Sprint Corp has stopped its bid to acquire U.S. carrier T-Mobile U.S. Inc after regulatory resistance showed no signs of lightning up, despite months of lobbying.
The move is a rare setback for Sprint’s Japanese parent SoftBank Corp whose billionaire founder Masayoshi Son had seen the acquisition as key to taking on U.S. market leaders AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc .
Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. carrier, and T-Mobile the No. 4 U.S. carrier have not ruled out consolidation in the future. Sources say that a deal is unlikely to be approved at this time. U.S. regulators have insisted that they want to keep the number of major wireless carriers at four. French telecom firm, Iliad made a lower bid than Sprint but is in talks with U.S. cable and satellite companies to offer a better deal.
Sprint Corporation’s parent company Softbank Corp., and T-Mobile have reached a possible agreement on merging the third and fourth largest carriers in the nation. If such a merger was approved, the two companies combined would hold a customer base over 100 million subscribers. This would place the joint company closer to AT&T who boasts 116 million wireless customers, and Verizon who has around 103 million customers. The Department of Justice (DOJ), and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would review any proposal, and there is one area they will focus on: how will the merger benefit consumers while promoting competition for choice?
When AT&T made a bid for T-Mobile three years ago, lawmakers immediately squashed the proposal, stating they prefer four major carriers in the game. T-Mobile’s power play in 2013, by rolling out amazing deals have prompted other carriers to offer installment plans, and better family plans – the lawmakers have been pleased with the competitive environment.The merger is currently in early talks, and pricing has not been confirmed. Neither company has issued a statement advising of the deal.
While America’s tech giants like Apple and Microsoft have revolutionized personal computing, mobile technology and methods for connecting online, the irony of that leadership when it comes to Internet speeds is that globally, we have slipped behind. Today, according to a new study by Speedtest.net, the U.S. ranks 31st in the world in terms of average download speeds, and 44th with an average upload speed of 6.32 Mbps, behind countries like Lesotho and others you might only hear mentioned on Jeopardy.
The worldwide leader is Hong Kong for both download and upload speeds averaging 3.5 times faster than our download speeds and over nine times faster than our uploads.
President Obama has announced a plan to increase Internet speeds across the country and link 99% of American students to high-speed Wi-Fi in five years.
Google Fiber is an experiment in progress. In 2010, the search giant announced it would bring a 1,024-megabit (1 gigabit) per second fiber Internet service to a handful of selected cities commencing with Kansas City, followed by Provo, Utah and due in Austin, Texas sometime in 2014.
Prior to Google Fiber, most consumers had no clue as to the difference between 1Mbps versus 1000Mbps connection – except to know that one is incrementally faster than the other. Now 1Gbps is the target for most municipal broadband projects and is certainly on the roadmap for most telecom operators.
Sprint is on the mobile front, and demonstrated its new service Sprint Spark™ on October 30 at the company’s tech center in Burlingame, California, Sprint demonstrated it could match the 1 gigabit per second Google Fiber speed on a wireless network at its innovation center in Burlingame, California on October 30.
Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in about 100 of America’s largest cities over the next three years, with initial availability in five markets today — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. The first smartphones with Sprint Spark capability are now available to the customers . Those include Samsung’s Galaxy Mega, the Galaxy S 4 mini and LG’s G2, with the HTC One Max yet to be announced.
LETS SEE HOW IT TURNS OUT
Three of the largest US wireless service providers have announced that they will no longer charge their customers for unsolicited texts sent from so-called premium messaging services. AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to stop billing users up to $10 per month for programs that send out weather advisories, sports updates, ringtone download links and phone wallpapers – sometimes subscription based, but often without the customer’s permission.
Verizon, the largest mobile carrier in the US, is not listed among those companies who have decided to terminate these charges. The reason is they are planning to do away with their premium messaging business entirely – a decision made as a result of recent allegations that third parties have engaged in improper conduct in providing premium messaging services to their customers.