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About cdiao

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  • Birthday May 5

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    iPhone 6+, iPad Air 2
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  1. because you know "prepaid" i.e. pay for in advance. whereas off-network roaming is billed in arrears, often a couple of months later. by that time, assuming that you even had a mechanism to bill your prepaid customer, he may be long gone. Roaming is accomplished by the customer "prepaying" for a certain bucket of off-net minutes -- use or lose, sort of liek those car rental companies that make you buy gas up-front.
  2. but why, except for Chicago, USM is in no other top 30 market. yep, that's right ZERO. so it largely has cellular frequencies in markets where spectrum isn't scarce (relatively speaking). look at this link but scroll down and click "US Cellular Licensed Markets" http://www.uscellula...-data-maps.html Except as a distraction, US Cellular offers nothing to move the dial for Sprint, and perhaps it is relatively less crappy than Leap because at least USM has some post-paid subs. But again, the Carlsons are simply not going to sell -- there's massive tax leakage that will result because the of two level corporate ownership structure. Right now the corporate structure is a "poison pill" that limits any transaction. If you see TDS spin-off USM to its shareholders, then that may signal their readiness to consider some strategic options, but even after that they have to wait 12-24 months after completion of spin-off BEFORE initiating any discussions otherwise the IRS will hold out its hand for 40% of the gain. Any of these deals to contemplate acquiring the dwarfs are a distraction and could impair Sprint's ability to pursue the transaction that ultimately makes sense which is to merge with the new T-Mobile Newco. Metro isn't "gone" -- it is simply being warehoused in this Newco entity for an eventual T-Mobile combination with Sprint that will create true strategic scale with significant synergies that will become more realizable. Most of the others (at least USM and LEAP) are noise and a distraction from Sprint execuitng on Network Vision with little to be gained, and alot to potentially risk. Sprint should strengthen itself during 2013/2014 and then see if T-Mobile tripped up with the Metro integration -- and frankly, it would be better if in fact T-Mobile assimilated Metro smoothly to lower the risk of a subsequent t-mob/Sprint combination. by that time, VoLTE should be well seasoned which will allow even easier cross platform network integration.
  3. that is soooo funny. like the bank robber in Dog Day Afternoon (or was it Blazing Saddles) who turns the gun at his own head and proclaims "dare me to shoot". Leap is not "not paying their bills" -- it's actually trying to weasle out of the annual minimum commitments it made to Sprint but paying current amounts that it has used. ever wonder what happens when Sprint adds the network message to Cricket customers when they get blocked: "Sorry you cannot access the Sprint Now Network at this time. Please call your network carrier, or if you would like, please call Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile to immediately reinstate service." I doubt that Sprint has the balls to go all the way, but you get the idea. Leap has no leverage in this equation. BTIG analysts just estimated that the MetroPCS deal was valued at $11/shr with the "hope" for future synergies, and that at the same 5x EBITDA valuation for Leap, would not be sufficient to cover Leap's debt. Leap has $3.3B of debt, plus $1.7B of tower obligations and $500MM market cap (after its 20% decline today). At the same valuation that Verizon paid for SpectrumCo (69c per mghz-pop), Leap's 3B mhz-pops of spectrum would not cover its debt, let alone the substantial tower obligations (not even counting the $900MM of purchase commitments to Apple and $600MM of MVNO obligations to Sprint). So when you say "cheap", it's not clear that at zero for the equity, that would be cheap enough. Maybe that's reason why it dropped 20% today when people realized that Leap kind of stuck in the corner, and in fact, the "growth synergy" discussed in the T-MobileUSA/MetroPCS merger conference call, was teh plan for Newco to propagate the MetroPCS brand and distribution model, using the T-Mobile GSM/HSPA/LTE network to "white spaces" where Metro currently doesn't operate. Guess who gets a "bulls eye" painted on their forehead in that scenario.
  4. Hard for me to imagine that the Carlson family, who controls both TDS and USM, through super-voting shares, would ever sell USM,....until it's too late, like American Paging, which was another TDS split off. That's why USM trades cheap (and TDS that owns 73% of USM, even cheaper), because the street concludes that there is never a take-out opportunity.
