T-Mobile Closing In On Deal To Purchase Clearwire Spectrum?

The question of how much spectrum T-Mobile has, needs or wants was asked and answered no fewer than a dozen times at the Deutsche Telekom Investor event that took place in the middle of January. During that time T-Mobile reiterated they had enough spectrum to cover their short term needs. According to a recent Bloomberg report however, T-Mobile is considering long term needs and is in continued discussions with Clearwire over spectrum acquisition.

“…T-Mobile USA is the only potential bidder and the sale of the spectrum could happen by the end of the first quarter, one of the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. T-Mobile USA isn’t in a rush to buy spectrum and can demand a financially advantageous deal, which may happen in the near term, another person said.”

T-mobile is going to continue improving and building out their HSPA+ service with continued upgrades and provisions for faster speeds. However, with a desire to build out an LTE network at the cost of $1-$2 billion any deal with Clearwire would have to be financially sound in order to worth the cash T-Mobile would invest.

Clearwire which has warned its investors of cash shortfalls held a spectrum auction through the end of January with T-Mobile remaining the sole bidder as referenced in the quote above. T-Mobile hopes that any acquisition of more spectrum would help close the gap between itself and larger competitors in the rollout of next generation networks.

For the moment, we’ll chalk this up as another big “maybe,” until we hear word from the Magenta mothership herself that a deal is complete. Still, the Bloomberg report sounds a lot less like a rumor and a lot more like it’s just a matter of when Clearwire and T-Mobile will announce a deal.

Bloomberg

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  • Flash0523

    Finally!

    • Supaspydaman

      The so need to step it up! 5Gigs a months of data is not enough on my Mt4g! Good job magenta! Got love them “internets”

      • jcj

        spectrum does nothing for the 5GB cap and will not be going away. if you use that much data on your phone buy a laptop

        • Anonymous

          Actually they might lift it later on especially with the rollout of 42mbps HSPA+, I say we shall be back at a 10gb data cap at least by the end of the year. The only real reason they lowered it in the first place was the introduction of popular androids. we won’t have as much strain on the network once we hit 42mbps because I doubt by the end of this year there will even be more than 2 or 3 HSPA+ 42mbps devices. everything coming out will either be 7, 14 or 21 HSPA+ and which gives room for increasing the data cap being that there will most likely be a 21mbps difference between what of the spectrum is used.

        • Supaspydaman

          If Browne is correct cj, then you can keep yor laptop! Ha!

      • Anonymous

        maybe im reading it wrong if so,i am sorry.. 5 isnt enough?really?

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    I read this earlier on Bloomberg, I really believe this is a good idea and that their LTE rollout will most likely be sooner than they thought in addition to their amazing HSPA+ Spectrum I think we’re in for a treat the next few years with T-Mobile. We’ll have enough coverage to play with the Big Two finally!

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    I read this earlier on Bloomberg, I really believe this is a good idea and that their LTE rollout will most likely be sooner than they thought in addition to their amazing HSPA+ Spectrum I think we’re in for a treat the next few years with T-Mobile. We’ll have enough coverage to play with the Big Two finally!

  • MACBFAC

    I’m extremely excited about this bit o’ news! If they acquire the spectrum and begin to build out their coverage … MAN!! The other carriers are in trouble!! :D

  • MIKEEEEE

    lotta bandwidth there.

  • Peter

    Is it the 2500 MHz band? T-Mobile’s going to have to build a lot of towers to get good coverage.

    • Anonymous

      God, I really hope it’s LOW frequency.

      • jelly bean

        Clear doesn’t own any low frequncy spectrum. So you’ll be hoping for a long time.

        • Jaythe01

          not true they do own a good chunk of lower spectrum….hence they were able to test LTE. They pretty much bought more than they could chew.

        • iSpot

          No they don’t. They bought a lot of 2.5-2.6 GHz spectrum.

        • Jaythe01

          not true they do own a good chunk of lower spectrum….hence they were able to test LTE. They pretty much bought more than they could chew.

        • Anonymous

          I thought they had some less than 1ghz… that’s a bummer.

  • Deceptivesmiles

    Soooo, does this mean an integration of LTE and HSPA+ or dual band phones? If this deal goes down, I believe we as the consumers might get hit in the pockets a lil more, but the end result will amazing and this could possibly get TMO out of last place

    • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

      that’s exactly what it means, so excited. : )

      • Deceptivesmiles

        wait, which one? Dual band phones?

