Sprint's Covert War to Keep Dish From Buying Clearwire
Two Companies Have Been Playing Game of Telecom M&A Chess
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:
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.
said by Telco: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.
Sprint's too busy playing games than actually trying to score customers and improve their sh-t kicker network.
Saint Clair Shores, MI
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.
said by xenophon
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.
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.
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.
Re: Let 'em (sprint) have it
said by xenophon:Exactly, its not a replacement but more support for highly congested areas (which is where most of the clearwire towers are located anyways).
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.
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.