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Sprint Confirms Plan to Acquire Clearwire
$2.97 per Share or $2.2 Billion Transaction
by Karl Bode 09:31AM Monday Dec 17 2012
Sprint has confirmed last week's leaks that the company will be taking complete control of Clearwire in a move many have assumed was inevitable for years. According to a Sprint announcement, Sprint says they'll acquire the remaining almost 50% share they don't own for $2.97 per share, or about $2.2 billion in total. The deal comes courtesy of Sprint's own acquisition by SoftBank, which brings a significant infusion of cash to the previously-unstable third ranked carrier.

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"Clearwire’s spectrum, when combined with Sprint’s, will provide Sprint with an enhanced spectrum portfolio that will strengthen its position and increase competitiveness in the U.S. wireless industry," said Sprint.

"Sprint’s Network Vision architecture should allow for better strategic alignment and the full utilization and integration of Clearwire’s complementary 2.5 GHz spectrum assets, while achieving operational efficiencies and improved service for customers as the spectrum and network is migrated to LTE standards."

The company has received support from Clearwire share owners Comcast, Intel Corp and Bright House Networks for the deal.

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brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Miami, FL
kudos:1

Why Sprint?

This will just get you deeper into debt. Clearwire is not even profitable.

chlen
Ethically Challenged
Premium
join:2001-01-16
Saratoga, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Why Sprint?

said by brianiscool:

This will just get you deeper into debt. Clearwire is not even profitable.

They are after the spectrum, not the company. Also Softbank is paying.

JasonOD

@comcast.net
It's a spectrum grab of a company that was circling the drain. For some reason ATT & VZ didn't show interest, even though each of them could have picked up this deal with their pocket change. Maybe 2.5ghz isn't that valuable.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Why Sprint?

A) At&t and Verizon aren't interested because the feds would have denied the merger as being anti competitive and Sprint and T-mobile would have whined about it.

B) And yes 2.5 GHz is horrible for LTE. Except maybe for cites and at&t and Verizon actually care about customers that live outside cities where 2.5 GHz would be useless and Sprint ONLY cares about people in cities 2.5 GHz has more appeal to sprint.
canestim

join:2012-01-20

Re: Why Sprint?

This is a move for the future. Sprint has plenty of spectrum for small and rural areas. 2.5Ghz is perfect for large cities where you need lots of capacity. The 2.5Ghz can carry more capacity but yes it needs more towers for better penetration. Towers are expensive thats why its for the future. As micro "small cell" sites become more refined you'll start seeing them everywhere in big cities. Good move by Sprint and Softbank. I would like to see Sprint take on the Clear brand name as well eventually.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17
said by 88615298:

B) And yes 2.5 GHz is horrible for LTE. Except maybe for cites and at&t and Verizon actually care about customers that live outside cities where 2.5 GHz would be useless and Sprint ONLY cares about people in cities 2.5 GHz has more appeal to sprint.

Sprint will have 800Mhz for penetration and more coverage coming in next year or two, 1900 existing presence and 2500 can be used for augmenting capacity. 2500 does work fine indoors if a site is nearby. So they can prioritize LTE devices to do 2500 first if available, then 1900, then 800 if needed 1900/2500 weak or not available. They will be sitting in very good position with spectrum by adding 2500 and solving penetration/coverage issues with 800. Providing enough backhaul will be only challenge left. Sprint could potentially keep unlimited long term if they can provide enough backhaul to every site.
canestim

join:2012-01-20

Re: Why Sprint?

Spectrum crunch always gets the headlines but backhaul is a big issue. Sprint put in a building permit months ago for the tower by my house for antenna upgrade (LTE) but its still one of the only towers in our area not upgraded to LTE. I can get LTE pretty much everywhere in my commute now except for at home.

The reason is because of backhaul. AT&T provides the backhaul for the tower site and it's old and outdated copper. They never ran fiber to our area so we never got Uverse either and are still stuck on 6.0 DSL. Charter finally built out our neighborhood (they just finished putting pedestals/wiring, not active yet) and it looks like AT&T is going to upgrade our area as well. So one of them was probably tapped for the backhaul which benefited our neighborhood as well since the tower is literally 40 ft from our DSLAM.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Why Sprint?

