Verizon has a much better debt rating than Sprint: debt level in the industry is high.. its a high cash flow and reinvestment rate business model environment. Thus how well a company uses their capital to leverage cash flows is critical, not the absolute number. If VZ had a quadrillion dollar debt level it would be OK so long as they get their US industry leading leverage on that capital. Sprint has improved their debt leverage due to being acquired and financing debt at somewhat lower rates. However, no financial analyst worth his salt doubts Sprint is still the rutt of litter among the top 3 service providers... still sucking hind tit.
That's a plug number only: spectrum is a 'fungible commodity'. Its value is only in how it is eventually used to produce cash flows and, then how well the company turns that into profits. If the company goes banko, the spectrum is worthless to investors... I'm not at all suggesting that for S but it shows the relationship of spectrum to an operating company.
Spectrum is fungible because it can be a) replaced by use of other spectrum. The other/alternative spectrum may have different features such as wider channels and more bandwidth to grow into as does the 2.6GHz band or might cover wider areas and penetrate into buildings better, as does the sub-1GHz spectrum bands. And the mid range bands might be viewed as the best 'single band' because its a compromise between signal properties and higher bandwidth capacity due to wider channels and ease of interference mitigation.
b) Spectrum is also fungible by substituting technology that increases capacity on a bit/Hz/unit area basis. Higher order use of MIMO-AAS technology, small cells and tiered networks (use of the spatial domain) are ways that technology is increasingly being used to increase per Hz/area spectrum capacity while increasing quality of service. For example, a 40MHz channel can carry from about 50Mbps to a lab environment limit of over 200Mbps through the use of MIMO-AAS combined with small cells and adequate backhaul. Its a similar type of improvement that has been seen in the shift in Wi-Fi from 802.11b to 802.11n... so long as the 'small cells' (Wi-Fi) is able to operate in areas that are free from interference and co-use congestion of channels, each 'cell' has full practical use of the 40MHz band... to deliver ~150Mbps in real world use. LTE can do much the same so long as the deployments are similar as dense. While that is often impractical, making the use of more bandwidth of overall multiple carrier bands a better alternative, its become a factor in valuation of mobile spectrum.
Verizon is Sprint's largest competitor in terms of subscribers and also market profile that amplifies their marketshare impact beyond that of AT&T. VZW acquired spectrum from Spectrumco, the cable industry consortium that owned spectrum licenses to AWS spectrum. Its been a few years in the making and somewhat a case of 'finally' showing up sentiments, however, Verizon is rolling out service into 40MHz of AWS spectrum.
Why this is important to Sprint-Softbank:
The 'value proposition', 'service profile' or however you want to describe why customers come to and stick with specific operators is fundamentally based on the range and quality of service vs. how much it costs. Variance in marketing can shift the perception of what is offered and what it costs, but in the longer run the networks operators build and devices that populate them must equate to quality and range for the greenback dollar.
Sprint's definition of the 'value proposition' is oriented on flexible and higher broadband.. while Verizon's has been over towards the coverage and reliability of access (penetration into buildings). Both are fundamentally based on the spectrum these two companies own. Verizon had pushed out ahead of Sprint with early LTE. Now they threaten to also offer higher bandwidth as they roll out AWS service. Its been expected but may come as a shock to some sharezombies.
What we are dealing with in the PV vs. QCOM case, while it must adhere to the laws of physics, is not in the vague area of business methods, Internet extension, or mobile methods that have been prone to abuse by loose USPTO examination and definitions. The area is bound by simple stuff... the specific circuits and control mechanisms such as how samples are taken. Thus, this issue of how patents are being hemmed in by the courts 'colors' the PV vs. QCOM and potential surrounding cases but only in terms of the broad environment.
Could judges or trade tribunals be impacted by the broad currents in how patents are treated? As with all other tertiary issues, sure, if some fellow idiot judge, as esteemed as they may be, weighs this partially into their decisions, then it could become a factor... probably a very late and minor factor.
Terms like 'frivolous' may be mentioned by justices or lawyers but that is not what comes down in the rulings. The rulings pertain to the facts and prescribe from broad to very specific remedies. In the case of software patents, there is no doubt (among the sane) the S.C. will NOT issue a ruling that excludes software patents as a technology/patent art segment. In prior rulings on genes, the S.C. ruled on the broad issue of whether 'finding' the gene is patentable. The general ruling was that since this was naturally occurring and thus discovered rather than invented, that genes themselves are NOT patentable. However, in the ruling the court differed on the issue of how genes are Expressed... that is genes are the 'natural/existing program code' but the way genes express themselves is determined by the environment and other surrounding circumstances such as what drugs/enzymes might be used to influence gene expression. That opens up the use of a gene or group of genes to "invention" of ways to cause or #$%$ or otherwise control their expression and thus is patentable.
