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Sprint's Covert War to Keep Dish From Buying Clearwire
Two Companies Have Been Playing Game of Telecom M&A Chess
by Karl Bode 08:48AM Friday Dec 21 2012
Sprint has been very busy trying to keep Clearwire out of the hands of Dish. Barring lawsuits, counter-offers or regulatory opposition, Sprint's acquisition of Clearwire is probably a done deal. However, Tim Farrar at TMF Associates is the only one on this beat noting that the company had to play a highly-tactical game of M&A chess with Dish to accomplish the deal, which has included Sprint trying to block the company from getting a (recently approved) spectrum condition waiver. Says Farrar:
quote:
My sources appear convinced that DISH made an informal offer to Clearwire management sometime ago, and that Sprint has been playing catch-up in its recent actions, after assuming for several years that it faced little pressure to buy Clearwire, because no-one else wanted that spectrum. It seems that Sprint reached out to Softbank in the summer, after realizing that it was facing a challenge from DISH, seeking funds to boost its position in the market (and to help acquire spectrum). At that point Sprint also moved to vigorously oppose DISH’s AWS-4 proposal, trying to delay DISH, while it sought an agreement with Softbank.
After acquiring Clearwire Sprint would have the largest stockpile of spectrum in the United States. Dish can still propose a counter-offer, though Clearwire and Sprint have agreed to a $120 million break up fee if the deal falls through.

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Telco

join:2008-12-19
Reviews:
·Callcentric

2 edits

Typical

Sprint's too busy playing games than actually trying to score customers and improve their sh-t kicker network. That's why their dogma has become the everything is 'Coming Soon' network, ironically from the guys who once advertised as the Now network.

In the mean time, Breaking news from Sprint, they have enabled LTE in a town of Ballarat, CA.




Take that Verizon and AT&T, with your double customer base - each.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Typical

said by Telco:

Sprint's too busy playing games than actually trying to score customers and improve their sh-t kicker network.

Sprint is rolling out Network Vision as fast as vendors can provide the equipment. It's a major modern network overhaul, not just an LTE addon like ATT/VZW. Lead time for equipment is longer since there's more involved infrastructure than just LTE and backhaul.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

Re: Typical

said by xenophon See Profile
Sprint is rolling out Network Vision as fast as vendors can provide the equipment. It's a major modern network overhaul, not just an LTE addon like ATT/VZW. Lead time for equipment is longer since there's more involved infrastructure than just LTE and backhaul.

Wrong (well, some of it anyways). Sprint has a contract with samsung to send it's techs around to the switch sites to install it's equipment. I know one of those techs. To protect his ID, all I will say is he's going around to over a bakers dozen switches all over the country installing new gear but doing it one part at a time. He's made half a dozen trips to my area since the summer. He only can install what Sprint allows (pays for). In a nut shell, Samsung is only moving as fast as Sprint is allowing them too and Samsung can move much faster. I'm sure you understand.

And just like WiMAX, backhaul was a problem then, it is a problem now and in the future months to come even with the MAN ring that was completed in 2007. In my area, WiMax was slated to be installed in 2007; however, because they couldn't reach an agreement with AT&T on backhaul and the lastmile access, they pulled the plug on Detroit and most of southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio. We boxed up and shipped all the eqp to various locations in the US. I'm sure this didn't happen in "your" market but I can assure it, it happened in at least one.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Typical

I was going by what a few people said I know who work at Sprint HQ. The story in the field may be different. Sprint also mentioned in last quarterly report that the Network Vision is already funded so Softbank money doesn't help expedite the rollout. They said in report any change in schedule is about lead time to equipment, not funding. Might depend on market as Sprint is using 3 different vendors.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

Re: Typical

One thing I learned when I worked for Sprint. There always seemed to be a disconnect between Marketing, the board room and what was happening in the field. Sprint can talk the talk all they want. I was at one of our switch sites recently. It was in shambles. Equipment in the field, software at the switch, hardware at the switch, training, it's all out of sync with what the CEO is saying vs what's REALLY happening. Sprint is trying to buy time and slow the churn while dumping Nextel (5 years too late) while they slowly build this "new network". Meanwhile, 3G is slowing to a crawl in most markets. Hardware isn't getting installed on time because they refuse to fund for more 'Vendor' techs to do the job and they have all but crippled the abilities of what use to be Sprint techs and now Ericcson techs to do thier jobs. Heck, at my old place of work, Sprint has even shut off all the phone (PBX) lines forcing Ericsson to install wireless systems and using Voip which doesn't work half the time. Maybe those people at "HQ" need to take a field trip and see just how much damage they have done to the people and hardware at these places. But after canning over 10k people since 2008 to save money, it's going to cost them more to get things back up to par.

