Sprint and wireless broadband provider Clearwire have been working together for several years. Sprint currently owns about 51% of Clearwire and has eyes to own the whole enchilada. Rumors have circulated for months now that Sprint was in negotiations to purchase all of Clearwire.
The big four wireless carriers, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, have reached an agreement to enable text-to-911 service in 2014. The agreement has been shipped off to the FCC, which will discuss the matter on December 12. While the agreement won't bring the ability to text emergency services to all wireless users by 2014, it will give the service a large boost in that direction.
Verizon's cellphone service has come out top of the pack for major US carriers, with sterling 4G performance the only thing to rescue AT&T from poor ratings across the board. Based on a survey of more than 63,000 subscribers by Consumer Reports, the feedback praised Verizon for its voice and data quality, the knowledge of staff, and how promptly issues were resolved.
Yesterday it was reported that 25% of cell phone towers in 10 states had been knocked out by Hurricane Sandy, as well as 25% of cable services, and a small number of emergency call centers. Now, according to the FCC, that number has dropped a few percentage points. Homes without cable TV and wired broadband is now "well under 20-percent."
Huawei is a Chinese company that offers all sorts of hardware for mobile networks and other network systems. The Chinese company has been at the center of spying allegations made by the US government suggesting that Huawei may be allowing the Chinese government access to American network systems. Huawei continues to strenuously object to these claims and has offered access to its source code in an attempt to prove it's not facilitating Chinese spying on America.
With a single statement that's no more than three sentences long, AT&T has given what essentially amounts to a fair warning to U.S. regulators that they will not have an easy time approving of Softbank's acquisition of Sprint. Having failed at their own acquisition of T-Mobile in the USA earlier this year, it would appear that AT&T isn't going to let the Japanese carrier Softbank work with Sprint without letting them know they're watching them closely. With what AT&T says here, a clear message is sent directly to the FCC saying how the USA doesn't take kindly to outsiders buying up their market - so to speak.
Japanese carrier Softbank has confirmed it is acquiring a majority share in Sprint, in a deal worth $20.1bn expected to be closed by mid-2013. The deal, rumored last week, will see Softbank pay $12.1bn to Sprint's existing shareholders to snap up the struggling US CDMA carrier, with the remaining $8bn used to "strengthen Sprint's balance sheet." The acquisition will see Softbank attempt to bring some Japanese-style LTE magic to Sprint's network in the US, with current CEO Dan Hesse remaining on in his position.
This week its becoming clear that the Japanese wireless service provider known as SoftBank is ready and willing to take a giant stab at the US marker with Sprint as is readies 23 billion dollars in borrowed cash for a bid. By acquiring Sprint, SoftBank has been tipped to be gaining favor with a variety of hardware manufacturers, this allowing them to grab high-tiered smartphones and tablets for their own brand in Japan. Meanwhile it would appear that the deal is "a must-do deal" for Sprint while for SoftBank it simply isn't so - this idea coming from Yasuo Sakuma, portfolio manager at Bayview Asset Management in Tokyo, adding "it's going to be very difficult to turn Sprint around."
Earlier today it was rumored that Japanese mobile data carrier SoftBank was in talks with Sprint over a possible acquisition of the US carrier - this news has now been confirmed by Sprint with a very brief comment. The words delivered by Sprint here nearer noon on October 11th include confirmation that they're "engaged in discussions" with the Japanese group and that there are "no assurances that these discussions will result in any transaction." They also let it be known that if a transaction does occur, it very well could include "a change of control of Sprint."