With the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile in limbo due to Iliad’s massive offer, SoftBank has decided to move on. Re/code is reporting that SoftBank, the majority owner of Sprint, is hiring Marcelo Claure as the carrier’s next chief executive officer. This comes on the heels of word spreading that Dan Hesse would be on his way out and both moves are expected to be made official on Wednesday.
The merger between T-Mobile and Sprint could be on hold with today’s news. Iliad, a French telecommunications company, has submitted a $15 billion offer in return for 56.6% of T-Mobile. The company values the other 43.4% of T-Mobile at $40.5 billion. The interest in T-Mobile specifically is because it “has successfully established a disruptive position, which in many ways, is similar to the one Iliad has built in France.” Iliad is putting so much momentum behind this bid due to the value for telecommunications in the United States. The industry is locked up by four major players, two of which are trying to merge, and one of them is up for sale.
If SoftBank wants Sprint to merge with T-Mobile, it better hope the entire process moves along a lot quicker.
A new study conducted by the United States Senate Commerce Committee found that owners of mobile phones have been wrongly overcharged with bills. This is from cramming, which is the application of unauthorized charges masked by services such as ringtones. The report published by Congress shows that carriers in the United States are keeping roughly 30-40% of revenue. And the carriers are not even the ones doing the actual cramming. In many cases, it is a third party running these services. This is all at the literal expense of customers.
If Sprint wants to acquire T-Mobile, Dan Hesse & Co. better act fast. Waiting much longer means that additional players can get involved, and that would be great for T-Mobile but not so for Sprint. A new report notes that one of the world’s richest people are preparing to make a move for T-Mobile.
Mexico’s Carlos Slim, with a net worth nearing $80 billion, recently dumped shares of América Móvil and could be using that cash (and more from his wallet) to make a major acquisition. Despite moving some shares, Slim is still involved with wireless in the United States. He owns shares in the prepaid service TracFone. As of late, the billionaire has been eyeing interest in United States businesses and T-Mobile would be quite the get. While Carlos Slim does indeed have a ton of telecommunications experience under his belt, the clock is ticking as Sprint and T-Mobile should be finishing up rather soon.
As Sprint edges closer to a merger deal with T-Mobile, sources say the parties involved are bracing for a longer than expected approval process. This has triggered lenders to seek higher fees as part of the financing deals. Both Softbank, Sprint’s controlling shareholder, and T-Mobile shareholder Deutsche Telekom AG expect the regulatory approval process to take at least 12 months. Building in some cushion to the schedule, it is expected a drop-dead date will be set for around 18 months after an official announcement is made.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Sprint will be rolling out an update to two LG devices. The update brings the carrier’s WiFi Calling feature that literally allows customers to place calls and send messages over a WiFi network at no extra charge. Assuming the WiFi network being used is stable, improved quality can be expected. The international aspect of this feature will also launch in the coming weeks.
The two devices receiving the update are the G3 and G Flex. An update notification will appear for those devices and a download will begin when accepted. Once complete, install and WiFi Calling is almost ready to go. A WiFi Calling app will be placed in the Apps folder for setup. Sprint currently offers WiFi Calling for many devices from Samsung and HTC already while intending to expand the offering to many more devices through the rest of 2014.
Let us know when you receive the update.
Sprint customers, current or would be, who want to get their hands on the LG G3 can now place their orders online. As previously reported, opting for an Easy Pay plan will yield buyers a $150 cash reward card if an order is placed by July 24th. Sprint had previously indicated they would start taking pre-orders for the G3 today. However, the web site appears to indicate they are taking actual orders, not pre-orders for the device although they do not indicate when the phones are expected to ship other than the boilerplate “2-5 business days.” Buyers on Sprint have a choice of gold or black for a G3.
During CES 2014, one of the devices that we checked out was a combination projector and hotspot device from ZTE going by the generic “Projector Hotspot” name. As shown during our hands one review of the ZTE Projector Hotspot, it functions exactly as its name implies. It has a built-in projector that is capable of projecting an image up to 120 x 120 inches. Powered by Android, it functions like any Android device with the additional option of displaying whatever is being displaying on the screen via the projector. The device also comes with a couple ports for physical connections or it can be used to wirelessly mirror a smartphone screen. As an added bonus, the device can function as a mobile hotspot for up to eight devices.
Owners of the Samsung Galaxy S 5 on the Sprint network may notice they have an update waiting to be installed. If they don’t have a notification yet, it should be showing up soon as Sprint is pushing out update “NE5″ to owners of the devices in phases. According to the information provided by Sprint, the only enhancement is the addition of a Wi-Fi calling feature. Apparently the update has been ready for a while now, but is only just starting to hit users’ devices.
A few days ago it was revealed that Sprint would start taking pre-orders for the LG G3 on July 11th and sales will commence on July 18th. Tipsters have now determined the Sprint version of LG’s flagship will come equipped with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of memory on board.