SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son will outline his views on the state of the U.S. mobile industry during a speech next week that will likely be pored over for clues as to whether or how intensely SoftBank-owned Sprint will push for a deal with No. 4 player T-Mobile US.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is now publicly pushing for a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile US, arguing that without consolidation no company can close the gap with Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility.
Sprint added 477,000 customers in the fourth quarter, defying analysts' expectations that it would lose subscribers. However, after posting its first quarterly net profit since 2007 in the third quarter, the company swung back into the red in the fourth quarter with a loss of $1.04 billion.
Executives at Sprint and SoftBank are reconsidering their plans to attempt a merger between T-Mobile US and Sprint in the wake of significant regulatory opposition to the proposed transaction, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.
Sprint is close to securing $45 billion in debt financing from a group of banks to make a bid for T-Mobile US, according to a report from Dealreporter. However, a separate report from Bloomberg painted a more conservative view of the deal and said that top Sprint executives have not yet decided if they want to pursue a bid.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler expressed skepticism about a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile US in a meeting with Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son, according to a Reuters report. Wheeler's pushback against a merger between the Nos. 3 and 4 carriers follows a clear signal from the Department of Justice that such a deal would face intense scrutiny.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son are scheduled to meet with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today, in which the topic of industry consolidation is likely to come up, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The report comes as there are growing indications that regulators would be opposed to a deal to merge Sprint and T-Mobile US, the No. 4 U.S. carrier.
Sprint is going to have to start executing faster and better if it wants to make Spark stand out next year. I'm sure SoftBank and Son will be pushing Sprint to do so. That may be the clearest measure of SoftBank's influence on Sprint.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse acknowledged that the carrier is still working through its Network Vision network upgrade, and that as it replaces equipment to improve its network, customers will see degradations in service and Sprint will see higher churn as a result. However, he said that Sprint's tri-mode LTE service, dubbed "Sprint Spark," which is just getting underway, will provide the kind of speed differentiation that will set Sprint apart.
Sprint announced it will brand its forthcoming tri-mode LTE service as "Sprint Spark," and said it will bring the service to the top 100 U.S. markets during the next three years with speeds capable of reaching 50-60 Mbps and perhaps faster.