Sprint Build

@myfairpoint.net
WRONG - I have been involved with the project since the day it started, working for one of the vendors replacing ALL of the equipment on site. The vendor I worked for had about 15000 sites, and ALL of them were rip and replace. Okay smartypants?
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Typical

Same I'm hearing from the HQ. Sounds like that dude is disgruntled and posting bad info. The bottom line is that Softbank money can't expedite the rollout. The schedule is dictated by lead time to equipment from vendors, not in Sprint control. Backhaul is probably another challenge too.
bnceo

join:2007-10-11
Bel Air, MD
Sprint is for budget people. You get what you pay for. If you are a power user or a techie, why even go to Sprint? It's not for you.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Typical

Sprint is strong in some markets, weak in others, just like other carriers. A friend lives in middle of city and can't get ATT signal in her kitchen, nothing. Mine worked fine so she switched to Sprint.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI
said by bnceo:

Sprint is for budget people. You get what you pay for. If you are a power user or a techie, why even go to Sprint? It's not for you.

Bingo. One has to wonder too if Sprint gives it's MVNO partners priority on the network in specific markets. My daughters i5 can't make a call to save it's life even though it's .7 miles from a tower when her Metro PCS pals have no problems make/getting calls. She's had the same issue with her Transform and I've had that problem with my Motorola Admiral. However, my wife's republic wireless phone (using Sprints CDMA) can make calls no problem. It's a hit or miss but seems to be more misses.

JasonOD

@comcast.net

Let 'em (sprint) have it

and let sprint pay the 'tower tax' in each market they compete with 700mhz spectrum with this lousy 2.4ghz spectrum.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Let 'em (sprint) have it

The Clear spectrum is not great on its own but will be good to augment 800/1900. They can prioritize 2500 first, 1900 if 2500 weak then 800 if 1900 weak or not available. It's more useful spectrum if used along with lower bands. Anyone who is near a site will be able to use 2500 and it will take load off 1900/800.

JamesPC

join:2005-10-12
Orange, CA

Re: Let 'em (sprint) have it

said by xenophon:

The Clear spectrum is not great on its own but will be good to augment 800/1900. They can prioritize 2500 first, 1900 if 2500 weak then 800 if 1900 weak or not available. It's more useful spectrum if used along with lower bands. Anyone who is near a site will be able to use 2500 and it will take load off 1900/800.

Exactly, its not a replacement but more support for highly congested areas (which is where most of the clearwire towers are located anyways).
markbot

join:2012-11-21
New York, NY

FCC to blame

the FCC is to blame for letting Sprint screw over DISH. GENADUMBASS FCC Chairman favored Sprint over DISH because he probably wants a 7 figure job in the telco industry after he leaves the FCC in 7 or 8 months.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: FCC to blame

So it would've been OK for Dish to interfere with existing spectrum? Lightsquared didn't win with potentially interfering GPS, why should Dish?
markbot

join:2012-11-21
New York, NY

Re: FCC to blame

the best course of action for the public good would have had the H block remain unused, and thus DISH's uplink spectrum would not be impaired. in this case, dish's use of the aws-4 wouldn't have intefered with anything. this would have helped a new entrant. however, because the FCC has a lot of conflict of interest, it decided on a course of action that favored itself, as an entity and for GENADUMBASS, and not the public good.

The FCC didn't actually increase the use of spectrum...it merely took 5 mhz away from DISH, which it paid for, so that it can sell 5 mhz to Sprint. it didn't create wealth either because the sale may generate a billion for the US treasury but it took away a billion from dish. however, what it did was impair the ability of a new entrant and delay it such that it may not even enter any more. this hurt consumers more than it benefited sprint.

good job FCC! and look what it did with lightsquared...a hopeless screw up for GENADUMBASS. and i won't even mention the obama angle.

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

Re: FCC to blame

One has to wonder if freeing up the iDen spectrum had anything to do with it.. Hmmm