  5. Engadget should probably stick with reviewing new products where its reporters may have some distinctive competency.... http://www.rttnews.com/Story.aspx?ID=1976891 - here's Crown Castle press release
  6. DT will be getting $2.4B in tower proceeds that has not closed yet but which will be distributed to DT, just like $1.5B cash that is being distributed to MetroPCS shareholders. Essentially they are combining their houses and levering up with home equity loans and taking out $3.9B cash distribution. In addition, DT will pull out $1.2B a year by virtue of holding $15B of notes from Newco -- I would expect DT to periodically sell these notes into the debt markets to turn that principal amount into cash. Counting the prior break-up fee that was distributed to DT plus tower proceeds, and the gradual monetization of the $15B in notes, plus interim interest thereon, DT will take out $20B+ back to Germany (more monies to help buy vacation spots in Greece?). DT then will retain another $10.5B in equity of NewCo (if you take MetroPCS' current $5B market cap adjust for $1.5B to be distributed, so with $3.5B pro forma equity market cap for MetroPCS, and DT's pro forma ownership would be 3x Metro's shareholders ownership interest -- thus approximately $10.5B at current prices for MetroPCS stock which will be the new shares for this NewCo). So this deal is $8.5B lower than what AT&T's offer of $39B in cash was, but still about $5.5B higher than the $25B valuation that was rumored to be the deal that Sprint was discussing pre-AT&T link-up. What's also interesting is the claim of 20x20 LTE in major markets at AWS freq (although not clear when this happens since they don't expect to shut down Metro's CDMA network until end of 2015), and the fact that they will overlay DT's own version of Network Vision over 37K cell sites (tower-top radios, better backhaul, etc). They are simply following Sprint but 2 years behind. They should be positioned for iPhone 5S (or 6) in late 2013 after the merger closes when DT will have refarmed 1900 for HSPA+ and deployed LTE on AWS (200 million pops). Then the last major deal in this industry will be the merger of NewCo with Sprint to form a more formidable #3 in 2014/2015..... that's what my crystal ball says... :-)
  7. Metro's targeted demographics and distribution footprint is heavily urban. In fact if you have MetroPCS on Google News Alert, at least once a week is another story of a hold-up or robbery at a Metro PCS store (since it is cash collection point for bill pmts for customers who do not have checking accts or credit/debit cards). For the 1%-3% of Metro customers that ever roam on Verizon 850, they will simply be part of the 3%+ monthly churn that goes elsewhere.
  8. Ha. T-Mobile isn't "acquiring" MetroPCS; it's a path to exit for DT. They are using MetroPCS as a means of spinning off TMOB-USA and going public in the US with separate stock listing. "Mergers" are frought with integration complications and challenges and this one certainly will as well. TMOB can't get access to Metro's spectrum until you chase off the 10mm PCS subscribers onto GSM handsets (or maybe migrate to new VoLTE ones). The network integration has my head spinning, all the while when TMOB is supposedly re-farming its 1900mhz to deploy HSPA+ and building out LTE on AWS, and so let's throw in the integration/migration of Metro's network as well. Where have I seen this movie before....... BTW, this does not preclude a subsequent TMOB/PCS merger with Sprint in 2014/2015 -- by that time TMOB/PCS will probably have lost the 10mm subs from PCS due to network integration. IMO, Sprint needs Leap like a hole in the head and Leap's AWS spectrum is of minimal strategic value to Sprint (only islands of AWS coverage) other than perhaps to trade it to TMOB for some of its PCS1900 spectrum. In the meantime, Sprint can suck the economic life blood out of Leap via their existing MVNO agreement.
  9. Let's assume that each device is ESN-locked which means that Apple is allocating production output among the Big 3 -- thus Sprint's market share is essentially determined by Apple's produciton allocations, as this will force more buyers to buy Sprint iPhones if they cant buy any of the others. So we really wont know how competitive Sprint is and how successful it can be against the other guys since its iPhone market share is somewhat arbitrary and has been pre-determined by Apple. Maybe more folks being introduced to the Now Network based upon how Apple wants customers to split the volumes. :-) .
  10. Why does this article suggests that you can only get Sprint version of iPhone 5, implying that the Sprint version is in the least in demand. http://www.bgr.com/2012/10/01/apple-iphone-5-sales-sprint/#.UGmdy5tGCyM.email What is curious to me is that while it admits that the hardware for the CDMA versions are identical between Verizon and Sprint, it says that somehow only the "Sprint version" is available at Apple Stores. Is there some form of CDMA lock that precludes Sprint version from being interchangeable with Verizon version? What makes no sense to me is because the two versions share the identical SKU numberr and Apple's whole purpose is to minimize need to stock multiple SKU's by developing common hardware models. My point being, would there be any other reason that Apple could be directing more iPhone sales, i.e. some pre-determined allocation of loading between the major Big 3 carriers. That doesn't make much sense to me but I am scratching my head in why Apple would suggest different availability for Sprint vs Verizon versions of the same model number iPhone 5.
