Their parent company has made it clear that they don't want to spend mega-bucks on this red-headed, nationwide stepchild.
First, they talked merger with sprint... then got to 2nd base with an acquisition by AT&T... all while "monetizing" cell towers by selling them and leasing them back. Clearly, they are trying to wring value OUT of T-Mobile, not pump a ton of precious capital INTO it.
So, they announce LTE... because they have to... you can't be the only nationwide carrier without it.
But it'll cost billions to do the build... and it'll cost billions to acquire the spectrum... if they can acquire it at ALL. What's a stingy company gonna DO about that?
I'm convinced they're talking to Sprint/CLWR. Sprint and T-Mobile are the clear davids these days, and VZ/AT&T are the goliaths. Just like with Leap and PCS, there has never been a time when capital and spectrum was more scarce... and the gap between the resources VZ & AT&T have relative to the rest of them... than it is today. Why else would sprint have salavated to voraciously at the billions that Lightsquared dangled... just like T-Mobile and the rest of them, they realized that you have to collaborate, or die. It's just too expensive to go it alone against the bigs now.
This will be the year the davids band together, IMHO. Apple's tablet is LTE, I-Phone 5 will be LTE, sprint definately needs critical mass, and T-Mobile needs to avoid $10 billion worth of outlays for the privelege of being 3 to 4 years late to the table with LTE.
I don't see mergers... I see joint ventures... lots of them over the next year.
Sprint plan to operate FD-LTE on 5MHZ up and 5MHZ down. Really? Hows that going to work as a stand alone network. T-Mob needs spectrum capacity to grow. T needs spectrum capacity to simply service its existing customers with reasonable satisfaction. VZ is trying to aquire spectrum. The FCC's decisions scream use existing spectrum that CLWR has just sitting there mostly idle. All while smart phone usage grows and grows and grows while 4G LTE grows, growing and growing data demand... it's a viscous cycle.
Pretty easy on their pocket too - very little if any capital outlay as they would simply sign up to become a wholesale partner of clwr and begin paying for the spectrum usage as they in fact use it...........
DT & T-Mobile will probably wait until the U.S. election and hope that Republicans take the White House. In a Romney administration the FCC and DOJ will get new Republican appointed leadership that will support a pro-business, pro-growth agenda and a merger or buyout with a tier-1 player will once again become possible.
Your statement makes little sense: monopolisitc amalgamation of large players leads to lay-offs not more jobs and growth. You have a vested interest.. not borne out by the facts. Point out studies etc. to support your wild claims that pseudo-Republican oligarchists will lead to any better situation for jobs in the telecomms sector.
The more efficient system requires flattening of competition, not locking it up behind state-sponsored socialism/oligarchy... Are you a communist?
T-Mobile does not need to do a deal soon unless they figure out how to cut costs otherwise. The advantage of Clearwire's current strategy is that it will make it relatively easy for operators to make use of it via devices that support the band similar to other 'world class bands'. That can lead to adoption with little impact on an operator's marketing identity and their own plans for deployments other than as a behind the public view compliment... that is unless they wanted to stress off-load deals. I think we may see the use of Clearwire's network evolve such that LEAP, T-Mobile, AT&T metroPCS may use it while not making it very apparent, if at all, to their consumer market subscribers. Enterprise and government marketing might wish to disclose a relationship with Clearwire openly because those clients will want to understand capacity issues/opportunities with greater specificity.
For well into 2013 T-Mobile is in a similar boat as Sprint and Clearwire - busy with upgrades, re-farming of spectrum and deployments into available spectrum. There is little reason to announce deals for several months during that process. Clearwire V2.0 business model is to work on both networks and devices with the Global TD-LTE group through this year for prime time availability next year.
