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Sprint is looking for more spectrum


bigsnake49
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Sprint Nextel Corp. Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse said he’s on a hunt for wireless spectrum after watching Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. devour more and more of the mobile-phone industry’s most precious resource.

Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, needs to add capacity to keep its data service from buckling in the future as more users watch sports and music videos on phones and tablets. The company is looking for deals with other companies or through government sales, Hesse said in an interview.

 

A cash infusion is helping Hesse get more aggressive. In the two months after Softbank Corp.’s October agreement to spend $20 billion to take over Sprint, Hesse’s company agreed to $2.6 billion in purchases, mostly in an attempt to seize control of Clearwire Corp. In the previous 12 months, Sprint had spent almost nothing, standing by as its two biggest competitors cobbled together more than $5 billion in purchases.

“Clearwire would give us a strong spectrum position for a period of time,” Hesse said in an interview this month. “But we also have a very long-term view, and we would want to acquire more spectrum.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-20/sprint-ceo-hesse-seeking-more-deals-as-data-demand-surges-tech.html?

Analysts speculated about acquisitions of the usual suspects, USCC and Leap. I still think that Sprint will go after T-Mobile.

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I'd like to see Sprint and T-Mobile finish their LTE build outs before attempting to merge. Building a device to support multiple LTE bands is much easier than trying to combine differing technologies (CDMA and iDEN all over again).

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I really fail to see the fascination of a T-Mobile Sprint merger. There are almost no synergies to realize. Sounds like a bigger nightmare than Sprint/Nextel.

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I really fail to see the fascination of a T-Mobile Sprint merger. There are almost no synergies to realize. Sounds like a bigger nightmare than Sprint/Nextel.

 

It will increase their subscribers to 86M, at least in the neighborhood of the big 2. No it will not give them lower frequency spectrum, but it will give them plenty of AWS and PCS spectrum.

 

I never liked the Sprint Nextel merger. I thought they should have merged with Alltel, USCC and some of the other regionals to give them great coverage, if only for bragging rights. I also wanted them to pick up some PCS spectrum from Nextwave and other PCS spectrum sales. I wanted them to participate in the 700Mhz auction. But it is what it is and I think that T-Mobile and Sprint should combine to compete with the big two.

Edited by bigsnake49
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It will increase their subscribers to 86M, at least in the neighborhood of the big 2. No it will not give them lower frequency spectrum, but it will give them plenty of AWS and PCS spectrum.

 

I never liked the Sprint Nextel merger. I thought they should have merged with Alltel, USCC and some of the other regionals to give them great coverage, if only for bragging rights. I also wanted them to pick up some PCS spectrum from Nextwave and other PCS spectrum sales. I wanted them to participate in the 700Mhz auction. But it is what it is and I think that T-Mobile and Sprint should combine to compete with the big two.

 

Wouldn't a Sprint/T-Mobile merger force a spectrum divestiture, probably AWS?

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It will increase their subscribers to 86M, at least in the neighborhood of the big 2. No it will not give them lower frequency spectrum, but it will give them plenty of AWS and PCS spectrum.

 

I never liked the Sprint Nextel merger. I thought they should have merged with Alltel, USCC and some of the other regionals to give them great coverage, if only for bragging rights. I also wanted them to pick up some PCS spectrum from Nextwave and other PCS spectrum sales. I wanted them to participate in the 700Mhz auction. But it is what it is and I think that T-Mobile and Sprint should combine to compete with the big two.

The only way it makes sense is if VOLTE is ready for prime time and deployed. I agree that Alltell or USCC would have been much better mergers.
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If Sprint wants to gain spectrum, then they need to lobby the FCC to bring back the Cellular regulations where a single company can't own both the A and B sides of the 850 license. Pry some of the Cellular spectrum from VZW and at&t and use that in addition to the SMR spectrum to increase coverage where available.

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If Sprint wants to gain spectrum, then they need to lobby the FCC to bring back the Cellular regulations where a single company can't own both the A and B sides of the 850 license. Pry some of the Cellular spectrum from VZW and at&t and use that in addition to the SMR spectrum to increase coverage where available.

 

Oh man that sounds like one hell of a fight! I know Hesse is crazy, but probably not that crazy. It's best for Sprint to stay out of the 850 race. I'm pretty sure T-Mobile would fight harder for 850 than Sprint, and they would both be fighting for table scraps. Plus any monopoly that AT&T would have to give up, Verizon would absolutely love to bid on. I'd probably go the other way and let the regionals holding 850 get bought up by Verizon and AT&T.

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I think a complete USCC buyout would make perfect sense-- they get 850 in rural areas where it really is needed, plus an already built-out network, and a large subscriber base in these areas that are itching for a decent national option that does run into 1x and low roaming caps when they travel, plus an already built up retail network that serves the rural areas profitably.