  11. I am curious what the assessment of IPhone 5 LTE connectivity is for those of you in the early LTE launch markets such as Houston, KC, Dallas, Baltimore (I presume that these have the most robust coverage) that have been playing with your iPhone 5 since last weekend. Does it seem to pick up as well as hold an LTE connection well? HTC EVO seems to have challenging software issues (which should be fixable) -- does anyone know hether the HTC One X is having similar issues on Verizon LTE or on AT&T's LTE? Trying to figure out whether HTC simply wont play nice with Sprint's LTE (at 1900mhz) or simply won't play nice at all with any LTE even at 700mhz
  12. UBS Analyst cant seem to do math or otherwise attributes a ridiculous price for WCS at 3x what AT&T just paid to Nextwave. Sprint supposedly has100mhz-pops of WCS (1mhz on average over 100mm pops). At the same price that AT&T paid to Nextwave for a much larger position in WCS (i.e more usable) -- which was estiamted at $0.40/mhz-pop, this results in around $40MM valuation, which is aobut 1/2 month's interest on Sprint's $10B NV project (both capex and opex). Of course, if Sprint's WCS spectrum has hold-up value (if it prevents AT&T form getting benefits fo contiguity for example), it could choose to extract a premium from AT&T -- but arguably it may be worth more to Sprint to make sure AT&T's WCS spectrum is impaired (and cause AT&T to spend more capital to deploy WCS) than to try to extract some chump change from AT&T. Sprint sits on $7.6B of cash with another $1B+ in undrawn credit facilities; and took less than 2 hours to recently raise $1.5B in new bonds. Sprint doesn't own enough WCS to extract much value and whatever "hold-up" value will go up in time the more AT&T invests in the WCS band. Just IMO.
  13. In those rural geographies, Ntelos could really use some of Sprint's 800mhz SMR frequencies to dramatically improve network coverage... The Strategic Network Alliance Agreement between Sprint and Ntelos currently is schedueld to end in July 2015 but according to company, the exclusivity terms require Sprint to give 18 month notice before it can begin construction of an alternative CDMA network. In the past, they've reworked the agreement and extended it (generally a couple yrs before expiration) so we are about due soon for some resolution. Presumably LTE is part of that agenda and current discussions. I agree with you that at some point Sprint must evaluate the "own vs. rent" decision as the two companies are inextricably tied together --- the company also split itself into 2 last year: Ntelos and Lumos Networks, separating wireline from wireless with the stated strategy of having more flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities (presumably with different suiters) once separated. You can think of this as a "network sharing deal" in that Sprint/Virgin/Assurance/Boost and Ntelos/Frawg brands all share the same network and Ntelos is the network operator in those market territories.
  14. Robert, I may have to disagree with you in that part of Virginia, I am pretty certain Sprint rides on Ntelos' pcs 1900 ev-do network. See attached IR presentation http://ir.ntelos.com/Cache/1500036160.PDF?D=&O=PDF&IID=4110676&Y=&T=&FID=1500036160 The good part is that large portions of Ntelos' CDMA EV-DO network is being upgraded to fiber back-haul (because its sister company Lumos Networks provides this tower backhaul as it is the largest regional fiber network in that part of the country). Shentel operates as a Sprint Affiliate further north in Virgina along i-81 up to parts of Pensylvania. Shentel is mirroring a Network Vision build out over its entire footprint. Ntelos on the other hand has yet to complete its negotiations with Sprint as to how its network will migrate to LTE (whether using Sprint's G-block or on Ntelos' own PCS spectrum and how 800mhz SMR spectrum can be deployed in Ntelos' footprint - or not at all depending upon how the two parties evolve their relationship).
  15. I alternate between getting mad at Time-Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS and threatening to leave one for the other, depending who was the last customer service I had to deal with, but I still need cable TV/broadband so I have to deal with some carrier (can't get away from them). Except during football season when I have to stay on Verizon in order to stream NFL Redzone games to my Sprint smart phone (so I make it a point not to call Verizon Cust Svc lest they piss me off). The things that we do to accomodate our lives to the carriers that we are beholden to. I would be perfectly happy to pay more if I got 800mhz coverage and in-building penetration and 20mhz-40mhz "fat pipes" (i.e. overlayed broadly with CLWR's TDD-LTE),... well maybe just a bit more. In reality, I know that I really can't move to AT&T or Verizon so am only left with T-Mobile to play nice with.
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