Japan's SoftBank Mulling $19 Billion Purchase Of T-Mobile via Stake In Sprint

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News Posted: Wed, Dec 25 2013 4:49 PM
Those rumors of Sprint buying T-Mobile? At first blush, it was easy to brush it off as nothing more than a passing whisper, but now, evidence is beginning to mount. Japanese telecomunications company SoftBank is reportedly looking to close a deal "soon" that would see it purchasing T-Mobile. While SoftBank's roots are in Japan, it already owns a sizable stake of Sprint in the United States.


SoftBank would then further its grasp on the U.S. market, and if things go to plan, it looks as if SoftBank will pay upwards of $19 billion for the carrier. The process won't be easy. Regulators already spiked the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger from a few years ago, and SoftBank will no doubt face a lot of regulatory heat if attempting to acquire the nation's fourth-largest mobile operator.

If the purchase sails through, we'll be down to just three major carriers, but that may open the door for smaller carriers to combat the trifecta on price and service quality. 
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I don't really understand the benefit of merging a fairly large GSM carrier with a fairly large CDMA carrier. Wouldn't it be more beneficial for sprint to continue gobbling up regional CDMA carriers like they did to US Cellular?

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basroil2 replied on Wed, Dec 25 2013 10:21 PM

I think the point is to take advantage of the new LTE rollout and the fact most phones support CDMA and GSM anyway. Not to mention that business plan wise Softbank and TMobile are very compatible, and in fact almost mirror images (though tmobile uses mainly unlimited call plans while softbank has to stick to per-minute calling since japanese rules are ridiculous).

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I got a Sprint HTC One. It has full support for CDMA and GSM, with the ability to smartly switch between them. It can even roam over to GSM when it doesn't have a CDMA signal. And yes I do have a SIM card, which is required for LTE.

Most newer smartphones have much the same ability. All it would take would be a small software update and boom, the phone will switch between CDMA, GSM, and LTE as required.

Also 3G GSM is actually a type of CDMA (WCDMA to be exact), which is the reason you can use voice and data at the same time on TMob and AT&T.

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