SoftBank's profit zooms on Sprint turnaround

UPDATE 1-SoftBank profit climbs, keen to talk about a deal for Sprint (9984, S)

"But I think the No. 1 favorite, the quickest route to synergy, is the option that we pursued from the start: T-Mobile".

Stocks for both companies rose in response to the news "as investors bet a deal may finally happen under the Trump administration's looser regulatory climate", reported Bloomberg.

Back then Sprint was widely considered to be the third biggest wireless carrier in the USA, but its fortunes have since declined.


SoftBank's merger attempt with T-Mobile failed in 2014 when the deal ran into regulatory hurdles under the Obama administration's FCC, which was led by Democratic chairman Tom Wheeler.

Sprint previously has discussed how it is using Nokia equipment in Band 41 and took the opportunity at February's Mobile World Congress 2017 trade show in Barcelona to demonstratemassive MIMO, showing how the technology can boost cell capacity by eight times compared to 4G LTE. T-Mobile, meanwhile, is now said to be the fastest-growing wireless carrier in the USA thanks to a combination of promotions, price cuts and social media marketing campaigns that have seen it steal customers away from both AT&T and Verizon.

One of the reasons that SoftBank is doubling down on its merger ambitions is the new regulatory climate in the USA, according to Son. Now, during a press conference reported on by Reuters on May 10, the SoftBank boss has basically declared that he is looking to sell the struggling wireless phone company. However, it's also up to the other side and whatever conditions they may have. Which means that if everything goes according to schedule, it's at least possible for Sprint and T-Mobile to hit their 2019 goals. Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile ever commented publicly about the rumors at the time. According to Son, cost cuts have reduced losses at Sprint, and with operating profit on the rise, more of the day-to-day operations will be handed over to Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. Given that Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have already spoken on their plans for their next generation mobile networks, Sprint wants its customers to know it's not asleep at the wheel. Yet, the talks may not interest T-Mobile anymore, he added. The investment fund is almost ready for its official launch, Son also said. Ray said the biggest news there is about High Performance User Equipment (HPUE), a handset-based technology that probably provides some benefits for Sprint, but he said it's a far cry from leveling the playing field with mid-band spectrum.

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