Softbank Eyeing 70% Stake in Sprint; Clearwire Uncertain
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Replying to: Sounds complicated. by mikkej2k
Yes. But it's not as simple as just leverage to purchase equipment. Currently LTE handset vendors and chipmakers are focused on FD LTE. It is the most popular version of LTE that has been deployed in most of the world including the US. Softbank, however, owns a TD-LTE network just like Clearwire. Without much demand, it is more expensive for handset makers to invest on TD-LTE phones. The American market is very important because of its population of 300+ million, the rapid smartphone adoption, and the consumer purchasing power. Handset makers have been making a lot of profit on the high end devices, other high end markets are too small (Europe), and other big markets are still in development(China, India). Manufacturers no longer make money on low end devices, in fact, I believe the sell those very close to their own cost, just to gain market share and brand loyalty. More than Sprint, I think Softbank really covets Clearwire.
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