        • http://twitter.com/BMcSherry Bryce McSherry

          Currently phones running the HSPA+ network are very similar to those on 3g with only minor antenna differences, where as an LTE network requires entirely different hardware so it would have a dual antenna.

    • Farhan

      Since Clearwire is in financial trouble and Sprint has a major financial stake in it, wouldn’t it be better for TMobile in the long run to let Clearwire go bankrupt and with it put Sprint in major financial trouble plus halt/significantly delay Sprint’s LTE growth?

    • Anonymous

      T-mobile was NEVER in last place AT&T has always held that title.

      • Visitor

        By which metric? The “Uses The Most Smiles & Rainbows” measurement? Because you certainly aren’t referring to subscriber numbers…

    • Anonymous

      T-mobile was NEVER in last place AT&T has always held that title.

    • Anonymous

      T-mobile was NEVER in last place AT&T has always held that title.

  • Proeng

    This will a great deal for Tmobile and consumers. Any idea David what frequency band that would be?

  • feelfreetodeleteifoffensive

    Imagine a domino-effect scenario. T-Mobile acquires all of Clear’s spectrum (Was the auction all of Clear’s spectrum or just some of it?). T-Mobile then shuts down the WiMax network in favor of LTE. Sprint becomes 4G-less, and the EVOs and Epics become bricked or 3G-only. Sprint’s customers get mad and move to other carriers. Verizon acquires Sprint and AT&T files for mandatory divestiture like it did with Alltell. Hopefully, T-Mobile takes part of Sprint’s cannibalization instead of being silent like it did with Alltell. But then MertoPCS can merge with Sprint instead.

    Just a fiction!

    • Wireless101

      This is so nonsensical that had to write something……………clear cannot sell all of its spectrum. Only 40 Mhz out of the 140 that clear owns is up for sale……

      • Bratty

        Thats why he called it “fiction”. Capice?

        • Anonymous

          whats a capice?

    • Wireless101

      This is so nonsensical that had to write something……………clear cannot sell all of its spectrum. Only 40 Mhz out of the 140 that clear owns is up for sale……

    • Anonymous

      just fiction,somehow.it doesnt quite work like that,atleast how you put it.there are rules.

  • Nexus Eddie

    While T-Mobile is not that great in my area, Clearwire is. So this is great news.

  • Marianahoney

    i hope this is not true because clearwire doesnt get good reception inside buildings i have an evo and while i have a perfect 4g signal outside when i go inside a building my phone drops down to 3g or even worse to 1x i think because clearwire wimax runs on the 2500 mhz band and it doesnt penetrate walls that good because its such a high frequency cuz at&t and verizon always still get strong 3g singnal in those buildings my evo drops down to 1x because att runs on the 850 mhz band and i think verizon runs on the 850 cdma band im not so sure i could be wrong but i know for a fact at&t gets good 3g recpetion inside buildings cuz it runs on 850 mhz the lower the frequency the better signal it gets inside buildings. and i wanted to switch to t-mobile i guess not….

    • jcj

      you do realize that happens to all carriers. signal degradation is unavoidable.

      • Understand Before Commenting

        You do realize that a signal at 2.5 GHz will more signal degradation than one at say 700 MHz or 850 MHz?

        • jcj

          yes I am and as stated all carriers get degradation. Yes the higher the frequency the more degradation. Your comment is quite irrelevant.

        • Reading Comprehension

          It is relevant because 700 MHz is better than 2500 MHz. Marianahoney’s comment was specifically about how signals in the higher frequencies provide very poor indoor reception. If anything, both your comments are irrelevant to her comment and provides no further information on the subject.

        • Mike

          @jcj
          ya, both your comments are pretty pointless but there are no rules to making useless comments. so good for you.

        • Anonymous

          uh what their both relevant..

        • Anonymous

          uh what their both relevant..

  • Devon

    ok guys, Sprint owns 59% of clear which means they control the majority of what goes on at clear. If T-mobile invest in Clear, we will have the same network as sprints 4G network and Since Sprint basically owns clear then that means Sprint will take ownership in T-mobile as well….

    • karlc

      WHAT! flip that…..

    • Anonymous

      You do realize it says they are going to buy the spectrum from clear not invest in them. Which means once the spectrum is purchased it no longer belongs to Clear or Sprint it belongs to T-Mobile.

    • Anonymous

      Clear/Sprint would be owned by t-mobile because we are the buyers. If T-Mobile buys clear then t-mo takes ownership. get it right.

      • Anonymous

        oh damn this is all confusing..well whatever is the case i hope it is tmo that is top dog. i do not want sprint on my phone.

