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Dish Makes $25.5 billion Bid for Sprint

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Satellite-TV provider Dish Network is making a $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel in an effort to derail the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier’s acquisition by Softbank of Japan, reports the Wall Street Journal.

DISH has provided additional information regarding the proposed merger at www.CompleteDishSolution.com (with press release, offer letter and Investor Presentation).

Dish said Monday it is offering Sprint shareholders a total consideration of $25.5 billion, consisting of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock. Sprint shareholders would receive $7.00 per share, based upon DISH’s closing price on Friday, April 12, 2013.

Sprint shares closed at $6.22 on Friday. Dish argues that the deal represents a 13% premium to Softbank’s complicated proposal to buy 70% of Sprint for $20.1 billion.

Control of the combined company would rest with Dish shareholders, and Mr. Ergen would be its largest shareholder.

A Dish spokesman said it’s too early in the process to know a number of specifics including who would lead the company and whether Mr. Ergen will serve as chairman of the board.

Sprint and Softbank had no immediate comment on the bid by Dish.

Why would Sprint make such an offer? Dish owns 40 MHz of 2.1 GHz frequencies that adjoin Sprint’s PCS band. Sprint’s towers could likely host the Dish Network with little change in infrastructure and Sprint has the voice expertise. But Sprint (or T-Mobile) is unlikely to allow a third party to undercut their own network offering.

Since Clearwire and Sprint own some 120 GHz in the 2.6 GHz band, perhaps Ergen would sell large chunks of that spectrum to AT&T or Verizon, which might net – what – some $5-$8 billion. US ownership of Sprint might more easily pass muster with the DOJ. In addition, Dish can use it’s single channel (6 MHz) frequencies in the 700 MHz band to multicast video.

Sprint, flush with the promise of Softbank’s money, has been making its own deals, notes Bloomberg. The company bought airwaves from U.S. Cellular, giving it more spectrum in the Midwest, and is attempting to buy out the remaining shares in partner Clearwire.

Ergen was already trying to disrupt the Sprint-Clearwire deal, bidding $3.30 a share for Clearwire’s outstanding stock, topping the $2.97 price offered by Sprint.

“What’s really exciting is the future,” Ergen said on a conference call today. “This combined company can take advantage of the future.”

Related Dailywireless articles include; Sprint Buys Spectrum, Subs from US Cellular, Softbank & Sprint Do a Deal, Sprint & Softbank Discuss Merger, Intelligence Committee: Huawei & ZTE Security Threats , Dish Planning Internet-based TV Service?, Clearwire: On the Hot Zone, Japan and S Korea Report Big LTE Growth, SK Telecom Introduces Voice over LTE, T-Mobile: LTE-Advanced Rollout , Japan & Korea: More LTE than USA .

Facebook Brings Chat Heads to Virtually All Android Phones

Posted by Sam Churchill on

If you like the Facebook Home experience but don’t want to give Facebook full control of your on their Android home screen, Chat Heads is available in Messenger for Android 2.2 devices and up, says GigOm’s Kevin C. Tofel.

A Friday update to the Messenger app includes the new feature. Chat Heads, introduced during last week’s Facebook Home launch, provide persistent pop-up bubbles for incoming chats and messages.

Initially, Facebook Home will only install on a half-dozen handsets. The new app works on all Android phones running Android 2.2 and later, meaning most Android phones.

The full Facebook Home app, by contrast, will only run on Android 4.1 or better.

RadarSat Dead, Solar Storm Erupts

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Canada’s Radarsat 1 satellite stopped communicating with Earth in late March, and officials fear the satellite may be lost for good, the Canadian Space Agency announced Tuesday.

Controllers last heard from the spacecraft March 29, when engineers noticed Radarsat 1 was in safe mode, a semi-dormant state in which the spacecraft conserves energy, according to Michel Doyon, flight operations manager at the Canadian Space Agency. But soon after controllers noticed Radarsat 1 was in safe mode, the satellite went silent.

“We lost contact because it was out of battery power, and since then we’ve been trying various recovery procedures,” Doyon said in an interview. “It is related to the power distribution system, so the chance of continuing a nominal mission is low, but we’re still hoping to find a solution.”

RADARSAT-2 continues to provide critical, high-quality data.

The satellite launched more than 17 years ago, surpassing its five-year design life and establishing Canada as a world leader in radar imaging from orbit. It uses a Synthetic Aperture Radar at a single microwave frequency of 5.3 GHz. Unlike optical satellites that sense reflected sunlight, microwave energy can image the Earth, day or night, in any atmospheric condition, such as cloud cover, rain, snow, dust or haze.

