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SoftBank CEO: Our Sprint Deal is Better Because of TD-LTE

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 10:09am
Ben Munson

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son today stated his company’s TD-LTE experience should be the deciding factor for Sprint as it mulls offers from both Dish Network and Softbank.  

Speaking at a press conference, Son touted his company’s success in deploying TD-LTE over 2.5 GHz spectrum in Japan. He added SoftBank is better equipped to help Sprint deploy the same kind of service on the large swaths of 2.5 GHz Sprint stands to inherit should its $2.2 billion bid to buyout WiMax wholesaler Clearwire go through. He placed SoftBank’s expertise in sharp contrast to Dish Network’s, a rival bidder for Sprint, and said that Dish has no experience in mobile.

His comments are the latest in the back and forth between SoftBank and Dish Network, which entered the conversation in March with a $25.5 billion merger offer for Sprint. 

Last week, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said that a Japanese company acquiring Sprint would not be good for U.S. jobs. At the press conference, Son reassured the audience that Sprint jobs would remain in the United States.

Reuters reported that Son is on his way to the U.S. to meet with Sprint management as well as large Sprint shareholders to discuss the deal.

Although Sprint is still moving ahead in the regulatory approval process of its deal with SoftBank, the U.S.’s third largest carrier must adhere to its fiduciary duties by reviewing the Dish offer. In April, Sprint announced a special committee had been assembled to go over the bid.

Some analysts have argued that merging with Dish, the U.S.’s third largest satellite TV provider, could present an intriguing multi-play option for Sprint and Dish to bundle their services.

Sprint has set aside June 12 as the date for a shareholder vote on SoftBank’s proposal to acquire 70 percent of Sprint.

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