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SmartWatch, Episode 1: Masayoshi Son Slams U.S. Wireless Industry

March 13, 2014 10:01 am | Videos | Comments

Welcome to this week's episode of SmartWatch, brought to you by SanDisk. This week, we take a look at Softbank President and CEO Masayoshi Son’s quest for a unified Sprint and T-Mobile. We’ll also hear from BlackBerry CEO John Chen on his plans to turn around the Canadian handset maker. 

Sprint CFO: “Unlimited has Longevity”

March 11, 2014 10:23 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer said “unlimited has longevity” and pointed to offering unlimited data as a big differentiator in the market for Sprint. Euteneuer, speaking Monday at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, said Sprint sees a bright future for its unlimited data offering and owed much of that to the runway room gained through acquiring Clearwire.

DT CEO Says T-Mo Standalone Strategy Sufficient for Now

March 6, 2014 9:47 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

DT CEO Timotheus Hoettges, told Bloomberg that the recovering U.S. economy is a boon for the rehabilitated Un-Carrier. He said T-Mobile will continue to build on its standalone approach and won't craft future plans on a "potential transaction." 

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SoftBank CEO Says U.S. Consolidation Needed to Make Sprint Number One

February 12, 2014 10:13 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Son said that without consolidation, it’s “literally just a dream” for Sprint to become the number one carrier in the U.S. He also criticized the large gap between the top two U.S. carriers, AT&T and Verizon, and numbers three and four, Sprint and T-Mobile, respectively. Son said those current market positions are not good for competition.

Sprint Stops Postpaid Subscriber Losses in 4Q

February 11, 2014 8:54 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Sprint platform added 58,000 postpaid subscribers, a relatively small number but a marked improvement over the 360,000 postpaid losses the company posted in the previous quarter. The Sprint platform also improved prepaid adds, bringing 322,000 into the fold as compared with 84,000 in the previous quarter.

Report: Sprint Getting Cold Feet on T-Mobile Merger

February 10, 2014 11:02 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse are having second thoughts about their company’s plans to buy T-Mobile. In the wake of the passionate, public opposition the potential merger received from regulatory officials, Sprint is heading back to the drawing board, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Report: FCC “Highly Skeptical” of Possible Sprint-T-Mobile Merger

February 4, 2014 9:46 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and said he would keep an open mind about the potential merger, according to Reuters. But in general Wheeler’s thoughts on the matter were in line with Justice Department officials who’ve already signaled doubts.

Report: SoftBank CEO Meeting with FCC Chairman Wheeler

February 3, 2014 10:22 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son will meet Monday with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to discuss a possible merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. Son, who also serves as Chairman at Sprint, will reportedly push for U.S. wireless industry consolidation and argue that a combined Sprint and T-Mobile stands a better chance against Verizon and AT&T. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is also expected to attend the meeting.

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DOJ Signals More Reluctance to Bless Sprint, T-Mo Merger

January 31, 2014 10:42 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In remarks made Thursday to the New York Bar Association, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, Bill Baer, said that since the blocking of the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile "competition in the wireless sector has flourished and consumers have benefitted."

Report: Regulators “Skeptical” About Sprint-T-Mobile Merger

January 29, 2014 10:11 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

U.S. Justice Department officials told Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son that any potential Sprint/T-Mobile merger would be met with “skepticism.” The Wall Street Journal spoke with individuals briefed on the conversation who said the meeting reinforced Son’s seriousness in making the merger happen.

Legere Says Sprint Merger would Help T-Mobile Compete

January 27, 2014 11:00 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said a merger of his company with the Softbank-held Sprint could put more pressure on what he called the "duopoly" of AT&T and Verizon. Legere told Bloomberg that T-Mobile would eventually need more spectrum and other resources to compete with larger rivals and that merging with Sprint...

Report: SoftBank, Deutsche Telekom Enter Direct Talks for T-Mobile

January 20, 2014 11:12 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom (DT) have moved to direct talks on a deal for the German carrier’s 67-percent stake in T-Mobile. Bloomberg cited people familiar with the matter as saying the two companies are ironing out obstacles to the deal and said the process could take months. At issue is how much SoftBank will pay for DT’s share and how SoftBank-owned Sprint and T-Mobile would be integrated.

Banks Ready to Fund Sprint Bid for T-Mobile

January 17, 2014 9:42 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

With shares of T-Mobile having risen over 25 percent in a little over a month, the fourth largest carrier is becoming less of bargain lately. That said, Sprint has apparently received proposals from multiple banks willing to finance a bid for T-Mobile, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. 

