Break out the popcorn, folks, it's time for some corporate drama. As we reported last month, LTE service provider Clearwire is looking to sell itself, with 50% stake holder Sprint Nextel the obvious choice. But while Sprint's $2.2 billion offer (plus another $800 million in staggered investments) sits on the desks of both Clearwire shareholders and the Federal Trade Commission for approval, satellite TV provider Dish Network has made another offer. Read More
Today, Sprint announced that it would be spending $2.2bn to acquire the remaining (roughly) half of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. The transaction, which is naturally subject to regulatory approval, will give the carrier ownership of all of Clearwire's significant share of spectrum, which will be a huge boost to Sprint as it attempts to build out an LTE network to compete with Verizon and AT&T.
Of course, these deals can take forever to close, so in the meantime, the two companies have entered into a rather brilliant agreement: Sprint has promised to buy roughly $80m worth of Clearwire stock every month starting in January 2013 for up to ten months (or a total of $800m, and slightly more than 1/3rd of the total Clearwire purchase price). Read More
Those of you who are on Sprint and thus have no need for opinions on the Nexus 4's lack of a 4G radio will probably agree: more LTE coverage is more gooder. Well, the Now Network concurs and the carrier is opening up the airwaves in a few more cities and areas, including Anderson, Indiana; Harrisonburg, Virginia; and Peabody, Massachusetts.
Here's the full list of cities that launch today (with coverage expanding in these areas over the coming months):
If you thought Google Fiber sounded like a game changer, you may want to keep an eye on this story. According to the Wall Street Journal, which has a history of having well-placed sources, Google has held talks with Dish Network discussing the possibility of partnering on a wireless carrier to compete with AT&T, Verizon, and all the rest. At first, it sounds like a pipe dream. The kind we've been hoping for since the G1. Read More
Sure, Verizon's running those ads that tells you how obvious it is their network is best, but AT&T wants you to know it's not sleeping on the job. Today, the carrier announced that it plans to have LTE coverage for 300 million people by the end of 2014. For those counting, that leaves only about 10 million out in the entire country.
The plan comes as part of a $14bn investment into wireless and wireline services—$8bn of which is going to wireless—that is expected to be carried out over the next three years. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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:
[Verizon] shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network.
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. Read More