T-Mobile in Play?

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA was the target of a buyout led by Sol Trujillo, former head of US West and Australia’s Telstra.

Bloomberg reports Trujillo has so far been unsuccessful with private equity firms in raising the reported $30 billion it would take to buy T-Mobile USA.

Trujillo was CEO of U.S. West, one of the seven Bell operating companies, and later ran French mobile operator Orange for a year. After Orange’s takeover by France Telecom, Trujillo in 2005 became the CEO of Melbourne-based carrier Telstra, from which he resigned in 2009 after a tenure marked by clashes with the Australian government.

T-Mobile USA has closed call centers and cut jobs to reduce costs after a $39 billion sale to AT&T failed last year because regulators opposed the combination. Deutsche Telekom, based in Bonn, is seeking to reduce its exposure to the U.S. as it drops further behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel sold $1.5 billion of bonds for Clearwire Corp last week that may fund debt refinancing and network expansion. Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen is staying quiet on speculation that Dish has become a major investor in Clearwire.

Clearwire holds some 160 MHz of spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band in the country’s top 100 markets. Dish Network is waiting for FCC approval to use 40 MHz of satellite spectrum it holds in the 2 GHz AWS-4 band for a land-based LTE network. If Dish could get the unpaired 20 MHz of AWS-3 — well, that would be a bonus. A 40 MHz downlink could deliver over 300+ Mbps.

Both T-Mobile and Clearwire plan nationwide LTE-Advanced service using their current towers and antennas. Actually, T-Mobile plans to sell 7,000 towers for some $2 billion. Only T-Mobile and Clearwire currently have the AWS/2.6 GHz antennas in place that Dish Networks could utilize.

In contrast, Verizon must first build their nationwide AWS infrastructure to deliver LTE. AT&T has virtually no AWS spectrum. It has acquired some 20 MHz of 2.3 GHz spectrum for LTE expansion, but towers, back-haul and infrastructure will take years to build.

If Dish and Clearwire teamed up, they could control some 200 MHz, right out of the box. That’s “wireless cable”.

eMBMS is a highly efficient means of broadcasting content to multiple users simultaneously, utilizing LTE networks. Ericsson demonstrated evolved Broadcast over LTE at Mobile World Congress this January as did Qualcomm.

Marvell’s PXA986 runs China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA 3G as well as regular HSPA+. It runs on a dual-core, 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9. Chips like the Qualcomm MSM8960 have an integrated multi-mode 3G/LTE modem that can use a variety of frequencies and standards for seamless roaming. Qualcomm’s MDM9225 and MDM9625 LTE modem chipsets support LTE carrier aggregation with 7 different radio access modes on a single baseband chip: cdma2000 (1X, DO), GSM/EDGE, UMTS (WCDMA, TD-SCDMA) and LTE (both LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD).

When paired with Qualcomm’s Atheros AR6003 or AR6004 WiFi chipsets, customers can design high performance, low power portable and fixed 802.11n routers delivering up to 150 Mbps to Wi-Fi-capable devices. Like Google TV.

Dish has inked a deal with Qualcomm for LTE Advanced chipsets. Ergen dismissed the idea that the company will flip its 40 MHz of S-Band spectrum to another carrier, though analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein estimate the spectrum could be worth about $8 billion, or 67 percent of Dish’s current $12 billion market value.

Verizon is paying approximately $0.68 per MHz-Pop for their AWS spectrum from cable operators. If Dish covers 200 million people, and their spectrum is valued at $1 million/MHZ per pop, that roughly pencils out to $200 million for 1 MHz or $8 billion for 40 MHz. You could also figure $0.68 per MHz-Pop to cover 300 million people, which is about what Dish has a license to cover, since they’re re-purposed satellite frequencies.

But neither Dish nor Clear is a mobile phone operator, unlike AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile. Any possible Dish/Clear deal would seem to position the company as a spectrum broker, selling spectrum outright or enabling them to be a turnkey “hot zone” virtual provider. Neighborhood microcells, like those offered by Lucent and Samsung in the 2.1/2.6 GHz bands, might be facilitated by Sprint’s Network Vision.

Clear and Sprint, for example, could provide 2.6 GHz microcells every few blocks and provide (subscription) WiFi access for competing carriers. Lucent’s lightRadio Wi-Fi allows people to switch automatically from a cellular service to public Wi-Fi without having to login. Cell relays, incorporated in TD-LTE-Advanced, simplifies microcell backhaul by time-sharing the main channel.

Related DailyWireless articles include; T-Mobile Gears Up for LTE, Dish CEO: T-Mobile Partnership?, Dish LTE-Advanced Called “Ollo”, Dish Talks Up Terrestrial LTE, ViaSat-1 Launched, Charlie Ergen’s Spectacular Triple Play, Charlie’s Big Play, EchoStar Closes $2B Hughes Deal, Lightsquared: FCC Will Rule by Year End, Lightsquared: A Hardware Solution, Lightsquared Interference: No Immediate Fix?, LightSquared: GPS Interference Found, Lightsquared: Plan B from Outer Space?, Harbinger: 59MHz or What?. Time Warner Cable + Lightstream?, Lightsquared Signs Cricket Wireless, Another Rumor: Lightsquared + Sprint?, Lightsquared + Sprint?, Charlie’s Big Play, LTE Spectrum: It’s War, Lightsquared: What GPS Interference?, Harbinger Sells Inmarsat Shares, FCC Green Lights Lightsquared, T-Mobile: No Spectrum Deal…Yet, LightSquared: In Trouble?, Lightsquared Unfurled, MetroPCS Eyes TerreStar, SkyTerra 1 Launched, ICO Deploys 40 Foot Antenna, ICO G-1 In Space, ICO Wants Its Mobile TV – via DVB-SH, Broadband Satellites: Black Hole?, MSS: Stuck in Space, Satellite with 328 ft Antenna to Launch, Broadband Satellites: Black Hole?, LightSquared: Phase 1, LightSquared: 5K Basestations by 2011, LightSquared Announces LTE Network, FCC Okays Terrestrial LTE for SkyTerra, TerreStar Successfully Launched, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, TerreStar Phones Home, Godzilla SatPhones WiMAXed

Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 at 8:41 am .

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