Sprint's Hesse: Verizon/Vodafone deal was inevitable

BERLIN—Verizon Communications' (NYSE:VZ) decision to pay $130 billion to purchase Vodafone's 45 percent share of Verizon Wireless was not a surprise to Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse. Speaking here at the IFA trade fair, Hesse told the audience that Verizon Wireless was the most important part of Verizon's business and therefore it was necessary for the operator to have full control of its business.

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"You want control of your own destiny," Hesse said. "It was not a matter of if, but a matter of when," he said, referring to Verizon's deal with Vodafone. "I congratulate Verizon for making it happen."

Hesse also touched on the challenges Sprint faces in keeping its unlimited data offering to consumers.  Although he said it is an important differentiator, he also reiterated that unlimited data may not last forever. "There may be some day when we don't offer unlimited to new customers," he said.  "We tell existing customers you will be guaranteed for life," he added, referring to Sprint's July 12 announcement of Unlimited Guarantee, in which Sprint guarantees that existing customers and new customers that sign up Sprint's new Unlimited, My Way or My All-in plan will be able to get unlimited data for life.

Hesse's speech at IFA marked the first time a U.S. operator has been a keynote speaker at the event, which attracts consumer electronics makers and home appliance manufacturers. His speech focused primarily on how wireless is transforming the world by being integrated in cars, homes, health and fitness devices and more.

Interestingly, Hesse also said that wireless can improve the environment and noted that connected homes outfitted with smart meters could actually reduce the home owner's utility bills by 3.5 percent to 7 percent.

He also called on the wireless industry to join forces and develop privacy policies that will help educate customers as well as put protections in place. "Privacy is the most important public policy issue facing very country," he said.  "I believe that together we can achieve secure wireless future that protects privacy and improves lives."  

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