With FCC approval, SoftBank free to complete merger with Sprint


On Wednesday the FCC gave the go-ahead for Japan’s SoftBank to complete a deal that will see the company merge with Sprint. Worth $21.6 billion, the deal will bring in new stream of cash for the third-ranked US carrier as the company continues to expand its high-speed cellular network. Unlike other major telecom deals (AT&T’s attempt to buy T-Mobile comes to mind), there was little reason to believe the FCC would block the acquisition.

To round things out, the FCC has also approved the Sprint buyout of Clearwire, which means that company will now fall under SoftBank’s chain of command as well. Dish Network had entered competing bids for both Sprint and Clearwire, but it became clear that they were not forerunners to win either.

SoftBank’s mission is not to simply sit back and put Sprint on autopilot. Rather, the hope is to see a turnaround that will put some heat on the heels of top US carriers AT&T and Verizon. Look for the company to make some aggressive moves early once the ink dries.

[via WSJ]

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  • tomn1ce

    Hopefully they get some speed and better service for their customers. I drop sprint about 6 years ago for their lousy service and for them trying to make me buy a new phone after denying my insurance claim after my phone stop working. I’m currently on vzw and have not looked back ever since.

    • NYCHitman1

      No issues with speed or service where I am. Like everything these days, YMMV.

    • earth

      800Mhz is now rolling out so service will definitely improve. I use 6-10GB/month and get great LTE speed and since Sprint is unlimited, VZW isnt even a doable option.

      • tomn1ce

        Fortunately for me I still have my unlimited data plan on vzw and loving it.

        • earth

          However that’s not an option for new VZW customers. And those grandfathered have stricter options to keep it.

          • tomn1ce

            I know that there’s some restriction but it’s cheaper to buy the phone at full price then to pay $150/month on data (20GB average of my use)…

  • NYCHitman1

    Super excited for what’s to come (for Sprint customerS) even though I’ll be moving to a GSM provider for the next Nexus phone in the fall.

    • Paul_Werner

      Great choice, IMO

      • NYCHitman1

        I don’t have any issues with Sprint besides the fact that they (and VZW) ruined the Nexus program for CDMA, and we’ll likely never see another model again, which is upsetting.

        • Jay Rock

          stock android 4.2.2 on my galaxy s3 with verizon unlimited is heaven to me.

          • NYCHitman1

            It’s not the same, but yes I do get what you’re getting at. I’ve got an AOSP ROM on my SGS3 also, but it doesn’t run nearly as smooth as a Nexus 4 or upcoming Nexus would.

    • John Toxworthy

      I really miss transferring SIM cards and simply turning on a phone, EZ sauce.
      Other than that I am happy with Sprint.

  • Mr. Raiderâ„¢

    Been with Sprint for over seven years now, hopefully it was worth the wait…Hopefully!!

  • mhmmd123

    I been with Sprint for 11 years and I am happy with them, in the past six month in my area I been running their 4G and I average download over 20 Mbps and over 8 Mbps. I work in Livonia, MI and I live in Canton area. I had AT&T and I average on their 4G download in my area 12 Mbps.

  • Carl Rood

    I’m with Sprint, but my attitude is mainly that I get what I pay for. I’m not happy that we still don’t have 4G on Long Island, but I like that I’m paying less. I am a little upset that the place I vacation every year shows 3G coverage on their map, but I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was all 1x around the entire lake, even in the larger towns.

    I’ll be interested to see if SoftBank pushes for a faster rollout of Network Vision. That’s really the only thing that’s really going to help Sprint compete.

    • earth

      The NV rollout is already funded. The schedule is dictated by equipment and contractors and every cellsite is getting replaced. Much more involved than ATT/VZW as they are just adding LTE to old network, but Sprint will have more modern network when complete.

      Check the sensorly dot com maps as Sprint LTE is growing every week. LI coverage just started to appear in last week.

      • Roaduardo

        I use the Sensorly app often during trips around South Texas. It’s neat seeing data coverage in areas on their map that didn’t have any mapped coverage after I’ve traveled thru an area.

      • Nothing_Better_Than_CHOICE

        Not only is newer equipment being installed, but the old bulkier equipment is being removed from the these sites in the process. Please remember Sprint is a green company so they do have to get the old noon functioning stuff of these sites too.

    • Lucious Maximus Meridius DelVa

      Well about 2 days ago spots of 4G have popped up in West Babylon. Its off and on but its nice to know they are finally working on it.

  • earth

    Improved service now coming since they completely shuttoff Nextel last week. 800mhz voice is rolling out now and 800Mhz LTE rolling out end of year. Like’m or hate’m, they will clearly have better service and be better positioned to compete with ATT/VZW by next year. Especially with unlimited data.

    • Roaduardo

      I do hope unlimited data stays. Daddy needs his data!

    • Montisaquadeis

      Everyone will need to replace their phones to get access to the 800mhz voice tho unless they have doment radios in some of their current devices.

      • earth

        Incorrect. Phones within a few years old will work with 800 voice and 1x data. For 800LTE, new phones will be needed, coming this fall.

      • Nothing_Better_Than_CHOICE

        The 800mhz compatibility has been in Sprint handsets since the Evo 3D. (CDMA Voice only) The newer handsets will have it available for LTE use.

  • Tojen1981

    The sooner the better for Sprint. They got alot of catching up to do with AT&T and Verizon in terms of coverage. Alot of off-network roaming on their coverage map.

  • Forever Phat

    Maybe they could improve their coverage…… God forbid