMax services, is 2.5 GHz spectrum. That will be the bandwidth hogged by the new Clearwire. And because Sprint did not bid in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auctions, it may not have any remaining spectrum to build out 4G with. (See Verizon & AT&T Win 700 MHz Sweeps.)

Unless Sprint plans on acquiring additional spectrum assets, its 4G eggs are all going into the new Clearwire basket.

Hesse also did not rule out whether the Clearwire deal would preclude other possible M&A activity while the new company goes through the approval process. “I’m not aware that it would preclude any other options that Sprint may or may not consider,” said Hesse. Among those rumored options lately are a potential acquisition bid from German incumbent carrier Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT). (See DT & Sprint: A Bargain in the Balance?)

While rivals AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) have enjoyed strong growth with their wireless services, Sprint has struggled while losing both market share and subscribers. While it now has roughly a two-year head start on the competition with 4G, the Clearwire deal is not signed, sealed, and delivered and won’t be until the fourth quarter of this year. Sprint can’t afford to fall behind by seven months if the deal falls to get approval before then.

But in the meantime it now has gained Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreements with the two biggest cable MSOs Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), who are starving to add quad play to their arsenals. And teaming up for some exclusive collaborative efforts with one of the most feared companies on earth, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), shouldn’t hurt either.

Shares of Sprint are up $0.32 (3.48%) to $9.51 in early morning trading.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
LRTV Interviews
Colt Sales Exec on Services Trends

7|4|17   |   12:59   |   (0) comments


Colt's sales director for enterprise, James Kershaw, sheds some light on the services currently in demand and how network upgrades are influencing customer demand.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Mobile to Power Online Video Consumption – Zenith
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/19/2017
Can Mushroom Sprout in Crowded SD-WAN Field?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/18/2017
AI Will Be Ubiquitous in 2020 but Overhyped in 2017 – Gartner
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 7/18/2017
Facing the Facebook Video Threat
Gary Miles, Chief Marketing Officer, Amdocs, 7/17/2017
Brocade, Broadcom Merger in Doubt
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Fuzzy Quick Fix Click Here
If you can't access it, is it really broken?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.