The area of electronic design is much different: there are basic existing 'natural technology' such as the laws of physics. While a patent can be granted based on use of circuit elements or codes that manipulate waveforms or coding that fit/apply to the laws of physics, patents cannot be simply stating the laws of physics. In other words, Einstein, who started out as a German patent examiner, was never granted a patent on E=MC squared, a law of physics that he 'discovered'. However, latter mathematicians and nuclear scientists were granted patents (or were granted to US or other governments on their behalf) on designs for nuclear devices, such as medical devices that took advantage of E=MC2.
Why do Parker management and sharezombies insist that they proved Q to be fringing? Because the case was based on vacated emails and early discussions about what might be agreed to if PV's technology could be made useful. The story took over from any need to convincing argue the true details and merits/net benefits of the alleged use of technology. Once McKool was able to sway the jury to the 'poor cheated Parkervision' storyline, proof of the use of technology became irrelevant. The technical details should have been apparent to even a less experience set of jurists imo. However, this outcome was discussed here and elsewhere before the trial had started in a series of 'Storyline versus Facts' case structure. I had expressed that while Qualcomm had the facts on their side, PV had lined up a much more appealing story to paint a picture for the jury. The subsequent allowance by Dalton to make extensive use of the emails and couched expert testimony tipped the balance over to PV.
However, appeals have been likely so long as Q did not achieve complete victory.
Lalalala.. all this talk while the final verdict and appeals are still out. PRKR is a speculative stock to say the least. Investment? LOL.
The delay itself looks like a negative for Sprint-Softbank to the extent that it delays the ability to gain parity in network spectrum portfolio compared to the prime competitors Verizon and AT&T. However, the outcome depends on what eventually works out for rules on the incentive auction including to what extent VZW and AT&T are allowed to participate. For instance, even though the delay may work against Sprint's ability to cover rural areas and compliment current spectrum with better building penetration, if the rules allow more spectrum to become available or for VZW and AT&T to not dominate the auction, then Sprint may stand to benefit.
In the meantime, Sprint still has ground to make up on the competitors in completing the current stage of network vision that will take well into next year.. or might be argued to take well into 2015 such that additional network building program can wait its turn.
How does this impact PRKR vs. QCOM? Not much because the segments of technology involved and the timing do not match up. The overall mood of the courts and public might have some undetermined degree of impact.. your guess is as good as mine.
The US Supreme Court is more likely to set tighter guidelines on what is permissible rather than make blanket exclusions for segments of patents. This and other articles may be confused by the S.C's exclusion or broad restrictions on gene and other "natural occurring technology" deemed unpatentable. Software and business method patents will very likely not be excluded. However, the remedy imposed by the S.C. may prove to be problematic: they may require the PTO to look more broadly at prior art so that it does not grant patents for technology or business methods that are obvious or merely adopted from one field to the next, for example. In doing so, the problem would be that the already overworked USPTO is not funded by the US Supreme Court.. the is Congress' job.. which is saying that the responsibility rests in the hands of greedy carpet baggers.
There are many problems with this article and the statement "'death' of software patents": 1) The article is flamboyantly turning the issue of ruling on specific patent case to an overblown position on all software, business method, and similar categories of patents. The facts: The USPTO has extended the grant of patents into new areas as technology and business methods have expanded to embrace the Internet, mobile communications and electronic commerce and social networking. This trend started about 20 years ago and accelerated with the occurrence of the Internet and, then, mobile commerce.
Many felt that the USPTO erred greatly in granting broad patents on Internet/business methods because they are often combinations of technology just waiting for the right time to become adopted, not an innovation created by the inventors.
The patenting of business methods opened the Pandora's Box on broad business methods, Internet patents and helped spur patents in other areas including genes.
However, as bad as this may appear, the US Supreme Court is extremely unlikely to 'outlaw' software, Internet or business method patents as general groups/segments.
