Sprint Nextel Stories November 7, 2012

A couple carriers are making headlines today for different reasons. Sprint, which could soon be scooped up by Softbank, announced today (via Engadget) it is spending $480 million to acquire PCS spectrum and 585,000 customers from U.S. cellular across the Midwest. As always, the deal is subject to approval from government officials in the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission, but Sprint could take over the spectrum and customers in “parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio including the Chicago and St. Louis markets” by sometime next year:

Under the terms of the agreement, Sprint will acquire 20 MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900 MHz band in various Midwest markets including Chicago, South Bend, Ind. and Champaign, Ill. and 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in the St. Louis market.

AT&T is also making the news today with the FCC announcing the carrier will pay a $700,000 fine to put an end to the agency’s investigation into how the carrier handled its transition to mandatory monthly data plans (via BGR). The investigation followed complaints from consumers that AT&T had switched them from grandfathered pay-as-you-go plans to its new monthly plans as far back as 2009. According to the FCC, as part of the settlement, AT&T “has agreed to refund excess charges paid by individual customers, which could be as much as $25 to $30 a month, depending on data use”: expand full story

Sprint Nextel Stories October 14, 2012

Japanese Softbank taking 70 percent stake of US carrier Sprint for $20B

As rumored last week, Japanese Softbank has taken a controlling 70 percent stake in Sprint according to CNBC:

Softbank and Sprint have reached a deal under which Softbank will pay $20 billion for a 70 percent stake in the wireless telecom operator, according to people close to the situation.

Softbank will buy $8 billion worth of shares directly from Sprint and tender for another $12 billion worth of the shares from existing holders.

(Update: Confirmed by Sprint)

The deal will allow Sprint to purchase the half of Clearwire that it does not already own, according to the report. Softbank expects to take use of its expertise in LTE networks to bolster Sprints position in the market.

AT&T is now the sole remaining U.S. carrier not under foreign control. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture with Vodafone, while T-Mobile is obviously German.

Sprint and Softbank both carry Apple’s iPhone. Softbank was the original Japanese carrier while Sprint was the third U.S. carrier to adopt the iconic phone.

The deal is expected to close in roughly six months.

Sprint Nextel Stories October 11, 2012

Report: Softbank in talks to buy Sprint for $19B

Update: Sprint provided the following statement to The Wall Street Journal:

Sprint (NYSE: S) today confirmed that it is currently engaged in discussions with Softbank regarding a potential substantial investment by Softbank in Sprint. Although there can be no assurances that these discussions will result in any transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur, such a transaction could involve a change of control of Sprint. Sprint does not intend to comment further unless and until an agreement is reached.

According to a report from Nikkei (via Bloomberg), Japan’s Softbank, the third-largest mobile carrier in the country, is currently seeking to acquire two-thirds of U.S.-based Sprint Nextel Corp. The price is rumored at roughly $19 billion USD and would make AT&T the last fully U.S.-based carrier:

Softbank Corp. (9984), Japan’s third- largest mobile-phone company, is in talks to buy control ofSprint Nextel Corp. (S), according to two people familiar with the matter…The deal would give Softbank a base for entering the U.S. market with a compatible carrier that uses similar equipment made by Sweden’s Ericsson AB, the Nikkei reported.

Sprint Nextel Stories October 8, 2012

Sprint says ‘accidental dual fibercut’ on network causing nationwide outages, attempting to fix issues

Update: Sprint tells us service is restored.

A widespread network outage on Sprint’s network started at 7:30 a.m. PST today and hit Portland, Ore., Seattle and Tacoma Wash., Minneapolis, Minn., and San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif. Sprint just confirmed it is working diligently to fix the issue.

Sprint’s statement to 9to5Mac:

“Earlier this morning, an accidental dual fibercut occurred on Sprint’s network causing a disruption in data and voice services for some Sprint customers in parts of Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Tacoma Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and San Francisco and Sacramento, California. Sprint network technicians are working aggressively to resolve this issue and we hope to have service restored soon.”

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

Sprint Nextel Stories September 30, 2012

An update is going to Verizon iPhone 5 owners this evening that resolves an issue where, under certain circumstances, the iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while connected to a Wi-Fi network. We are not sure how much data leaks, or why and if Verizon will offer a refund, but we reached out to the carrier for a statement.

Update: Torod Neptune, spokesperson for Verizon Wireless, provided the following statement:

“Under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Apple has a fix that is being delivered to Verizon customers right on their iPhone 5. Verizon Wireless customers will not be charged for any unwarranted cellular data usage.”

Instructions to install the update.

  1. Tap Settings > General > About.
  2. Wait for the following alert to appear:
  3. Tap OK to install the update.
  4. Hold the Sleep/Wake button down until you see “slide to power off”.
  5. Slide to power off.
  6. After the device powers off, hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn your phone back on.

Note: To finish the installation of the update, your iPhone 5 must be turned off and then turned on again.

After your iPhone restarts, tap Settings > General > About, and then scroll down to Carrier and verify “Verizon 13.1” is displayed.

The issue may be a carryover from the Wi-Fi+Cellular feature that was in the betas of iOS 6 but was eliminated in the final version. One reader below mentions the data leak seems to have occurred while the device is asleep.

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Sprint Nextel Stories September 14, 2012

AT&T just ran out of Sept. 21 stock for the iPhone 5. The delivery page has now pushed sales to “14-21 business days,” which equals almost three to five weeks. Verizon ran out of stock earlier today, but it is hard to determine if this shows demand per carrier since AT&T is such a big legacy iPhone carrier and Apple obviously gave it a lot more stock than others.

[tweet https://twitter.com/9to5mac/status/246631458775646208]

Both big carriers have downsides: AT&T will not run FaceTime unless you buy a Mobile Share plan, while Verizon will run FaceTime on all of its iPhones—but new customers must sign up for a Mobile Share plan (no matter what). In addition, the CDMA version of the iPhone, which Verizon and Sprint both carry, will not support simultaneous talk and data. Speaking of Sprint, it is still advertising ship dates of Sept. 21.

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