There is a titanic struggle brewing in the wireless industry, pitting AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless against pretty much everyone else, including Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile US, and it's going to get a lot uglier as time goes on. The carriers are fighting over the rules that will govern next year's 600 MHz spectrum auction, with the smaller carriers fighting for rules that will ensure they get a piece of the pie.
U.S. Cellular is getting into the home phone business with the launch of its new U.S. Cellular Home Phone device, which will sell for a penny with a two-year contract and provides unlimited nationwide calling over its CDMA network using standard corded or cordless phones for $20 per month. The launch signals U.S. Cellular's attempt to challenge wireline phone providers and their home turf with a cheaper service.
SoftBank's $20.1 billion bid to gain control of 70 percent of Sprint Nextel won approval from a key shareholder advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services, but did not get the backing from another firm, Egan-Jones Ratings Co., which reversed its position and now opposes the offer in light of Dish Network's $25.5 billion counterbid.
Clearwire postponed a shareholder vote set for today on Sprint Nextel's $3.40 per share offer to take control of the company in the wake of Dish Network's revised $4.40 per share counterbid. Dish's offer, a 29 percent premium on Sprint's bid, shakes up yet again a complex and shifting series of maneuvers among various wireless players, and could complicate SoftBank's bid to acquire control of Sprint, according to analysts.
Looking to thwart Sprint's efforts to acquire broadband wireless provider Clearwire, Dish Network increased its bid to buy the company to $4.40 per share.
Dish Network increased its offer to buy Clearwire to $4.40 per share, representing a 29 percent premium on Sprint Nextel's $3.40 per share offer just days ahead of a meeting where Clearwire shareholders are expected to vote on Sprint's proposal. The new offer also comes amid continuing resistance from minority Clearwire shareholders to Sprint's offer, a bid it improved form $2.97 per share, which they say still undervalues the company.
iTalk announced it purchased ITG, a Texas-based provider of international calling cards, with the goal of expanding the sale of its Sprint Nextel-powered mobile data service.
Japanese operator SoftBank's proposed $20.1 billion purchase of 70 percent of Sprint Nextel has cleared a major hurdle: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency body headed by the Treasury and charged with overseeing deals in which a foreign entity gains control of a U.S. company, said "there are no unresolved national security issues" in SoftBank buying 70 percent of Sprint.
Regional carrier C Spire Wireless said it will expand its LTE coverage area in Mississippi later this summer and also will bring LTE service to parts of Alabama and Florida by year-end.
Clearwire shareholder Crest Financial is seeking to discount the votes of minority strategic Clearwire investors such as Comcast and Intel ahead of a Friday vote on Sprint Nextel's improved $3.40 per share offer to take control of Clearwire.