The USPTO is faced with major problems: Congress continues to treat it as a cash cow to plunder fees while it remains woefully understaffed. A large part of the problem in the operation of the PTO is that examiners are overwhelmed to the point that 'gaming the system' has become prevalent. A core way is exclude prior art or obscure it by overabundance of irrelevant citations.
Don't you know what 'substantial' and 'not insignificant' and other terms used by PV at various time in the patents and technical descriptions mean? They mean 'when I sees it, I will know it.. according to Mr. Fairy Dust David Sorrells. The way you can tell if Qualcomm or anyone else infringes is simply to ask Mr. F.D. Sorrells if, when he holds the device or circuit diagram in his hands if it smell like D2D. All this techno-mumbo-jumbo about Markman rulings is over the top.. just ask Mr. Fairy Dust to rule on it.. not unsubstantial, not-insignificant but unmeasurable in common technical terms such as voltage or current measurements, circuit analysis (that the rest of the world uses), circuit diagrams as commonly understood... none of that stuff matters because Parkervision's technology is so out of this world that it can only be described in terms of 12 year old emails and the land of mystery in which Mr. F.D. Sorrells is the sole interpreter.. sprinkle some of his fairy dust here and there.. and not insignificant but unmeasurable power/voltage is magically explained such that every retired Florida senior jury member can understand it.
Happy, happy.. Mr. Fairy Dust Sorrells sprinkle Parkervision some sales and profits... sprinkle, sprinkle everywhere yahoooo!
The use of sample and hold is 'college days' (old) text book technology. Its use in competitive communications circuits has been gated by mass-produced semiconductor process and design capabilities that makes the use of basic sampling methods practical. This further allows various technologies to be used in a comprehensive layering to match impedances and switch the RF with multiple-band antennas needed (over 40 bands needed to support 3G and 4G networks).
The quadrature balanced sampling methods used by Qualcomm helps in several regards: the method is straightforward and easily implemented in today's CMOS semiconductors. It can sample during 180 degree out of phase periods that either are at zero voltage crossings or offsetting +/- signal levels. That can be used to reduce/offset noise while increasing signal level, resulting in lower 'noise figure' SNR. Its 'elegant' not because its a new breakthrough but because it yields excellent results while retaining relative simplicity. Some of the issues such as matching of components is lessened due to the balanced sets of receivers. And the semiconductor processes are adequate to mass production without yield problems due to component mismatch.
What difference does this make now that the jury of our fellow idiot peers has found Qualcomm to be infringing? Because they got it wrong. If Dalton does not correct the mistake, it will likely be overturned on appeal. That is just my opinion, of course, however, investors should listen to both sides .. the stock is a gamble based on other factors regardless of whether this opinion is right.
While its a fact that PRKR is up over the past three years (since DEC 2010), the long term history of the stock is down... to ~4.30 from high of over 50. PRKR is also down from its 5, 10, and now almost 20 year average price levels. The stock has been diluted several times and has accumulated paid in capital that requires substantially larger scale of revenue and profits on which stock prices are fundamentally based.
It is a simple lie to say longs are in the plus column. No nimbie - what you can say is "Since I went long, the overall direction has been up.. most other long (suckers) bought at the wrong time. Moreover, the truth is that those who shorted the stock have seen their investment gain in value on average. Over the past three years short sellers who did not cover have gone in the red compared to the price three years ago. If they had sold short prior to the move down to the DEC 2010 level, the average price levels in prior periods shows they would have gained. If they had shorted from mid 1995 to the 1st quarter of 2009, shorts would be up from 3X to 12X.
While its correct to report that 'longs' are, on average, in the plus column over the past 3 years., this disregards the facts of the long term trading and fundamental trends in the speculative stock.
"Brewhaha, we carpetbaggers are winning... so long as we keep hyping the stock!"
Sprint (S) opened in purple this morning, setting a new trend in tech stocks. Dan Hesse, CEO, said, "We are no longer content to open in green or red. Sprint is striking out into new territory and will trade in the colors purple (up) or brown (down) or blue (flat). We call this 'tri-mode' stock trading colors to signify a new age in the company's path to rainbow mobile colors everywhere. Stock traders will be pleased because now they will be able to post 1,000s of times more about which color is their favorite."
