Android Central

Well, that didn't take long. After both sides of the proposed deal confirmed talks, sources from the deal reportedly have confirmed to Business Insider that Japanese carrier Softbank will purchase a 70 percent stake of Sprint. CNBC reports the deal will be officially announced on Monday.

The deal in total will cost Softbank a whopping $20 billion -- $8 billion in shares directly from Sprint, and a $12 billion offer to buy shares from the public. The deal is expected to close officially with a statement from Softbank on Monday, and will not require a shareholder vote because of the deal's structure.

So what does this mean for the mobile industry? Only time will tell. All reports are that any Softbank investment in Sprint is a bit of a gamble, so it really is yet to be seen what the plan is after the deal closes.

Source: Business Insider; CNBC

 
There are 49 comments

willizen says:

Maybe this is just what sprint needs. Sprint has a better shot at taking on AT&T/Verizon than tmobile.

jimmiekain says:

Ok, so... is this going to be a good thing for sprint customers? A bad thing? Will we not see a change? Whats the deal?

I kinda feel like a lot of other people do. There is much that can happen right? Either they:
Get rid of unlimited data or they dont.
Raise, reduce or keep pricing the same.
Speed up network vision or they dont.

I think these are the questions we need/want answers to.

I doubt we will get them anytime soon but I think its what we are all waiting for.

dchawk81 says:

I think it'll be the infusion of cash that Sprint desperately needs so it can roll LTE out faster than planned, get everyone happy with better speeds, bring on more people, and ultimately raise prices to get in the black.

Will customers love higher prices? Nope. Can Sprint keep its prices low and still roll out LTE completely and run things as they have? Nope again. Verizon and AT&T are obnoxiously priced but they have the coverage and speeds. No one else does.

DirkBelig says:

The problem Sprint has is that no matter how much their apologists try to spin things, their service is poor, the speeds are slow, they're barely a 3G network and for some areas (like Detroit) the idea of 4G is a bigger pipe dream than having a three-way with Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.

I just took a weekend trip along the coast of the Michigan Thumb area and not far north of Port Huron I was without data entirely; not even roaming onto Verizon or whoever is up there. It wasn't until I got into the core area and towns like Bad Axe and Caro that I had data and even then it was the typical Sprint dial-up speeds. Once I got into Frankenmuth, it got better, but once again Sprint found a way to extra-specially remind me how hard they suck.

Checking the coverage maps, Verizon promises "extended 3G" in the areas I was and AT&T only offer 2G EDGE coverage. So switch to Verizon? Yeah, right, when I win the lottery. While they've got the area (and nation) blanketed rather well, even with my work discount I can't stomach their prices. AT&T is actually surprisingly affordable with my discount as long as I ditch their ripoff texting plan.

As I've said before, it doesn't matter if Sprint offers you an unlimited ocean of data to drink from if you can only suck it through a coffee stirrer. I've had it and I'm not waiting for some fairy godmother to buy them up and give them cash to stop having a crap network. Once again, Sprint users are the abused spouses who keep trying to convince others that their network really loves them and really wants to change its ways and stop beating them.

dchawk81 says:

Are you saying I'm an apologist or abused spouse? You did quote me, after all.

I agree with you that Sprint will have to improve. Loyal customers are becoming less loyal. However, this nation is huge and it's quite clear that covering the entire thing just in case you decide to venture into the armpits of the country and still want to stream Netflix in HD is going to cost you.

We don't have carriers competing with the same towers that cover relatively small countries like pretty much the rest of the world and especially Europe.

TenshiNo says:

Your arguement, while not entirely untrue, overlooks the fact that not everyone has the same experience. Like most carriers, any given user's experience on a particular network is going to be greatly affected by their location in the country and their daily habits.

Personally, in Houston, I have no troubles with signal strength. Data can be slow in parts of the city, certainly, but even that's getting better. And I have excellent 4G coverage pretty much everywhere I go on a regular basis, so the slow 3G network usually isn't a problem for me. I'm not going to lie. I've had a few instances of "damnit, Sprint, WTH?" moments over the past few years, but they're few and far between and usually fixed by clicking the little 4G widget.

