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Wells Fargo: Sprint should still be okay even without merger with T-Mobile


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For some time now, rumors have been swirling about a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. According to Wells Fargo Securities, however, Sprint should still do well even if no merger happens.

As pointed out by Jennifer Fritzsche, senior analyst at Wells Fargo, Sprint’s wireless spectrum assets should allow the carrier to achieve more efficiency in its operations, while at the same time, allow it to continue improving the quality of its network. This point of view, however, is not shared by Wall Street, which believes that Sprint has significantly underspent on its network, and will need to really boost its cap-x if a merger with T-Mobile does not materialize.

Fritzsche then went on to cite information from third party network monitoring companies such as RootMetrics and JD Powers. She pointed out that based on data from RootMetrics’ report for the second half of 2016, Sprint garnered 246 metro awards, which is 80 more than it managed in the first half of 2016. The major wireless carrier also saw improvement in terms of call and text by receiving 34 state-level awards in 2H16, which is three times more than what it took during the previous six-month period.

Fritzsche further wrote that the “depth and simplicity” of Sprint’s wireless spectrum holdings allows it to reduce its capital spending compared to other carriers. She explains: “2.5GHz should be considered the low band spectrum in a 5G world. In fact, just last week 3GPP selected Band 41 (2.5GHz spectrum band class) to be in work item for sub- 6Ghz 5G which should allow it to play a meaningful role in the 5G ecosystem. Recall, Sprint is the only carrier in the US to hold this spectrum. Through its deep 2.5GHz spectrum holdings, Sprint should see greater benefits from both carrier aggregation and Massive MIMO (Massive Input Massive Output) rollouts.”


Source: FierceWireless

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19 comments:

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  1. Oh great... More potential for Sprint to completely squander over the next several years.

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  2. Sprint has been making network reliability a priority, and deploying small cells and improved backhaul to boost speed and capacity. 64x64 MIMO and HPUE deployment will improve speed, capacity and coverage (up to 30% for 2.5GHz). Ultimately, though, Sprint will have to extend the native network into new geographic areas if they want to grow much.
    BTW, 2.5GHz frequency allows very small antenna segments, so they can cram many more on each tower and small cell. This is a big advantage with 5G.

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    1. "Sprint has been making network reliability a priority"

      It's unfortunate that this definition of "reliability" includes "realiably not working at all for most people in most places" (Again refer to the tiny Sprint coverage footprint... blue/green is Sprint.)

      If I had a car as "reliable" as Sprint, it would only run on Tuesdays.

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    2. Consistently worthless most of the time... now that's "reliability" !

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    3. Lots of buzzwords, but in reality none of that is happening on the ground.

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    4. Well said AnonymousMarch 20, 2017 at 5:17 PM

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    5. HPUE is already on the Sprint network. The LG G6 next month supports it. Other smartphone vendors that will be releasing HPUE-enabled devices include ZTE, HTC, Motorola, and Alcatel.
      Regarding three carrier aggregation and MIMO, Sprint says an update will be made available “very, very early in 2017” to enable 3CA on devices like Apple's iPhone and flagship phones from Samsung, HTC, LG, and Kyocera. There will be a release a 3CA update for Google's Pixel. Sprint says by the end of 2017, it believes half of all its customers will have a 3CA-capable phone.

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  3. “While we do believe Sprint likely will strike toward T-Mobile while a Republican administration is in the majority, in many ways, predicting moves of the next few months (especially the weeks after the broadcast auction results are disclosed) is a bit like trying to predict moves in a chess game,” Fritzsche wrote. “That said, if Sprint and T-Mobile does not happen, we believe it would be very premature to write the obituary for Sprint. And we say this even knowing that (in) February and early March things did get harder for Sprint’s momentum – given the change in the competitive environment.”

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  4. One might be Foolish to give Wells Fargo any credence.

    "...the latest Harris Poll of Corporate Reputation among America's 100 most-visible companies. Well Fargo saw its ranking fall by 20.6 points, moving it to 99th out of the 100 companies ranked, the biggest drop in the 18-year history of the poll, surpassing Volkswagen's (NASDAQOTH:VLKAY) drop last year of 20.5 points."

    - Feb 23, 2017

    So, yeah, hard to get less credible than this. Unless you are VW!

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  5. They need to survive for that "5G" spectrum to pay off. Verizon is pulling no punches in their Sprint Nightmare ad campaign.

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    1. What is the Sprint Nightmare ad campaign by Verizon? I looked on Youtube and found it coming from MetroPCS instead.

      Or is Sprint so pathetic now that different better carriers use the same slogan against it?

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  6. Much more flexible to pop in a sim than do the still old esn swap. So AT&T and T-mobile are better than Sprint / Verizon.

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  7. 2ish years ago when we 1st herd of Softbank being interested in merging with T-mo I wasn't for it due to Sprint being in charge and them having a bad track record. Now that rumors are resurfacing of after auction maybe another Sprint/T-mo mashup but with this time T-mo in charge I did have more interest in it seeing how T-mo has made strides the last 3 years. But, recently I've noticed ever since T-mo has done that give away a free line if you sign up 3 promo I've noticed data speeds have been more conjested a lot during different times of the day.

    I live in Houston never really got into that who is better stuff over the years seeing as I live in a big city all 4 work well enough! However, lack of coverage out of the city didn't bother me much but these slower conjected T-mo speeds bothers me because I use most of data for hd streaming hotspot watching movies on my jailbroken streaming device. I have to wait like 11pm or after where speeds even average 10mps or more that's unaccepetable then at 2am 3am its way faster who wants to watch that late movies.

    My point is T-mo has over 70 million subs now and while a merger with Sprint and that 2.5ghz spectrum could help with data congestion I will pass on this merger. These 2 merging end of day will elimnate some of their subsidairies brands and MVNOs. T-mo already sold off Go Smart and Walmart Fam subs to Trackfone for and undisclosed amount. We already don't need Boost and Virgin they should merge. So, cutting out 1 national carrier will limit alot of competioion.

    I rather T-mo and Dish merge. Dish has stroves of mid band spectrum and some key high band also which would be great to increase T-mo's overall data speeds and decrease congestion more thoroughout the day for customers. This merger also could be done with lesser combine debt than a spr/tmo merger. Also, Dish has yet to really start any building out where as spr/tmo would have a lot of reconstructing to do and so on and they wld be more costly to decommsion towers that are redundant and also other stuff pertaining to a merger of that magnitude.

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    1. Seems reasonable. But I am curious, how is 10 mbps too slow to watch movies? Are you tethering 4K content to a big screen TV or something?

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    2. 10mps is fast enough the part which sucks is it don't get that fast or stay that fast untill real late like i stated i would rather costant throughtout the day speeds of that amount which t-mo hasn't been averaging is the problem

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  8. While I tend to agree, I wish Wells Fargo and their executives nothing but ill will.

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  9. This should frighten anyone doing business with WF.

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  10. The difference between Sprint and US Cellular is that Sprint pretends it is much bigger and better than it really is. USC at least is honest.

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  11. I say let comcast merge with t-mo. Then have sprint/dish/US Cellular merge. Then sell about 20-40mhz of 2.5ghz to pay for a good portion of this after merger and closer to launch of 5G giving them good leverage for more money on it. This would help regulation hurdles by reducing spectrum holdings and give them much needed low band for network build out.

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