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Optical/IP

Sprint Is iDone With Some iDen Assets

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is the latest carrier to divest some network assets, saying Friday that it will sell off iDEN assets in parts of several Midwestern states to bring it into compliance with an Illinois court ruling.

The company says that it is working with its financial adviser, Citi, to sell off parts of the old iDEN Nextel National Network in markets primarily located in parts of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Nebraska. The company hasn't specified how many subscribers such a move would cover, but it expects any sales to be completed in advance of the deadline of Jan. 25, 2010.

The move follows a lawsuit from iPCS Inc. The Sprint affiliate claimed Sprint's purchase of Nextel Communications Inc. in 2005 violated an exclusivity agreement between the companies. (See Sprint/Nextel Merger to Close.)

The court order doesn't relate to a similar case that iPCS has brought against Sprint regarding its WiMax deal with Clearwire.

Overall, Sprint says that selling the assets "will have a de minimis impact" on its results. [Ed note: That's a Latin expression meaning of minimal or minor importance, dead language fans!]

Sprint is the latest U.S. carrier required to divest assets. Verizon Wireless has been busy selling off small chunks of its network recently, as part of its agreement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the acquisition of Alltel. (See ATN Gets Some Alltel Leftovers and Who Will Buy Verizon's Alltel Leftovers?)

– Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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