Sprint

Sprint this morning announced that, as rumored, it will pick up the rest of Clearwire for $2.97 a share, or about $2.2 billion. The purchase of the rest of Clearwire's shares (remember that Sprint already had a controlling stake) paves the way for "better strategic alignment and the full utilization and integration of Clearwire's complementary 2.5 GHz spectrum assets," Sprint said in a news release. That'll boost its LTE service -- but it'll take some time (and regulatory approval) before we see any real-world benefits.

Source: Sprint

 

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Sprint to buy 100 percent of Clearwire for $2.2 billion in spectrum play

34 Comments

Just for a bit of clarification here. Sprint is buying Clearwire for $2.2 billion dollars, while it's already in debt for at least a couple million, isn't really making enough money to make a profit from wireless subscribers (like myself), and still doesn't have the money from the Softbank acquisition, since that hasn't been approved? Unless I'm wrong about a few of these things, does anyone see the hole in the logic?

If aquiring 100% of Clearwire means more spectrum and better coverage for Sprint customers, I don't see what the issue is.

I can only speculate that Sprint knows that the deal between them and Softbank will be approved or else they would not of gone through with the deal.

Sprint is also going to be bidding on New Spectrum the FCC is auctioning off. Dish and Sprint use this specific spectrum and will be the only 2 bidding on it, now that the FCC has approved Dish to use its spectrum for a wireless carrier. So where are they going to get the money for that?

According to the press release, this Clearwire deal is contingent on the Softbank deal being approved and finalized. If Softbank's deal doesn't go through, then neither will this deal.

Do you have a home mortgage? If so, you are probably in debt too :) Corporations have to spend money to make money and often go greatly in debt, doesn't necessarily mean they are over-extended or that it is a bad risk.

You forget sprint and has a new influx of capital from soft bank. Which is flooding with billions sprint didn't by clear wire soft bank in the name of sprint did.

It is terrible. When I had a wimax phone 4G was basically unusable unless you were near a window or outside and I am in the heart of a wimax area. If you have a clear signal it is fine. If they use the spectrum for LTE though and the handoff works well with their other service I suppose it will be fine to "complement" what they have. But, yeah, as a separate service wimax was terrible on 2.5ghz.

While it is proven to not be that great for building penetration, it still can get you good speeds when you can access it. For comparison, AT&T plans to build out some LTE on the 2.3ghz WCS band. It's good to have more spectrum, and for those outdoors who can access it, it'll be much appreciated as it can relieve strain on the other wireless bands.

+1 Exactly.

It doesn't have to be the main or even primary band in the area... but having more bands gives more options.

Yep, if that was the only range of spectrum they had. But since they would be using it to add to their already owned spectrum, it will enhance the network and make it better for the end users.

I thought the 2.5 GHz spectrum was what gave Sprint's 4G WiMax such bad building penetration. Wouldn't they want to move away from that?

The only use I can think of for that frequency is for wireless backhaul to get new towers up and running without the site to site cabling.

Clearwire has a huge amount of spectrum in the 2.5GHz range. This will help off-load users and keep the lower bands uncongested.

Think of it like this. You will be on the lower bands getting LTE signal while you are in your building. Once you step outside you'll be connecting to LTE on the 2.5GHz range while you are outside or driving in your car.

This is only true once LTE 800MHz and 2.5GHz devices are available and when the network is up and running. Right now devices only have access to LTE on 1900MHz.

Makes sense. I didn't think of that, but that's a really good use for it. It's great that it's there when you have a good signal, and ignore it the rest of the time. Now let's just finish the iDEN sunsetting and call it good.

I'm on Verizon right now, but it's really just a vacation until they finish out their Network Vision rollout. Then, it's either back to Sprint, or prepaid all the way.

Sprint better hope this grand scheme works because they are way overextended right now. Between having to pump money into Clearwire in the past, their LTE roll-out, their iPhone bid, and this, they are is a risky spot.

That's why they made the deal will Softbank. To get the capital they need to erase some of this debt, get moving on the Network Vision rollout and get back in the game.

From my understanding of Network vision, they would switch frequencies to what suits you best. So say I'm outside in a park, using 4G because well... That's what people do, I'm guessing I would be on 2.5 GHz spectrum there. But if I were to move inside, my phone would switch to a lower frequency to to accommodate where I am. I think they lay it out for range. Yeah, I'm not going to talk about back haul and make a crazy scientific hypothesis of what they're doing. But from the video they posted on YouTube about network Vision, that's what I get from it. Plus less towers more range?.. Yeah...

Also lets not forget that Sprint's LTE devices right now only support the 1900mhz PCS band. New device will be needed to access the 800mhz(build out starting next year) and 2500 bands. But yes you are right.

Some of the pgones they havenrigjt now are equipted with both bands I think the only phones that also have the 800 are the iPhone 5, and one of the EARLY LTE devices they released (might be the viper.. but can't remember) that's why a few people bought the iPhone and the other phone when they dropped because once they change from the 1900 band ans move over to the 800 they will have a faster connection, which less people will be able to use since there's only 2 or 3 phones cirrectly on sprint with it ... I live in STL Missouri, I have good WIMAX coverage all over STL, but no LTE .. its rumored to be released in 2013 first or second quarter and my contracts up late January. I will be picking up one of the phones with both bands depending on the phones that have both .. That's not including the iPhones because I hate iPhones .. also Windows phones are rumored for 2013 and will have LTE

Some of the pgones they havenrigjt now are equipted with both bands I think the only phones that also have the 800 are the iPhone 5, and one of the EARLY LTE devices they released (might be the viper.. but can't remember) that's why a few people bought the iPhone and the other phone when they dropped because once they change from the 1900 band ans move over to the 800 they will have a faster connection, which less people will be able to use since there's only 2 or 3 phones cirrectly on sprint with it ... I live in STL Missouri, I have good WIMAX coverage all over STL, but no LTE .. its rumored to be released in 2013 first or second quarter and my contracts up late January. I will be picking up one of the phones with both bands depending on the phones that have both .. That's not including the iPhones because I hate iPhones .. also Windows phones are rumored for 2013 and will have LTE

Anybody who signs a 2-year contract with Sprint is just a sucker. All promises and no results. Been that way for years since the Evo came out with promised "4G" that we've been paying for and never receiving. It was so bad and late, they later changed the charge to a "premium phone" charge.