That said, ditching unlimited data would be almost impossible for me. I regularly put 12+gigs/month through my phone so a phone bill from Verizon would *kill* me. Sprint may not be the best option for you, but don't paint all Sprint users with the same brush saying that we're just lying to ourselves. I know at least a few people who are genuinely happy with their service.

mwara244 says:

Could you imagine having the speeds they have in Japan and S Korea, like 80 mb down avg, I'd love to see them do that to sprint's network, wishful, I know. You can only improve upon Sprint.

Jonneh says:

Awesome! Either way I win, as I'm spending half my time here in the States and half in Japan.

bdmridgback says:

I don't know! Long time Sprint customer and I am worried, although Sprint really can't get any worse!

keith2k1 says:

Im going to research Softbank...

AJC1973 says:

Maybe that means Phoenix will FINALLY see some sort of 4g love... though the longer i wait the more people will finally go to vzw or att and more bandwidth for me lol...

jaazrider says:

When the rest of the world is moving up to 5g, Sprint will be getting killer deals on used 4g network equipment then we'll be livin' in the fast lane.

Yep, I'm getting tired of the wait.

Wicell says:

Lol, no carrier has even reached true 4G, so how are they going to move to 5 when the regulations for 5G haven't even been established?

I know, you were going for a witty crack at how Sprint "sucks," but hey, they're better than T-mobile.

briankurtz79 says:

Better than tmobile? That's debatable. I finally left sprint after people on tmobile and metro pcs were continually pulling better speeds and less spotty coverage. Got the vzn gs3 and it's like lightning. I'd never go back. Sprint is behind the way apple is behind Google maps. By the time they catch up the others will be that much farther ahead..

Aikuchi says:

Hay life with Verizon isn't all roses everywhere. Over the last year I have seen my 3G speeds drop buy 2/3s. It has gotten to the point that I only use the net over wifi. One of the reasons that when my contract is up I'm considering moving to Sprint(That and Verizon's "Screw Everyone Plan").

This deal seems sketchy, moved to quickly. Is D Hesse still gonna be running the show?

that's a very good question.

Gator352 says:

I don't know if "D" will still run the show but after his obsurd deal with apple, he at least should be downgraded to head of Janitorial Services(To teach him a lesson). He has made bad decisions on good intentions. Like with Wimax...he wanted to be first and got stiffed. Then stiffed again with lightsquare. Then to bring in the rankings, he made a deal with apple for the iterd that only the devil would go to Georgia for. All-in-all, this softbank deal can't hurt the company BUT it could hurt us as consumers. Think about it....right now we have unlimited data supplied to us by "D" and if he gets knocked off his perch by softbank, our unlimited data could go extinct.

cliche37 says:

You're a little misinformed there.

They had to use the spectrum for something otherwise they would lose it. LTE wasn't ready yet so they went with WiMax.

Gator352 says:

True, but they lost hundreds of millions in the deal and gained nothing.

Coop1979 says:

Sure, it cost millions. But spectrum is worth BILLIONS.

PittsPgh says:

+10

BruhMan says:

At least WIMAX Worked. And worked well!!

Gator352 says:

I wouldn't know. The only area within 100 miles of me was college park near Orlando at UCF that had Wimax.

bumpandrun says:

If Sprint gets rid of unlimited data they they might as well get rid of the company (or the pricing structure will have to be very cheap). They can't compete with prices anywhere close to Verizon because they are just too far behind with their network.

Gator352 says:

Exactly!

dchawk81 says:

If Sprint gets Verizon's coverage and speed and keeps unlimited, I'd pay Verizon prices. Unlimited is the only edge they need if everything else is equal. With this cash infusion, it's quite possible.

People can go prepaid if they want to stay cheap. They can't have their cake and eat it too though.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not a contract snob. I'm on prepaid now. But I know a business can't give the world and charge nothing for it...and these corporations are not charities.

icenija says:

We really don't know anything at this point but with Sprint bragging about the 4G rollout would be finished by the end of the year then you know Sprint knew they were going to do this all along. Is this good or bad, time will only tell but I do know that with that kind of investment you know the 4G rollout will be in full force now because money is no longer an issue. Also I can't see Softbank getting rid of unlimited data since everyone knows that customers are with Sprint because of the price and unlimited data so that would be a very bad business decision.

kg4icg says:

Something tells me this Deal has been going on for a couple of month but news somehow leaked last week.

garfnodie says:

I agree. This isn't like FB buying Instagram in a week. Sure that was a $1billion deal, but it was just an app. For someone to buy a majority stake in a major telco/ISP, there had to have been talks going on between the two companies and the two governments for quite some time for this to happen.