Another aspect of CW V2.0 plan is they can offer for operators to step into a relationship gradually: T-Mobile has 20MHz of mid-range frequency spectrum and higher capacity through upgrades that can work well enough over the next 1-3 years with the prospect of off-load to Clearwire's network becoming available in a timely fashion. That should look attractive because it opens up options without closing the doors on others. In essence, CW can say "OK, so you prefer to pursue spectrum and your own networks, we will make it easy and with very few strings attached. You can pursue spectrum or partnership deals to your hearts content. However, if you find we offer a profitable mix when combined with what you develelop, then we encourage you to work with us down the road to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.. yadda, yadda..."
This is a stage building year based on the plan to offer a network and ecosystem for devices that is easy to digest. Not big upfront commitments unless the operator finds there is a reason, such as LEAP probably wanting to assure customers and investors that they won't be up against a shortage.
TR...I just cannot resist..
TR: "I think we may see the use of Clearwire's network evolve such that LEAP, T-Mobile, AT&T metroPCS may use it while not making it very apparent, if at all, to their consumer market subscribers."
<<<Wanting to own and being able too are very different things. The two majors now have different capacity to address near-term growth. VZ, with its recently announced CableCo deals, somewhat better than T which appears will have to give T-Mobile some of the spectrum it is already in short supply of. I believe you could see AT&T lease some Clearwire LTE. Not unreasonable at all, as I doubt Stanton would now sell spectrum, although he has been known to sell complete companies.
TR Response: "The two marketshare Goliaths, VZW and AT&T are long shots for use of the Clearwire network."
Yes, its not your complete statement -
If you read what Neville has said recently one factor comes out: that the reason for the shift to LTE is because the device market is heading in the direction of greater support for it than for HSPA+. T-Mobile has insisted that they would find it better to shift to the higher capacity versions of HSPA including MC aggregation and higher order MIMO so that their spectrum is built using one type of technology while supposedly achieving similar speeds, up to 84Mbps. Many don't buy that equality in performance story, particularly as the more advanced methods come into use further down the road.
Ray mentions desire to have the LTE iPhone which will have support for the various flavors of LTE. The Android ecosystem is likely to become more vibrant than for HSPA+ 42/84. This acknowledgement of how the ecosystems are developing is confirming.
Can Bill Morrow fix Vodafone?
"These requirements include a looming bill for new mobile phone spectrum for 4G services, which analysts say could top $700 million when the auction finally goes ahead."
... gives them wholesale access to verizon's networks beginning in 4 years. They may say they are not into network sharing, but if the deal is right......
AT&T themselves aren't exactly spectrum-rich and openly say they don't have enough for LTE as LTE ramps for them over the next couple of years. If they don't get more spectrum, I doubt they'll load their network up even more with LTE roaming for T-Mobile if they can't accomodate their own retail customers.
Clearwire gets a bonus for hitting their timelines for the LTE build, which is prioritized according to Sprint's most pressing augmentation needs...
... it's feasible that Leap or anybody else would also bonus Clearwire for prioritizing LTE sites that most benefit THEM as well.
T-Mobile is definately going to need capacity augmentation in the cities... where Clearwire is most capable.
In their testimony today, Verizon said they're in trouble, capacity wise, in those inner-city geographies next year if they don't get the cable companys' spectrum.
"I'm convinced they're talking to Sprint/CLWR. Sprint and T-Mobile are the clear davids these days,"
From my advantage point I totally agree.
Long S stock at 2.14 with call options on top, as well as long CLWR stock from roughly around the same price
I see the original plan coming in to play. In fact the Metro PCS Sprint deal may have been called off due to just that. Or once DT saw Sprint was seriously going through re-negotiated to Sprints terms in th 11th hour?
The original plan was a merger of Sprint and Tmobile before the big bad wolf swooped in and blew the deal down. In this plan DT would become percentage owner of the combined company. DT/TMO would come to the table with some of AT&T cash for the deal. With the comnbined cash and synergies the combined company may then acquire CLWR. Now the David's are equal to the Goliaths? Won't be easy but could happen.
A force to be reckoned with