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Businesses Communications Japan The Almighty Buck Wireless Networking

Japan's Softbank Buying Sprint, Creating Third-Largest Global Carrier 59

Posted by timothy
from the anticipate-xenophobes dept.
New submitter metallurge writes "Japan's third-largest wireless carrier intends to acquire Sprint, the third-largest U.S. carrier for 20.1 billion U.S. dollars, creating the third-largest global carrier. After the transaction is completed, Softbank will own 70% of the newly-created 'New Sprint,' which will maintain current Sprint CEO Dan Hesse in that role. How this will affect Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile's attempt to merge with Sprint reseller MetroPCS is unclear."
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Japan's Softbank Buying Sprint, Creating Third-Largest Global Carrier

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  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @09:32AM (#41668185) Homepage Journal

    Been a customer of theirs going on my third year. When I get a great signal there's often very little back-haul. I really feel screwed over the way they lured me in with the promise of WiMax, and their LTE is lacking most of the time. Not to mention now that I've upgraded my phone I pay more every month, but they took away my unlimited tethering data plan - they still charge the same.

  • by LifeIs0x2A (2615925) <klaus@l p - r e s e arch.com> on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @10:07AM (#41668507) Homepage

    Actually Softbank is the carrier with the shittiest signal in Japan..

  • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday October 16, 2012 @12:38PM (#41670393) Journal

    What Sprint desperately needs, right now, is a huge influx of capital. They've got some extremely valuable frequencies, which they are freeing-up in just a few months as they kick people off iDEN/Nextel. These lower frequencies are the difference between Sprint having piss-poor coverage outside of the most dense cities, and them having deep coverage that can really compete with AT&T and Verizon. Sprint's poor cellular coverage is directly related to using the 1.9GHz spectrum, and needing more towers to get equivalent coverage.

    Combine those lower frequencies with LTE, and start on a building-spree, and Sprint could put together a respectable LTE network pretty quickly. Consumers haven't really embraced 4G in a big-way, for whatever reason (cost, coverage, power-sucking chipsets, etc), so Sprint isn't terribly disadvantaged just yet.

    What's more, they COULD have a huge advantage over AT&T/Verizon right now, if they would leverage WiMax during the LTE build-out... Just start selling CDMA+WiMax+LTE handsets, and let them use the fastest service available, and doing the LTE build-out FIRST in areas that currently lack WiMax. Sprint could have an impressive "4G" coverage map right away, if dual WiMax/LTE phones existed, and Sprint leveraged both to good effect from the start (ie. NOW). Their status as the only carrier who is NOT capping or throttling customers due to data usage would make their 4G service an even bigger selling point.

    They could also double-down on this strategy, by using WiMax/LTE for their dumb phones as well, if in a bandwidth-limited form, moving people off of 3G/CDMA that much faster, and putting an end to the need to spend resources to continue expanding their current 3G network, which will soon be getting far less use, no matter what.

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