Yeah, for Sprint backhaul will be only challenge left. Now that they have Softbank big bucks and possibly hosting Dish network, they will be able to focus on backhaul as spectrum will no longer be an issue.

But my point was that 2500 isn't worthless spectrum. It is by itself but is useful for augmenting 800/1900. In many cases 2500 will be able to take load off 800/1900, essentially anytime someone is near the site, including indoors.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Why Sprint?

said by xenophon:

But my point was that 2500 isn't worthless spectrum.

I didn't say it was worthless. I just said it would more valuable to Sprint than to at&t or Verizon. which would explain why they wouldn't bother putting in a bid for it.

Verizon will be lighting up it's 1700/2100 MHz spectrum it obtained form the cable companies starting late next year once their 700 MHz LTE rollout is done. Then there is any spectrum they receive from the 600 MHz TV auctions and of course the refarming of their 1X and 3G spectrum.

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

Re: Why Sprint?

2.5 ghz is not gonna penetrate as well as 700 mhz, but it's far from worthless. That spectrum is worth tons and tons, mainly because they have so much of it.

If they released all of the spectrum in areas they have it, you'd have ultra fast speeds.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
That doesn't make any sense. If that one tower has connectivity problems due to lack of local loop fiber, why don't they just use a hybrid FSO/Wireless point-to-point link to the nearest tower with fiber? I've read that the 60Ghz unlicensed spectrum is capable of full duplex Gbps and I believe the optic link can go to multi Gbps. FSO is even supposed to penetrate rain with wireless fallback if weather is really bad horrible. How much back haul capacity does a single cell tower need?
i2Fuzzy

join:2009-02-25
Fort Worth, TX

Re: Why Sprint?

I don't understand why they couldn't use a point-to-point using wide channels of 2.5GHz frequency for multi-Gbps wireless backhaul. I thought that was the plan with Clear back before they were irrelevant in order to expand quickly.
--
Ali
Check Point Certified Security Expert
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Miami, FL
kudos:1
Will they eliminate Clearwire services? I have seen a few neighbors use this service. They probably just check their e-mail and web browse.
Beans5

join:2005-07-16
united state

1 recommendation

SoftBank

Maybe it's part of Sons' strategy before he enters the us market?

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: SoftBank

That's it Softbank wants to buy in as a big player...however that deal is not approved yet (and this deal is dependent on Softbank money to work)
With sprint being a bigger player, I think puts the Softbank deal in a worst position as far as approval.
Could sprint close on this deal and be unable to sell to Softbank? will they then be too cash poor to make use of the clearwire spectrum?
Beans5

join:2005-07-16
united state

Re: SoftBank

Hmm, thats what I'm thinking myself. If the deal goes through, Sprint wants to have all of clears spectrum for Softbank to use in their big plan. I would do the same thing so it doesn't fall into V and T or TM or anybody else for that matter.

What if it doesn't go through, and we know V and T are going to fight this tooth and nail, after all sprint did the same thing to T, (eye for and eye and tooth for a tooth). Now it would be a good thing for Sprint, meaning no more funding the lazy guy. They have the spectrum to deploy in other projects to bring in more money. They could rent out the spectrum to bring in some money. They could also sell themselves to somebody who has the money .

AnonMan

@comcast.net

Meh..

I don't know this is a kind of good/bad thing in my eyes.

Good in Sprint will have more spectrum but bad in that for the most part it's useless unless Sprint plans to add a crap load of more towers. The spectrum just has no penetration.

It might work well for heavy outdoor areas or malls or down town areas but that's about it.

Also, makes one worry they will do away with the fake unlimited soon... Using all these changes as excuses... you know the whole "As we upgraded our network, enhanced speed and coverage it is necessary to adjust prices to market value bla bla bla".

Oh well, time will tell I guess. Maybe the big company will allow us to keep unlimited as most other countries have. Sucks none of our phones can use 2.5Ghz LTE... This is worst times to buy new phones, keep changing too much crap on frequencies...

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

So now that Sprint has the most spectrum

Will they stop complaining about Verizon and At&T trying to attain more?
PastTense

join:2011-07-06
united state

What Happens to Wimax?

Will Sprint close Wimax down and convert everything to LTE?
JasonBourne

join:2000-05-22
Kansas City, MO

Re: What Happens to Wimax?

That's been the plan all along. Service is to be fully turned off by 2015, but expect towers to be turned off before then.