BruhMan says:

Like bdmridgback says, Sprint can't get any worse, so this must be a good thing. I hope someone with some know how and capital can come in and make this a WORKING 4G LTE Network. Because I haven't seen jack squat yet.

You realize that the LTE rollout started less than 9 months ago, right? And you realize that they're upgrading every single one of their 38,000+ towers (except for 100 they couldn't get zoning approval for) across the US, right? You realize that's gonna take more than 9 months, right? In fact, most markets have been "under construction" for less than 6 months. The only market that's over 40% complete is Chicago, and the only reason the Chicago market was started earlier than the others is because the new NV equipment is incompatible with the old equipment. The Chicago deployment on its own will take the better part of a year total (started in February/March; scheduled completion December/January), but most markets should only take a few months. You can check the progress of your market at s4gru.com and realize that wherever you are, you're not the only one without LTE.

BruhMan says:

Look, all I'm saying is, don't tell me that LTE has just hit my city in July, and my area should have LTE, when it barely gets 3G. That is basic business rationale, under promise and over deliver. Not vice-versa.

avlon says:

The service really can't get any worse. Maybe a takeover will actually speed up the network transition as their new owners will want to see profit as quickly as possible. I've always wondered why Sprint has always decided to keep it's network locked down and stuck on CDMA even when losing subscribers. You'd think they'd accept any cdma phone since it would provide them with more customers. Even with their LTE buildout they are still locking the sim slots or using embedded sim. Almost like they don't want the opportunity to attract more people. I'll give softbank a chance to see if they can make things better since Hesse has been as much as a curse as a blessing for Sprint.

TAZedd says:

Will this make us CDMA or SIM?

Sprint will continue to operate as CDMA (not GSM). Softbank buying them doesn't change what network they have already deployed. It'd be greatly expensive (and not at all worth it) to switch to GSM now.

They now use SIMs to authenticate their LTE network (like Verizon and other carriers do), but they're embedded (not user replaceable) in the device.

TAZedd says:

got it!

bigtank says:

If unlimited data goes so do I after 12 loyal years

hmmm says:

I'd probably switch to T-Mobile if sprint got rid of unlimited. Their network cannot compete on anything else.

Premium1 says:

I hope this is what sprint needed to expand their network and faster. Softbank is supposedly good at managing companies and making them better than before so I guess we will see.

DEman19901 says:

It most cases, I would say that competition is always good for the consumer. As a current Sprint customer, I cold care less is Sprint fails. How can they charge for the service(of lack thereof) they provide is beyond me.

kamiller42 says:

America for sale. Deutsch Telecom buys MetroPCS and Softbank buys Sprint. Meanwhile, an opportunity to bring T-Mobile back stateside gets blocked. Sad face.

garfnodie says:

I've just recently come back to Sprint after a two leave over to T-Mobile(had to have the nexus one), and their service now compared to before has gone down. In the suburbs west of St. Louis on 3G, I always got consistently 2-4mb down, fine for me on a phone, now in the south of Nashville, 3G sucks, but WiMax by the airport is great, unless your in a building that is. Never had a problem with their customer service though, had a few problems in the past that got fixed fast and with no questions asked. I hope this deal allows Sprint to finally start getting better signal, faster speeds and the bad-ass phones that everyone else is getting.

Mike77 says:

This means more LTE rollouts to one tower markets!!! keep avoiding those large metro areas.

TenshiNo says:

You have *no* idea what you're talking about. Most of the cities that have gotten their LTE roll outs are major metropolitan areas. Just because they might not have hit *your* metropolitan area yet does not mean that none of the one's that have done are valid.

BradJ says:

I hope it gives them more cash to improve their network. I was sitting in a classroom all last week and everyone else on their Iphone was able to use their phone. Such a weak signal on my HTC EVO LTE phone that I couldn't even use it, and it drained the battery almost all the way trying to maintain a signal. Sprint really needs some help.

TenshiNo says:

Was this on LTE, or 3G? Their LTE roll out has actually been very aggressive. It's a *ton* of work upgrading all that equipment, not just money. It can only go so fast. They're behind the curve, but they're getting there.

hopes the unlimited everything plans stay in place.....who knows.....sighhhh.......

axllebeer says:

Roll out that LTE Sprint. You will soon have the cash to do it.