Sprint has announced that they have entered into an agreement with U.S. Cellular, where the company will acquire PCS spectrum and 585,000 customers. This deal was reached with a cash payment of $480 million. This will allow Sprint to speed up its rollout of LTE service nationwide.
“This transaction will enable us to strengthen our business and become a more robust competitor, “said Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO. “Acquiring this spectrum will significantly increase Sprint’s network capacity and improve the customer experience in several important Midwest markets including Chicago and St. Louis. We welcome the new customers in these markets and look forward to providing them with Sprint’s unique combination of unlimited plans, an iconic device portfolio and unmatched customer service.”
With the agreement, Sprint will acquire 20 MHz of PCS spectrums in the 1900 MHz range. This of course requires regulatory approval. The deal is expected to close in mid-2013.
You can read the official press release via this link.
U.S Cellular, the nation’s 6th largest wireless carrier doesn’t feel Apple’s iPhone is worthy of being carried by the company. Ted Carlson, TDS CEO (TDS is the parent company of U.S. Cellular) stated “We’re never going to say never about the iPhone”, but according to his follow up statement I would say otherwise.
“The iPhone for us would need to be at the cutting edge of where we’re going, and then there might be an opportunity to consider it.”
Fiercewireless stated that U.S. Cellular revealed last month that it had the opportunity to sell the current, non-LTE iteration of the iPhone but decided against it because it was not the right economic fit for the regional carrier.
U.S. Cellular is working to bring their customers LTE and I agree it’s always good to work on having a faster network. However, I disagree with the company completely about not wanting to carry Apple’s iPhone. The iPhone is by far one the most popular and high end smartphones out there. Making the move to sell the iPhone could possibly will boost U.S. Cellular’s income and bring in more customers. I guess holding on to that number six spot as a wireless carrier is important to U.S. Cellular.
If you are looking for a phone on U.S. Cellular they currently offer a state of the art LG Saber at no cost that features a 2.2″ non touch display and full keyboard. Voice command is listed as a feature so that should suffice those wanting Siri.