Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen has generated a notable amount of attention as Dish competes against Japan's SoftBank for control of Sprint Nextel, the nation's third largest wireless carrier. However, Ergen's right hand man in wireless is Tom Cullen, a Dish EVP who heads up corporate development.
Concerns over alleged security issues prompted Sprint Nextel and Softbank to promise a U.S. lawmaker that Sprint's network will not use network equipment from China's Huawei, which is also being targeted by Canadian lawmakers considering new regulations on foreign wireless suppliers perceived as security risks.
AT&T can claim the U.S. LTE speed title with its customers enjoying average download speeds of 13 Mbps, far outpacing data speeds experienced by customers of its leading LTE rivals. Regional operator MetroPCS, on the other hand, limped along in last place with LTE download speeds of 1.2 Mbps, according to an industry vendor.
8x8 on Wednesday expanded its presence in Asia Pacific by striking a new partnership with Japan-based SoftBank to offer virtualized cloud-based data services.
Sprint Nextel has been launching five to 10 LTE markets a month since last summer and is on track to initiate launches even more quickly in 2013, according to internal correspondence.
Sprint Nextel's bid to takeover Clearwire prompts questions regarding how it might integrate both companies' networks as well as speculation that the company is using Clearwire in a game of spectrum chess against other potential acquirers such as Dish Network.
It may have been coincidence, but Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen last week was somewhere in Asia--perhaps Japan, home of Softbank--on undisclosed business just as a rumor broke indicating that Sprint Nextel ( NYSE:S ) had reached out to Dish regarding a spectrum-sharing partnership to enable mobile broadband development.
Softbank's planned $20.1 billion investment in Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA's intended merger with MetroPCS are "significant transactions," but that does not mean the deals will alter the competitive landscape in the U.S. wireless industry, according to Standard & Poor's Rating Services.
Yogi Berra might have been talking about the ongoing sage of Clearwire and Sprint when he uttered his infamous line, "This is like déjà vu all over again." Taking a digital stroll through Fierce 's article archives reminded me of how the same issues and prognostications regarding these two companies keep cropping up again and again.
Softbank planned $20.1 billion investment in Sprint Nextel caught many observers by surprise. But the investment is part of a broader plan to expand the Softbank name worldwide and provide a lasting legacy that extends far beyond Softbank's current circle of influence. Further, Softbank sees Sprint as a brother in arms that is battling an overly powerful mobile duopoly, much as Softbank has had to do for years in Japan.