Sprint may be acquired by Japan's SoftBank

Sprint may be acquired by Japan's SoftBank
Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S., may end up getting acquired by the Japanese cellular service provider SoftBank, according to sources familiar with the companies' plans. Reportedly, both carriers are already in "advanced talks" regarding the deal. SoftBank, which is currently the third largest carrier by number of subscribers in Japan, is aiming to acquire a two-thirds stake in Sprint. If the deal gets approved, it is estimated that it will cost an amount exceeding 1.5 trillion yen ($19,2 billion). 

The news comes only days after SoftBank announced its plans to acquire one of its local competitors, eAccess. And now, as the carrier is aiming to expand its business into the U.S. market, some are looking at SoftBank's acquisition of Sprint as a massive gamble. The Japanese provider has made such significant moves in the past, such as its acquisition of the Japanese arm of Vodafone Group.



1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

If SoftBank helps Sprint accelerate its LTE roll-out, that would be a good thing, as Sprint is waaaay behind the power curve on LTE.

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Sprint is taking its sweet time deploying LTE. If they're trying to be the turtle by going slow and steady, that's going to affect them.

5. fanesxx

Posts: 74; Member since: May 19, 2011

yeah, they got an ace somewhere

16. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

I disagree, it was only last year they announced Network Vision and are expected to be completely finished by end of 2013... according to their last quarterly report, they are beating expectations and turning on anywhere from 25 - 60 towers with LTE a day out of 38,000. They will also have 100 markets launched in the next few motnhs. This is actually one of the fastest rollouts I've ever seen and almost double that of AT&T considering their rate of progress. Furthermore, They don't need the japanese, they are only likely considering the offer which isn't worth it for $20 billion. Sprint is worth about $15 billion more then that if you consider all their assets and revenue.

18. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

True dat. Sprints balance sheet reports nearly$50B. No way would they consider a $15B bid. Also the city where i live and a few surrounding towns already have consistent 25+mbps lte. Im just waiting for them to flip the switch where i go to school. I have gotten 4g there but its gone as i write this.

19. BREvenson

Posts: 240; Member since: May 17, 2012

True...however I would believe that many people (analysts, critics, etc.) would focus more on the fact that AT&T and Verizon have more LTE markets than Sprint, and they are too little too late to catch up. I do still see potential in Sprint, but they will not only need good-quality phones (other than the S III, of course), but a strong focus on providing customer satisfaction and reliable networks. Rolling out these LTE markets is a start; they just have to stay focused and keep working at making things better.

21. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Yea, its true they have a larger and faster LTE network at this time, but LTE on a 2-3gb data limit is like having a Ferrari with only 2 gallon gas tank capacity, it may get you there fast, but it wont get you far.

22. thunder18

Posts: 154; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

I think they're covered on the good quality phones. Evo LTE(better than the One X), Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Photon Q for the qwerty crowd, iPhone4, 4S and 5 and the aforementioned GS3. The only deficiency is Windows Phone devices in which I believe they have 2. They are in the midst of Network Vision so that is their focus on reliable networks. Also, customer service in which J.D. Power just awarded Sprint a customer service champion award last year.http://phandroid.com/2011/02/17/sprint-receives-customer-service-champion-award-from-j-d-power/ I'd say they're pretty much right on track with everything you mentioned.

27. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

thunder18, your post pretty much sums up the fact that Sprint is on the right track. They will prove all the haters wrong next year.

9. Connie.Linghus

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

This is fantastic news, the Japanese don't play around; I remember how formidable they were against the allies during World War II. I do hope that this happens because, it might mean a more efficient Sprint; I just hope Softbank does away with those atrocious out-sourced call centers in Bombay.

10. kellkeezy

Posts: 57; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

Da fuq? Did I just read?

13. fervid

Posts: 183; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Yes, Pearl Harbor really prepared them for Mobile phones. Are they going to beat other carriers by bombing them while they sleep too?

17. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I remember that too! Only, in my day, we didn't call it World War II, we called it The Great War Episode 2: America is the Best Country to Ever Exist. Boy, I'm so glad the Japanese military of 1941-45 is taking over the Sprint of 2012, maybe that'll knock some sense into 'em, daggummit!

29. tuminatr

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I disagree look outside the USA, we are not the only country to have wireless. I dont think you can even pick up a LTE signal in many plases in Europe. If sprint keep its roll out dates they will have 100+ markets by the end of the year and finish the rest of the US in a year or so


Posts: 1457; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Let's see if the monetary policies of unlimited stays in effect. Let's also see if better cell tower placement gets implemented. I am in an area where I get signal upstairs but on the ground floor I get 0-1 bars of service.

11. moofoodooloo

Posts: 137; Member since: Jan 04, 2011

Believe it or not, the radio signal is compromised when you're in buildings. Wiring, electronics, etc also interferes with the signal inside a home.

20. LordDavon

Posts: 152; Member since: Sep 19, 2011

I don't see why not. I believe that Softbank has unlimited data plans in Japan.

4. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

So while while other international carriers are divesting international assets (I.e. Deutsche Telekom) a money-pit American carrier is looking to be purchased by one overseas. They must be in worse condition than I thought.

28. Gawain

Posts: 433; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

What is interesting is that the cash from SoftBank would just about pay off the debt Sprint has been riding since it bought Nextel. The bigger problem with this acquisition I think is none of the articles mention what would need to happen with Sprint's internet backbone. Yes, Sprint, not their telco spinoff Embarq, still owns a Tier 1 backbone (AS 1239). Regulators will not allow telecom infrastructure to be owned by a foreign entitiy (even from a friendly country). Other than that, having used SoftBank service in Japan, they are a very reliable carrier. I had great coverage and no issues using them from Tokyo to Hokkaido.

6. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Growing up in the 80's, I remember everyone was scared Japan would end up owning the U.S. Now, hardly anyone blinks an eye..... I know next to nothing about the Japanese mobile market. Seems strange, and a little disturbing, that this is the third largest carrier making this kind of investment. Do they have the capital to make this work? I wonder if AT&T comes out against this just to get even.....

15. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

" I wonder if AT&T comes out against this just to get even",... Good point

23. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

actually I think AT&t would welcome it. They could then proudly claim (and correctly) that they are the only US Carrier not owned by an overseas company.

24. thunder18

Posts: 154; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

It's an interesting point, but it's not like Sprint is going and buying up a bunch of regional carriers to consolidate and enlarge it's position in an effort to make itself a virtual monopoly... If AT&T had gotten away with the T-Mobile purchase, they could for all intents and purposes set market trends they way they want them rather than natural market competition forcing them to conform to their competition.

7. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

Funny... not long ago Dan Hesse wanted to acquire MetroPCS, but the board vetoed the move. Now they're on the verge of being acquired themselves. It'll be interesting to see what Softbank brings to the table. Its probably unlikely, but I would love to see them bring over some of the phones that they put out in Japan.

8. elandrumiii

Posts: 109; Member since: Mar 20, 2010

Feds wont let them have majority ownership just like with VZW

12. iirundis05

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 05, 2012

Deutsche Telekom (German foreign company) has 100% owned T-Mobile since 2001 just a year after the Vodafone and Verizon merger. So why would the feds stop them from completely taking over Sprint?

14. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Cause German is Europe and Sofbank is Asia...we all know the story...hahaha

25. elandrumiii

Posts: 109; Member since: Mar 20, 2010

That was a bunch of small (real small) regional. Aerial, Voicestream boom T mobile never hit 50 million probably not even 40 Sprint was well towards 60million before the f'ed up the Nextel merger. Even Vodafone was not allowed more then 45% of VZW

26. elandrumiii

Posts: 109; Member since: Mar 20, 2010

If this does happen and they get control i will be running to AT&T or VZW Like Tmobile you never know when they will try to sell it off again. May just leave now.

30. ChangMin2012

Posts: 87; Member since: Apr 14, 2012

Sharp Phones here we go!!!

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