Meanwhile, the biggest solar flare of the year has knocked out radio transmissions, reports C/Net.

Early this morning the sun erupted with the strongest solar storm of 2013, raising the prospect of solar radiation storms above the Earth, according to NASA. The resulting emissions sparked a short-lived radio communications blackout on Earth, although the radio disruption has since subsided.

The geomagneti storm is connected to the sun’s 11-year activity cycle. More intense solar eruptions are expected later in the year.

No Crying in Radio

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The U.S. newspaper industry has lost more than $40 billion in ad revenue in the past decade — over half of that in the last four years alone — and Google’s ad revenues are now more than twice what the industry pulls in, notes Paid Content.

In total, the U.S. newspaper media industry took in a total $38.6 billion in 2012, including circulation fees and advertising, compared with $39.5 billion in revenue in 2011, according to Newspaper Association.

While it took 50 years for ad revenue to go from $20 billion to a peak of $65 billion in 2000, says Paid Content, it took only 12 years for that progress to be erased. Print revenue has dropped almost 50 percent in just four years.

Google’s revenue has soared to $46 billion while newspaper revenue has fallen to a little over $20 billion, says Paid Content.

There’s lots of hand-wringing over the death of newspaper ad revenue. There seems to be an assumption that great writing and great journalism are going to die. I don’t buy it. We live in a broadband age. So will “newspapers”.

News flash: Distributing a daily paper costs real dollars and lacks behavioral targeting.

Yes, it’s a more competitive environment. But now a state-wide infrastructure can be created in a flash using Google Hangouts. NPR is trying face time.

Morning Edition and All Things Considered have a great mix. You can download Adobe Audition CS3, the full (but older) version, free. PC Mag reviews video editing software. Print journalists could kill “local” television with Kickstarter and Google Hangouts.

It would be child’s play.

Linkedin Buys Pulse for $30 Million

Posted by Sam Churchill on

LinkedIn announced today that it has acquired Pulse, the maker of news reader apps for iOS and Android, at a cost of some $90 million.

Pulse says its apps will remain the same for now, although they will now offer a “LinkedIn Influencer” feed featuring the company’s hand-picked contributors. Pulse says its apps currently have over 30 million users around the globe, with approximately 40 percent of those outside the US. LinkedIn recently topped 200 million users.

Sprint: 21 New LTE Markets on Friday

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Sprint may be announcing the launch of 4G LTE services in over 20 new markets on Friday, if a leaked memo proves to be accurate, reports C/Net.

According to details obtained by Phone Arena, LTE speeds will soon arrive in 21 markets spread across ten states. Here’s the list of markets where Sprint will be offering LTE service as of April 12:

  • California: Los Angeles, Contra Costa County
  • Florida: Palm Bay, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach
  • Indiana: Bloomington and Lafayette
  • Illinois: Rochelle
  • Minnesota: Mankato-North Mankato
  • Missouri: Joplin
  • North Carolina: Charlotte, Shelby, Albemarle, Sailsbury, Lincolnton
  • Tennessee: Memphis, Greenville, Tullahoma
  • Texas: Denison, Kerrville
  • Virginia: Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News

Sprint’s FD-LTE service trails AT&T and Verizon by a large margin and uses less bandwidth (two 5 MHz channels on the PCS band). Sprint has switched on its FD-LTE network and claims some 67 current LTE markets, and plans to launch in over 100 new markets as 2013 progresses.

Sprint uses an earlier release of LTE in the 58 markets it currently covers using it’s FD-LTE technology (5 MHz x 5 MHz) in the PCS band, but it will be upgraded to LTE-A in the first half of 2013, according to Sprint’s CTO (above).

Meanwhile, Clearwire’s TD-LTE service on the 2.6 GHz band is still under wraps.

T-Mobile USA is currently deploying Ericsson’s AIR 21 product which offers a fast-track way of getting LTE into the marketplace.

Ericsson’s latest offering in the family is the AIR 32, which allows operators to add LTE or HSPA(+) without deploying additional antennas or remote radio heads (RRHs) on cell sites. According to Ericsson, the new model claims up to 70% higher throughput than its predecessors by implementing 4×4 MIMO antenna arrays, and up to 25% better indoor coverage. It supports multiple active frequencies, reducing radio equipment by 50%.