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Thread: Sprint T-Mobile merger: fate of EBS spectrum agreement ?

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    Sprint T-Mobile merger: fate of EBS spectrum agreement ?

    In all the merger talk, I've seen no mention, fact or speculation, of what will become of the agreements with Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen over the EBS (2.5gHz) spectrum. My primitive understanding is that these entities "own" the spectrum and Sprint uses it commercially in exchange for supporting their public service initiatives. That being somewhat close to the case, then the combined entity would be contractually obliged to offer the same service or, perhaps, renegotiate with them.

    I welcome any correction or clarification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAL7 View Post
    In all the merger talk, I've seen no mention, fact or speculation, of what will become of the agreements with Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen over the EBS (2.5gHz) spectrum. My primitive understanding is that these entities "own" the spectrum and Sprint uses it commercially in exchange for supporting their public service initiatives. That being somewhat close to the case, then the combined entity would be contractually obliged to offer the same service or, perhaps, renegotiate with them.
    I know when Sprint discontinued WiMax, Mobile Beacon had a disagreement regarding the costs of the LTE hotspots. Based upon their website, it appears that they have come to an agreement regarding Sprint providing discounted service for hotspots for not profits to use:

    https://www.mobilebeacon.org/faqs/

    I'm sure the new T-Mobile would honor any agreements that Sprint has on this. And it seems like a cause that Legere will continue to support.

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    You are right that the agreement will have to be honored because as you say, EBS and affilates only gave ClearWire (now Sprint) a 30-year lease on the spectrum in the first place. That is all Sprint has - a lease. (Although they do also have some Band 41 spectrum that they own outright separately as well). So if Sprint or any successor broke the terms of the lease (including the interim settlement approved by the Court), EBS and the Consortium could just move to terminate the Lease for non-compliance. It's even possible thet may have the right to approve any transfer of the lease though I do not know if that is the case.

    As I recall, there is actually a long-running stalled suit between EBS and its Consortium and Sprint and the current settlement and Court order was just an interim one. It is always possible that the telcos will try to renegotiate the lease and agree on a final settlement after the merger, which could have different terms, in exchange for a large amount of cash to EBS and other members of the Educational consortium. Or they might prefer to let sleeping dogs lie. I doubt Sprint has fond memories of the last dispute.
    Last edited by comintel; 06-05-2018 at 08:58 PM.

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    Since Sprint's 2.5gHz spectrum is the prize, [fingers-crossed] maybe Mobile Beacon is in a superior bargaining position and will be able to negotiate access to T-Mobile's LTE network.

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAL7 View Post
    Since Sprint's 2.5gHz spectrum is the prize, [fingers-crossed] maybe Mobile Beacon is in a superior bargaining position and will be able to negotiate access to T-Mobile's LTE network.

    Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk
    I imagine they will try if they do not feel their service level as delivered by the new entity will meet the intent of the original agreement which was part of the the lease by EBS etc. to ClearWire and the further agreement and Court order when WiMax was shut down and Sprint provided an inadequate replacement initially.

    After all, the ClearWire situation was somewhat similar.

    The educational consortium said it was not satisfied by Sprint's proposed replacement offer when shutting down WiMax and sued. And Sprint basically lost in court.

    After the merger, assuming the merged company does shut down some elements of the old Sprint network (probably some lower band coverage), I think they will at least have to offer equivalent replacements.
    Last edited by comintel; 06-07-2018 at 01:53 PM.

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    Just bumping this, now 19 months later and the merger about to conclude one way or the other, to ask if there has been any more informed comment or even speculation on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAL7 View Post
    Just bumping this, now 19 months later and the merger about to conclude one way or the other, to ask if there has been any more informed comment or even speculation on this?
    Thanks, about time the merger got discussed here again! There has been lots of discussion in the T-Mobile forum.

    Sprint users can get their cookies crumbled either way the merger falls.
    If the merger get's approved, TMO will absorb Sprint like the Borg. They only want the spectrum.
    If the merger does not get approved, Sprint will go bankrupt. Sell itself off, and/or become a regional carrier.
    A lot of this came out in the present federal trial, which may be decided in a few weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Thanks, about time the merger got discussed here again! There has been lots of discussion in the T-Mobile forum.

    Sprint users can get their cookies crumbled either way the merger falls.
    If the merger get's approved, TMO will absorb Sprint like the Borg. They only want the spectrum.
    If the merger does not get approved, Sprint will go bankrupt. Sell itself off, and/or become a regional carrier.
    A lot of this came out in the present federal trial, which may be decided in a few weeks.
    What's ironic is the argument against the merger is that it will reduce competition, causes job losses an raise prices. yet all 3 things will happen if the merger is denied. When Sprint starts scaling back to only the most profitable areas the areas they leave will have reduced competition. This will also result in people losing their jobs. And I have no doubt that Sprint is done giving away their service for nearly free. Which means higher prices. It's amazing that these AGs despite having the evidence staring them in the face, completely ignore it.

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    I think the AG opposition is about extortion. If you look at most of the settlements, it was to gain some advantage unrelated to issues of competition. Antitrust is just a figleaf for the AG's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAL7 View Post
    I think the AG opposition is about extortion. If you look at most of the settlements, it was to gain some advantage unrelated to issues of competition. Antitrust is just a figleaf for the AG's.
    They would have struck a deal by now. Once the judge makes a decision, which could be at any time, no deals can be made

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAL7 View Post
    I think the AG opposition is about extortion. If you look at most of the settlements, it was to gain some advantage unrelated to issues of competition. Antitrust is just a figleaf for the AG's.
    Sprint is in dire financial condition, and TMO is just taking advantage of it to gain assets like spectrum. If Sprint is allowed to fail, that spectrum may get lost to the big 2. The forced selling of Boost to Dish is a side show, but was discussed in the trial. A lot of skepticism about the ability of Dish to turn an MVNO into a 5G network.

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    I would suggest everyone using Sprint to make sure your phones are unlocked before this all happens. Also to determine if they can be used on other networks. Mainly an LTE Band issue with older phones, as Sprint uses odd ones.

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