I kicked them to the curb a few months ago, and could not be happier. It's amazing to actually have data actually appear on my phone outside of wifi. "Unlimited data," yeah sure. It's like filling your bathtub with an eyedropper.

I have a Sprint 4G LTE phone but no Sprint LTE coverage in my area (who does?). I still get respectable speeds using their unlimited 3G and pay as part of my family plan about $45/phone/month. Verizon and AT&T can't touch that price. From a cost/benefit scenario, it's hard to call someone like me a sucker for being on Sprint.

Most of Chicago and the 'burbs are lit up on LTE. I was on AT&T when they started upgrading their network 3 years back and it was just as bad. You couldn't even get a 3G signal in downtown Chicago for crying out loud! Now AT&T is considered great for 4G.

It's a slow process to upgrade these towers. With the deal with Softbank, the deal with Clearwire and even the deal with U.S. Cellular to acquire their Midwest customer base and spectrum, I'm not sure why you're saying they're all talk and Sprint customers are suckers(must be the Cub fan in you to make you so negative lol)?

Sprint has surely made some blunders in the past but it seems they are at least trying to make all the right moves to get the company stable and provide customers with a good 3rd alternative to AT&T and Verizon.

so i guess a consistent 14-17 mbps on LTE and 1-2 mbps on 3G makes me a sucker ey? No problem, ill be dat, and still cheaper than the rest.

Good for you guys who live in areas that have been addressed. Maybe come over here in a large downstate Illinois city where promises have been made for years yet we still get about 200K data speed (on a good day). No place in the state outside the Chicago area gets any better. Sitting at a high school football game or a gymnastics meet in various Illinois towns watching others get data and you cannot gets old quickly. No chance of this getting better very fast here.

I wish you luck if you travel any at all. You stay home or don't go inside buildings without wifi where you live, luck is with you apparently. :)

What are you talking about? Sprint's LTE network in Illinois goes from the Wisconsin border South to almost Kanakee into NW Indiana then west to almost Rockford. As for indoor reception I have pretty good to great data reception whether it's 3G or LTE.

I'm sorry your reception sucks, but again this is a slow process to upgrade the network. If you don't like it then jump to another carrier. Again it took AT&T how many years to get to this point, and they're rolling out LTE sites? 3+ years now?

You realize that Kankakee is in the northern part of the state, don't you? So I'm to keep paying them like they're a real carrier while I wait for everything over an hour from the city? Sorry, I have yet to travel to a place where Sprint reception is good. I have Bears season tickets, and can't even get a text in Soldier field, let alone load a single Facebook or Twitter session. AT&T and Verizon are both rock solid in the stadium.

Here's my question. Clearwire couldn't get their 2.5ghz spectrum approved by the FCC for their LTE Rollout, so why in the world does sprint think they can? I feel like this is a huge mistake should it happen. Sprint needs to suck it up, hire some good engineers and techs to do the work themselves instead of trying to depend on other companies to roll out their lte services.. that's just my opinion.

Where did you get this bit about Clearwire not being able to get FCC approval for LTE from?

Sprint is planning to use Clearwire's spectrum to supplement it's own LTE network. Sprint has been working to rebuild their network from the ground up, deploying LTE into their current 1900 spectrum. Next year, they will also start deploying LTE into the 800 spectrum opened up by the shut down of the Nextel network. Even then, Sprint will need additional spectrum to stay competitive, and that is where Clearwire comes into play, providing additional capacity when and where needed.

I think he is confusing Clearwire with LightSquared, the other company that Sprint was trying to get help from with the LTE rollout. If I remember right, LightSquared's frequency was disrupting farmers' GPS systems and after a lengthy investigation, the FCC denied LightSquared from continuing with it's LTE-by-satellite rollout. I think.

So happy I left sprint yesterday after 10 years. I think sprint is too risky to sign up for another 2 year contract. They haven't been able to get their act together in the last 2 years and I don't trust them to get it right any time soon. Too bad because they have great phones like the EVO LTE but they can't provide the network for them to work right. Today is my first day with verizon and the iphone 5, and it's like I had been in the dark for the last 2 years as far as the quality of data service. With sprint I was lucky to get 300 kbps in most areas around phoenix. with verizon I've been getting steady download speeds of 7 -18 mbps. Well I guess I'm switching now the the imore website.

Sure, some of you get good speed on Sprint no doubt but the majority of us don't. And for the person saying it took att 3+ years to upgrade, sure, I know it does but you know what, those 3 years have come and gone and guess what, it works! I was a long time Sprint customer for over 10 years and jumped ship to att. I live in a big city in California, you'd think we be first to get lte.....yeah right. All you Sprint customers, good luck when you travel, because your phone will be useless in most of the country. I know and I'm confident that with AT&T I will get lte just about anywhere I go especially in a big city. Maybe by the time my contract expires in att, in two years, sprint will be good to go but I highly doubt it.