DISH and S do not have a competitive rivalry... they have been sparing over spectrum and Ergen's aggressive (obnoxious) attempts to interject DISH against Sprint's BOD and Hesse's wishes. DISH needs to do something with the MSS spectrum by FCC rules. However, I'm willing to bet that the FCC will be lenient in their enforcement because the overriding goal of seeing more competition develop... they will either let DISh get away with trial networks or extend the deadlines so long as DISH shows they are progressing on a plan to build a competitive service. Part of DISH's argument in securing more time is likely to be that to become competitive considering how the industry has evolved will take the full range of spectrum that has taken more time to assemble. The FCC is well aware that the single spectrum band licensing approach is no longer sufficient for establishing a mobile operation on par with the major competitors.
Instead of saying the Fed Cir/appellate court will formulate their own Markman/interpretation of the patent claims, its fair to say that is very likely but also that we don't know. I have said I don't think PV's patents are valid and that Q (and most likely other RF companies) do not infringe/use them, however, I also admitted that the district court may, as they often have done in the past, erred in their decisions. And while I think Qualcomm has much better than typical grounds for appeals, I am not the fellow human idiot rendering such wise decisions. Courts are run by people who must use their own brains and may carry their own prejudice into the process. So, we shall all have to see how the odds,based on what we can reason is likely, will come to pass.
Why argue these points over and over.. no amount of reasoning will end greed of winning the patent-investment Ponzi Scheme lottery.
Parkervision must rely on myth of proposed products to make their case for injunction: "As discussed,
Parkervision’s new transceiver will be a CDMA solution, which could replace sales of Qualcomm’s CDMA-only and CDMA products." - Parkervision continues to use a bought in receiver rather than their own patented technology in their supposed competitive chips (no sales yet). Jeffrey Parker gave testimony in his deposition that PV would make use of their own technology sometime last Spring... obviously that was as reliable as JP's past statements of designs and sales... that is to say its total craporama.
"Neither is ParkerVision’s harm lessened or negated merely because ParkerVision does not currently offer a transceiver practicing the patents-in-suit. Because competition in the transceiver market is based on “design wins,” where original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers “typically solicit bids by way of design competitions to meet the needs of each new product line and each new generation,”"
Parker/McKool contend that wishing to have product that is competitive based on patents that have never been used, (except as determined by Mr. Fairy Dust Sorrels), is the same thing as having products in the same market for the same applications. It is not. McKool and the gang also conclude falsely that RF chips used with just CDMA are adversely impacted by Qualcomm's dominance of multiple mode products needed to compete for mobile applications. That is blatantly false as known by anyone in the business. There are several RF solutions that compete for embedded applications for which Qualcomm is not dominant... and can be argued that they do not try to compete due to the low price nature of that market. In fact, new players are coming into the market: Sequans has had success in single mode LTE with integrated ZIF RF. They are not targeting end-of-life CDMA for good reason - its not a favorable leading edge technology or growth market.
Lame. You continue to ignore the court records to the contrary..
Again, this will take time and the 'final verdict' is not in yet. When it is, you can either gloat or shrink away.
Investing and analysis of industry segments takes figuring out the odds of multiple possible outcomes. There are many redundant and limited brainwave posts being made. However, the process of weighing of opinions is a net good thing. Taking and position and blindly holding to it is seldom the right course to take for volatile tech stocks.
It may be coming down the road but its not here yet: DISH is putting together the needed range of spectrum bands and capital, however it is not a mobile operator. DISH does not have any mobile or backhaul networks or customers. Nobody should delude themselves into thinking that owning rights to spectrum and having capital is the magic that results quickly in mobile networks and, then, marketshare. Ain't so quasimodo.
The FCC and DOJ have been trying to balance between the grant of monopoly over spectrum and the development of a vibrant competitive environment. They have gone out of the way to allow DISh to convert satellite spectrum to terrestrial use and acquire more spectrum. DISH should be in a good position to acquire a portion of 600-700MHz incentive auction spectrum which should balance out their holdings. However, the spectrum and capital combined with some 14 million satellite subscribers becomes a starting point, not the end game in becoming a competitive ICT "broadband everywhere" operator. Add at least five years and DISH might be in the same game/league as VZW, T, S, and TMUS. On the other hand, arguments can be made that the stage is being set for mobile operators to take TV/entertainment share away from the cable and satellite operators at an accelerated pace from the current trend.
If the use of capital nd spectrum combines as envisioned to create a converged market in which DISH is in the same league of competition, then it makes sense that FCC and DOJ would allow S-TMUS to combine and for them to seek larger scale. For now it remains a fleeting pipe dream of investors wanting quick fixes imo.