Sprint Ups Clearwire Bid to $2.2B, Clearwire Agrees
Sprint today announced that it has agreed to acquire Clearwire for $2.2 billion. Sprint initially bid $2.1 billion, or $2.90 per share, last week. Today's bid has been raised to $2.97 per share, which amounts to a $100 million increase in the total bid. Softbank, which is in the process of acquiring a 70% stake in Sprint, indicated last week that it would not approve of a bid higher than $2.97 per share. Sprint already owns 50.45% of Clearwire and is purchasing the remaining 49.55%. Other Clearwire investors, including Comcast and Intel, have agreed to the new terms and Clearwire's board has voted in favor of the acquisition. According to Sprint, the deal will put it in a better position for its LTE 4G plans moving forward, and help it to be a better competitor to AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Clearwire has vast spectrum holdings in the 2.5GHz band. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the middle of 2013.
U.S. Carriers Share Galaxy S9 and S9+ Launch Plans and Pricing
All four major carriers in the U.S. plan to sell the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ beginning in March.
Android Messages with RCS to Reach More Phones On More Carriers
Google says its Android Messages app is on the upswing thanks to new RCS-based tools and growing support from phone makers and wireless network operators. To start, brands now have more power to interact with consumers thanks to RCS business messaging.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G Modem to Connect First 5G Networks and Devices
Qualcomm today said various network operators plan to use its Snapdragon X50 5G modem in trials this year, while a number of device makers have selected the X50 for mobile gear due next year. According to Qualcomm, the carriers committed to the X50 include AT&T, British Telecom, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Telstra, Verizon, and others.
Sprint Targeting a Fall Launch for VoLTE
Sprint expects to deploy voice over LTE across its network starting this fall. Sprint competitors AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless already offer VoLTE across the bulk of their footprints, making Spring the last major carrier to deploy the upgraded voice technology.
U.S. Carriers Creating Stronger Tool to Verify Customer ID
All four major carriers in the U.S., AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, are building a "multi-factor authentication" method that will rely on peoples' cell phones to gain account access. The system, which has been in development since last September, is expected to launch before the end of the year.