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SoftBank Partners with Armor5 Secure Mobile Cloud Service

January 15, 2014 11:02 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Armor5 CEO Suresh Balasubramanian said that the SoftBank partnership means that Zero-Touch will be rolled out to SoftBank’s regional carriers throughout the Asia-Pacific area and will eventually make its way to the U.S. on Sprint. But Armor5 is currently working on partnering up with other U.S. s ervice providers.

Sprint Concedes on FDD Plan for 600 MHz Band

January 8, 2014 1:48 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

While Sprint, which  has committed to a TDD LTE rollout, prefaced its remarks by saying it still believes a TDD band plan would result in the most bi-directional spectrum available for auction, the company said it recognizes it won't be the only one bidding on the airwaves.

Sprint Looks to Raise Cash for Network Expansion, Modernization

December 9, 2013 10:53 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint today announced plans to raise money for network expansion and modernization efforts. The carrier did not specify when the sale might occur or how much it hopes to raise with the offering. Proceeds from the sale of the notes, due 2024, will also go toward funding retirement or service requirements of outstanding debt.

SoftBank Taps Ericsson for VoLTE

October 31, 2013 9:12 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

TOKYO - Ericsson today announced that its VoLTE solution was selected by Japanese carrier SoftBank. Ericsson says its VoLTE solution will provide SoftBank customers with telecom-grade HD voice, video calling over LTE. The company also claims its VoLTE solution will allow SoftBank to better utilize its spectrum.

Sprint Posts 3Q Profit While Slowing Customer Losses

October 30, 2013 8:50 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint Wednesday posted a profit in the first official quarter of the SoftBank era. The net income of $383 million righted the ship somewhat after a net loss of $767 million was posted a year ago. The Sprint platform lost 360 million postpaid subscribers but that was well down from the more than one million postpaid subs the carrier lost in the previous quarter.

SoftBank Acquires Majority Stake in Brightstar for $1.26B

October 21, 2013 10:21 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Brightstar announced Friday that SoftBank had successfully bid $1.26 billion to acquire a 57-percent stake of the handset distributor. SoftBank’s investment values Brightstar at $2.2 billion. As part of the deal, over the next five years SoftBank’s ownership in Brightstar is scheduled to increase to 70 percent.

'Clash of Clans' Maker Sells Stake for $1.5B to Softbank

October 15, 2013 11:04 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The 'Clash of Clans' mobile game maker Supercell is selling a 51 percent stake to Japan's SoftBank and GungHo in a 1.5 billion deal. CEO Ilkka Paananen says the partnership will speed Supercell's goal of becoming the "first truly global games company...

Yahoo, Softbank Back Alibaba in HK IPO Battle

September 27, 2013 9:33 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's biggest shareholders, Yahoo and Japan's Softbank Corp., on Friday backed the company's unusual management structure that Hong Kong's stock exchange was unwilling to accommodate, forcing it to look to the U.S. for a potentially mammoth IPO.

Sprint Sells $6.5 billion in Debt

September 5, 2013 9:41 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Sprint on Wednesday said that it has raised $6.5 billion through the sale of high-yield debt. According to a press release, Sprint has priced its previously announced offering of $2.25 billion aggregate principal amount of 7.250 percent notes due 2021, and $4.25 billion aggregate principal...

NTT DoCoMo Nears Deal for iPhone, Again

August 26, 2013 9:58 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

NTT DoCoMo looks again on the verge of selling the iPhone. CFO Kazuto Tsubouchi told SankeiBiz there are compelling reasons for the carrier to sell Apple’s handset but Apple and DoCoMo have had their differences in the past. The Sankei report reiterated no terms for a deal have been reached yet.

SoftBank CEO “Prepared to Die” Over Spectrum Allocation Issues

July 31, 2013 10:46 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

When the Japanese government recently awarded unused 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses to SoftBank rival carrier KDDI, Son lectured government officials for 50 straight minutes. Son argued that the process was unfair to SoftBank’s users and that he was “prepared to die” in order to get this message across, according to the Japanese Daily Press.

Sprint’s “Unlimited For Life” Hinged on Clearwire Deal

July 12, 2013 9:43 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Just a day after closing its merger with SoftBank, Sprint unveiled some new unlimited talk, text and data plans. Unlimited data’s a big deal if only because the two biggest wireless providers in the U.S., AT&T and Verizon, completely shun the idea. But the timing of the plan caused speculation that the move was the first of many disruptive waves stemming from SoftBank entering the U.S. market. Not exactly.

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