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Mobile Broadband Strategies

SoftBank to Invest US$16 Billion in Sprint

Daily Insight | Rich Karpinski | July 10, 2013

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Just before the acquisition was set to close, SoftBank announced that it will be investing U.S.$16 billion in capital investments at Sprint in the next two years, and it plans to build a Silicon Valley research center.

 

According to CIO, the research center will be a joint hardware and software center, which will employ up to 1,000 workers. The investment will more than double the pace of current capital growth, and most of the money will go to base stations for Sprint’s LTE network. After the two-year period is over, the investment pace will be around U.S.$6 billion a year. SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son will be the chairman of Sprint’s new board of directors, which will also include head of U.S. SoftBank operations Ronald Fisher, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen and three other Sprint directors.

 

Yankee Group Senior Analyst Rich Karpinski comments

 

“Now that these deals are done, the focus turns to execution. Laying out the available capex is a good first step, and $16 billion will go a long way toward accelerating Sprint’s Network Vision deployment and getting it to the next phase. A Silicon Valley research center is a positive step as well, and notable for focusing on base stations and network innovation rather than some sort of Valley-driven app play. Smart. Sprint in its next incarnation will win or lose on the strength of its mobile network and ability to be more flexible and fast-moving than its rivals.”

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