Call it a new found boldness after the Softbank acquisition, or just an attempt to bolster its numbers in the continued fight against AT&T and Verizon, but Sprint is not letting up. Today, the nation's number three carrier announced it's going to buy up some of U.S. Cellular's spectrum and customers in mid-west states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Among the newly Now Network'd markets are Chicago and St.
Previously, we'd heard rumors and whispers that T-Mobile (by way of its parent company Deutsche Telekom) would be acquiring MetroPCS. Today, both companies' boards have approved the merger and, pending regulatory and MetroPCS shareholder approval, the deal should be completed by mid-2013. The two companies will have a combined subscriber base of about 42.5 million customers, which still leaves it in fourth place in the U.S. behind Sprint with 56 million and AT&T/Verizon who each have over 100 million users.
The US Department of Justice approved a sale of unused wireless spectrum to Verizon today, marking one of the largest spectrum sales to a single corporate entity in history. The unused portion of the AWS spectrum is owned by a number of cable companies (known collectively as "SpectrumCo") that bought it during the FCC AWS auction back in 2008.
Of course, back in the old spectrum heydays of, uh, four very long years ago, those megahertz were a lot cheaper.
The FCC and Verizon settled out an ongoing dispute about Verizon's removal of tethering apps from the then-Android Market for devices operating on its network, stating that the "Block C" spectrum rules it agreed to when it purchased the frequency bands obligate it to provide its customers open access to software. Those rules, if you haven't seen them before, are essentially:
Just last week, Sprint finally lit up its LTE network. Not before selling a number of LTE-equipped phones, however. If you were worried about Sprint's ability to keep up with the big dogs in the race to expand LTE coverage, the WSJ has some comforting words for you. Wait, did I say "comforting"? I'm sorry, I meant worrying. Very, very worrying.
The long and short of it is, Sprint simply doesn't seem to have enough spectrum to keep up.
Verizon and T-Mobile may not regularly make headlines together, but this morning the two companies have announced that they've struck a deal to swap spectrum (and some money) to bolster both companies' LTE networks. Yes, including the one T-Mobile has yet to build. While specifics haven't been disclosed, it sounds like T-Mobile will be the big winner here, walking away with a net gain in spectrum holdings—something the company desperately needs—while paying an undisclosed amount of money to Verizon for the trouble.
Remember back in December when Verizon announced its plans to buy a truckload of spectrum licenses from several cable companies? T-Mobile does, and they're not happy about it. The fourth-largest US carrier told the FCC that the deal would allow Verizon to "accumulate even more spectrum on top of an already dominant position."
Verizon fired back with the time-honored legal defense of "Well, why not? Nobody else is using it!" In a response to the filing, Verizon claimed that the deal would make use of spectrum that is currently going unutilized by the cable companies.
Dan Rosenberg, a security researcher and rooting mastermind, has done it again, this time making quick work of the LG Spectrum. In a post to his blog just moments ago, Rosenberg simply states "Yawn. LG loses, users win," and gives instructions on downloading the scripts he provides for Windows, Linux, and OSX.
Considering all that Rosenberg has done (and continues to do) for the community, I'd highly recommend supporting him by hitting the donate button below.
Just last week, LG revealed the Spectrum, an impressive new flagship phone for Verizon. A glance at the spec sheet showed some impressive numbers on paper, and we went hands-on during CES and came away impressed. The essential specs:
- 4.5″ True HD IPS display (1280x720 at 329DPI), protected by Gorilla Glass
- 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor
- 8MP rear camera, shoots 1080p video, 1.3MP front camera
- 1GB of RAM
- 4GB of on-board storage, 16GB micro SD card pre-installed
- 4G LTE
- Android 2.3.5 (Android 4.0 update promised)
- 1830mAh battery (optional 3000mAh extended battery available at launch)
- Dimensions: 5.33″ x 2.71″ x .41″
- Weight: 4.99 oz.
There's been a lot of buzz over Sprint's LTE plans lately, but the company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi has just added more fuel to the fire, indicating that Sprint plans to deploy LTE-Advanced in a 10x10 configuration by the first half of 2013, using its 800MHz spectrum, offering download speeds of around 12-15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, Sprint's deployment of LTE on their 1900MHz spectrum is still on track for commercial launch by mid-2012.