 

USCC is already CDMA, and I believe the LTE devices they sell are already tri-band -- so from a phone perspective it's just a PRL update to enable the rest of the network as native, and to make the USCC areas native on the rest of the network. From a backhaul/network perspective, USCC already getting it in place for their own LTE -- the only issue would be if they can integrate USCC's NSN gear to work seamlessly with Sprint's providers, or if they would have to rip it out and replace it.

 

I assume they would probably re-deploy LTE on SMR or their existing PCS (since they would have plenty of 850 spectrum in these areas which all phones support, it would make sense to put the 3G on 850 and put the LTE on their existing PCS in bands A-F--which all USCC and Sprint phones support--and not have to do any phone swapping for customers... maybe another channel in the G block as well giving additional speed/capacity on LTE as well for when USCC customers upgrade to a new Sprint device giving them 5x5 x 2 in these areas from the get-go) -- if Sprint had to divest anything from USCC, I think they could get rid of all of USCC's 700 mhz. A block spectrum and be perfectly fine in these areas.

 

I think the reason USCC is having a tough time isn't necessarily because they have a bad network--it's some of the best coverage there is in those areas--it's because they have no fallback when travelling. I know a number of people who have dropped USCC for Verizon simply because USCC kicks them to 1x when travelling, and has expensive data overage and roaming caps, and drops calls when near and crossing license boundaries (or as those in the general public (not on the forums, or familiar with such things) say "every time I drive to Olympia, my damn calls drop around exit 88 every friggin time" and the like--or in areas like NH where USCC has checkerboard type licenses). With native Sprint access, these calls would hard handoff to existing PCS service at 1900 rather than drop.

 

Looking back, if Nextel wouldn't have happened, Alltel would have been the BEST option (actually Alltel + USCC) -- but what is done is done, and with the situation right now, I think USCC is the absolute best choice... a good chunk of 850 that is in Sprint's weak spots--reducing their roaming dependence as well, plus a smattering of PCS that USCC also owns, a turnkey retail system in these areas, many sites that are already built up for LTE, a top notch network that covers these areas, plus the same technology, that if deployed right would require NO equipment swaps--plus a bunch of 700 A spectrum they really wouldn't need and could sell off.... sounds like a good fit to me.

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The only way it makes sense is if VOLTE is ready for prime time and deployed. I agree that Alltell or USCC would have been much better mergers.

 

By the time the merger is completed, VOLTE should be ready.

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...also does anyone have any updates on the 700 "upper D" block? I remember there was a "public safety" provision in it--so no one bid on it, and it didn't even meet the reserve.

 

What kept Sprint from snapping it up nationwide for cheap? Seems to me it would have made sense to build it out with their Qchat network and offer access to public safety agencies wholesale. IIRC, the D block wasn't limited to just public safety... just whoever bought it had to offer some sort of option for public safety communication--but could also use it for commercial purposes. Would seem to me that it would have been right up Sprint's alley, given their dealings with rebanding an IDEN--put a good solid PTT/trunked network option on it for PS, while using the capacity to sell LTE as well...

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By the time the merger is completed, VOLTE should be ready.

Wow. Somehow I remember a similar statement in regards to the sprint nextel merger. Something about the technology that will allow them to realize certain synergies. I have to check on that. Just sounds really familiar.
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I think that digiblur is referring to several PCS 1900 MHz spectrum transactions involving the old AT&TWS. Those occurred roughly 10 years ago.

 

AJ

 

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-att-exchange-spectrum/2010-11-23

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/t-pays-sprint-59m-spectrum-swap/2009-08-05

 

Don't have the specifics of exactly what happened but I'm sure you can. One doc says they leased it from Sprint, not sure what happened, but I know that is the reason why Sprint no longer uses CH 200 as our voice channel here as in my area there are only channel 25-175 carriers available for use now.

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Wow. Somehow I remember a similar statement in regards to the sprint nextel merger. Something about the technology that will allow them to realize certain synergies. I have to check on that. Just sounds really familiar.

 

I'm thinking that if anything is to happen it will happen towards the end of 2013, beginning of 2014. Merger to close towards the end of 2014, beginning of 2015. By that time, I'm thinking that VOLTE should be pretty mature.

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I'm thinking that if anything is to happen it will happen towards the end of 2013, beginning of 2014. Merger to close towards the end of 2014, beginning of 2015. By that time, I'm thinking that VOLTE should be pretty mature.

Until that time I think any merger talk between Sprint and T-Mobile is foolhardy.
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I don't know, I think I may have changed my mind.

 

I hope Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular never merge. I want them to fight it out competitively and have to worry about each others pricing and plans. I want to see them compete over coverage, features and speeds while the big two twiddle their thumbs and slowly bleed out customers to the lower 3 over unlimited plans (backed up by fast data).

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It will be interesting to see what kind of ideas Mr. Son has been thinking up while he waits for the sprint deal to go thru

 

Mr Son will be aggressive. Passive is not his style. With the 70% ownership he can bypass the overly conservative board.

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