Could Sprint Have Clearwire Takeover in the Bag?

LAS VEGAS -- CTIA -- Sprint's tri-band LTE device pre-announcements in Las Vegas suggest it is increasingly confident it will soon be running a network over Clearwire Corp.'s 2.5GHz spectrum in the U.S. as it continues its M&A shuffle. As the final spring CTIA show kicks off here, Sprint has continued its merry M&A dances with Clearwire, DISH Networks LLC and SoftBank Mobile Ltd.. SoftBank wants to merge with Sprint, but Dish has put in a counter-offer. Sprint, meanwhile, wants to fully own long time WiMax partner Clearwire, but Dish has put in an offer to buy spectrum and a stake of 25 percent or more of Clearwire. Got all that? Good! Then let's continue with why Sprint seems confident that Clearwire is in the bag. Tuesday morning, Sprint revealed that it has upped its bid for Clearwire, to $3.40 for every share it doesn't already own. That's a 14 percent premium over the previous offer of $2.97 and values Clearwire at $10.7 billion, according to Sprint's statement. In light of the new offer, Clearwire has adjourned a special meeting of stockholders due Tuesday and will reschedule for May 31. SoftBank, meanwhile, has said Sprint can disclose "non-public" information in discussions with Dish, Sprint revealed Monday night. Sprint's board, however, continues to support the SoftBank bid and has not yet determined if the Dish bid constitutes a superior offer. Here at the CTIA show, Sprint has revealed that it has plans to release its first tri-band 4G LTE devices. The hotspots and USB modems will run over its existing 1.9GHz LTE network, its 800MHz LTE deployment due in the fourth quarter and the 2.5GHz band that Clearwire is deploying LTE on. The first tri-band Sprint 4G LTE-capable mobile broadband devices will be the MiFi 500 LTE by Novatel Wireless Inc., the international roaming-capable Netgear Inc. Zing Mobile Hotspot and the plug-in Netgear 341U USB Modem. Sprint hasn't yet said when the devices will be available. This pre-announcement would appear to be a sign that Sprint is increasingly confident that the Clearwire deal will close. Clearwire is due to get its parts of its TD-LTE network live on the air by the end of the year. Note that Clearwire hasn't even announced any devices of its own that will support the network. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

R M 5/29/2013 | 9:32:05 PM
re: Could Sprint Have Clearwire Takeover in the Bag? you know it's funny. Everyone wats a phone that work everywhere but 95% of us never go more then 50 miles from home lol If you have LTE at home with any carrier you're pretty well set. It's even funnier people worry about "world' phones. When was the last time you went to europe?
DanJonesLRMobile 5/21/2013 | 7:34:08 PM
re: Could Sprint Have Clearwire Takeover in the Bag? FYI, we're going to be waiting a *long* time for smartphones on TD-LTE here, tablets might actually make more sense from way the network is being deployed.
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