Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2013 - 07:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Sprint, spectrum, softbank, LTE, FCC, clearwire, 4g lte
The FCC recently approved the acquisitions of Clearwire and Sprint Nextel by Japanese company Softbank. The deals have already been approved by the shareholders and the US DoJ. Now, with the FCC red tape out of the way, the acquisitions can move forward and are expected to be completed later this month.
Specifically, Sprint Nextel will be acquiring Clearwire, and it will in turn be bought out by Softbank.Softbank is Japans third largest mobile carrier with approximately 22% of the market last year. Sprint shareholders approved the acquisition on June 25th in a deal now valued at around $21.6 billion. The FCC commented that the deal would have "no adverse competitive effects" due to the merger because Softbank and Sprint are not domestic competitors.
In fact, the FCC believes that the SoftBank acquisition may help competition among the wireless carriers in the US as SoftBank will be able to add resources and expertise to Sprint, including adding additional captial to aid in Sprint's Network Vision plans to roll out nationwide LTE and upgrade all of its existing towers to multinode base stations that can operate on multiple simultaneous bands, including Sprint's 800 MHz and 1.9GHz spectrum. The Clearwire 2.5GHz spectrum may also play a part in the Network Vision upgrade and add even more bandwidth to Sprint's LTE arsenal.
Sprint/SoftBank plans to bring LTE to 200 million people in the US by the end of 2013, with more upgrades coming in the future. The extra resources from SoftBank will help Sprint to take on Verizon and AT&T in the US, which is both good news for consumers and for Sprint.
In addition to SoftBank acquiring Sprint Nextel, Sprint will be acquiring Clearwire for $2.2 billion. This will give Sprint full control over the 2.5GHz spectrum, and is happening in spite of Dish's complaints and counter bids. Sprint will control a wide range of spectrum that will rival both AT&T and Verizion, in fact.
In all, the approximately $23.8 billion deal will see a reinvigorated Sprint, and increased pressue on Verizion, AT&T, and T-Mobile to offer competitive plans and pricing (though the effects will not be immediate). It is not clear from the various announcements if Sprint will remain branded as such, or what will happen to the MVNOs that operate on its network. It is an exciting time for Sprint though, and I hope that it works out to better wireless options for US consumers.
What do you think about the merger of Clearwire, Sprint Nextel, and SoftBank?
Subject: Mobile | June 9, 2011 - 06:43 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Tegra 2, super phone, Sprint, Photon, nvidia, arm, 4g
If desktop processors are advancing at the speed of sound, then mobile processors are advancing at somewhere near the speed of light. Just a year ago, a 600MHz Ti processor was very fast; however, in the age of dual core 1GHz+ processors that seems to be rather slow by comparison. Speaking of the speed of photons, Sprint has recently unveiled a new Motorola smart phone called the Photon 4G that is packed with lots of hardware and powered by Android 2.3.
What makes the Photon 4G special; however, is that it is the first NVIDIA Tegra powered "super phone" on Sprint's 4G cellular network. The 2.6 inch x 5 inch device has a depth of .5 inches and weighs in at 5.6 ounces. This rather hefty chassis holds a large 4.3" "qHD" display with a resolution of 540x960. Further, the phone has two cameras with the rear camera being capable of capturing 720p HD video and the front facing camera sporting a VGA (480x640) resolution. An HDMI output port, a microSD card slot supporting up to 32GB cards, and a metal kick stand also have a place on the device.
Internally, the phone features a 1GHz dual core Tegra 2 processor, 16GB of on-board storage, and 1GB of RAM. A 3G/4G radio supporting International GSM frequencies as well as a Bluetooth and Wifi 802.11 b/g/n radio are also present. This hardware is in turn backed by a 1700 mAh Lithium Ion battery.
According to the NVIDIA blog, the device is made further desirable due to it's ability to play "multi-platform, console-class Android OS games with the kind of experience you expect from a game console." The Photon 4G also supports Bluetooth controller input, enabling it to act as a sort of portable gaming console by hooking it up to a large display via HDMI and playing games using a Bluetooth controller. NVIDIA demonstrated playing Riptide GP on the phone using a Wii controller. It will likely support the dual shock controller down the road as well.
NVIDIA shows off the Wii controlled super phone's gaming abilities
Sprint claims a nine to ten hour talk-time for the phone, depending on the network the phone is using (3G/4G); therefore, it will be interesting to see if this phone will have the battery life in real world tests to be a good portable gaming machine. It may even steal some market share from the Playstation Vita if Android can keep new games flowing. What do you think about the Photon 4G?
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