Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Busy Month for Softbank: Acquisition of eAccess (Japan) and Discussions with Sprint

Sprint confirmed published reports that it is in discussion with Softbank of Japan about a possible take-over or major investment.


Various media sources have speculated that a buyout of Sprint could be worth US$12.8 billion.  Softbank may also be looking at acquiring Clearwire.

Sprint is the No.3 mobile operator in the U.S. with 56 million subscribers.

Both Clearwire and Softbank Japan are pursuing TD-LTE for their respective networks.

http://newsroom.sprint.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=2414

The news follows closely on Softbank's decision to undertake another major deal in its home market.


Earlier this month, Softbank Mobile agreed to acquire eAccess in a deal that combines Japan's No.3 and No.4 mobile operators.  The stock-swap was valued at approximately ¥180 billion, or $2.3 billion.

The companies plan to continue to operate both the Softbank and EMOBILE brands following the merger.  Network and spectrum integration will provide key advantages to both brands.

SOFTBANK MOBILE will provide eAccess with access to its 900 MHz network (Band8, operating band specified in 3GPP) and 2.1 GHz network (Band1, operating band specified in 3GPP), which will allow eAccess to provide the voice and data communications service in broader areas.

eAccess will provide SOFTBANK MOBILE with access to its 1.7 GHz (Band3, operating band specified in 3GPP) FDD LTE network for the data communications service, which will allow SOFTBANK MOBILE to use both 2.1 GHz and 1.7 GHz for its FDD LTE service.

SOFTBANK MOBILE and eAccess will integrate their base station sites, enabling both brands to expand service coverage more quickly and to decrease capital expenditures and maintenance costs.  The backbone and backhaul networks will also be integrated.
Softbanks currently has more than 9,000 LTE base stations in operation.  It plans to scale this to 20,000 LTE base stations by March 2013.  At this point, eAccess should have about 10,000 LTE base stations of its own.

Softbank said the deal gives it a key spectrum advantage over Japan's No. mobile operator, KDDI-au.  For iPhone 5 service, Softbank will be able to offer coverage over both the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands, whereas au will be limited to its 2.1 GHz spectrum footprint.

http://www.softbank.co.jp
http://www.eaccess.net/

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