      • Anonymous

        oh damn this is all confusing..well whatever is the case i hope it is tmo that is top dog. i do not want sprint on my phone.

    • Anonymous

      Clear/Sprint would be owned by t-mobile because we are the buyers. If T-Mobile buys clear then t-mo takes ownership. get it right.

  • Devon

    ok guys, Sprint owns 59% of clear which means they control the majority of what goes on at clear. If T-mobile invest in Clear, we will have the same network as sprints 4G network and Since Sprint basically owns clear then that means Sprint will take ownership in T-mobile as well….

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  • Melanie

    t-mobile sucks ballz ! good thing i have verizon . yea verizon is more expensive i dnt care but atleast i have signal inside buildings all my friends wit t-mobile dont get service inside walmart and jcpenney which i think its pathetic that they have to borrow my phone to make calls . o well i guess t-mobile customers get what they pay for they want cheap plans they get crappy service ..

    • Randyr

      get off the site if you have verizon moron!

    • Yyevo

      Obvious troll is obvious

    • Anonymous

      idiot

      • Anonymous

        i couldnt say it better..although im not that bright either..lola

      • Anonymous

        i couldnt say it better..although im not that bright either..lola

    • Anonymous

      idiot

    • jcj

      well at least we can save money and use wifi indoors which is faster then your precious over priced verizon!

      • iNexus

        Being forced to use WiFi because of crappy indoor reception isn’t exactly a plus…

        • jcj

          never said it was, saving money was the plus, wifi was alternate option verizon does not have, so kind of a plus as well

        • Anonymous

          actually if you use alot of data..wifi saves too…ding dong..

        • Anonymous

          actually if you use alot of data..wifi saves too…ding dong..

    • cheato

      And this is coming from someone who shops at jc penny and walmart. Ha! LOL

    • Manusferrera

      Since he pays so much for verizon he has to shop at jcpenny and wal mart.

      • Anonymous

        so..i shop at walmart..whats th logic in that remark,because your rich or something..nota good person are you? truth be told say what u will..go tmo . go..myt4g is wonderful.

      • Anonymous

        so..i shop at walmart..whats th logic in that remark,because your rich or something..nota good person are you? truth be told say what u will..go tmo . go..myt4g is wonderful.

    • crad

      your words have no action, If you can say that just prove that verizon is better if you are from the NW then the service sucks for verizon and that is there main hub but you would not even know were verizon started from or who they broke off from

    • crad

      your words have no action, If you can say that just prove that verizon is better if you are from the NW then the service sucks for verizon and that is there main hub but you would not even know were verizon started from or who they broke off from

    • Perrjett82

      I’d have to counter you Melanie and say that Verizon sucks. They suck so good that they would decide to pre-sale the iPhone, that cant even function well on their network. Even with their “4G LTE network,” that you’ll have to a premium for. Congrats on your provider. I’ve been with T-Mo for 13 years. They may be slow at developing, but when they do decide to release something at least it works to its capacity….

    • Anonymous

      hahahaha i just that suck ass big red dump.wait til more people go to verizon..and will…it goes slower..well everyone has a downside. i just went to tmo..its pretty quick here where im at.

  • Miro

    I do not like this. The Clearwire spectrum is like in the 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz range

    • Ashton

      Ya, at 2.5 GHz, TMo will have to build more LTE cell sites to get the same coverage as a network running on 700 MHz with less towers.

      I’m not sure TMo has the money to do that unless they don’t mind taking forever to bulid out their LTE network. Then again, they did take pretty long to roll out HSPA.

      • Anonymous

        T-Mo most certainly does have enough dinero. T-Mobile is not only located in America they have areas in UK an many other countries.

        • DT

          Yah, but T-Mobile EU (Deutsche Telekom) just said they won’t be funneling much if any money towards T-Mobile USA for a long while.

  • Miro

    I do not like this. The Clearwire spectrum is like in the 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz range

  • Fzzy

    This could be very good in the Baltimore/Washington DC Corridor. I use Clear for my home internet connection, I have a Motorola modem in the corner of my living room and I never have any issues even in severe weather… except when there towers lost power during the recent heavy snowstorms in the east.

  • Paulsstuff4sale

    Sweet Jesus no! 2500Mhz is awful!

  • Jaythe01

    Clear/Sprint WiMax frequency does range in the 800-2500 Mhz. It commonly is set on 1900 in the US. I believe and hope that they made a push for lower range spectrum. The CTO himself has stated in meetings he wants to go lower; the feds F*d over TMO in the sale back in 07? with the 1700 AWS band but TMO has made the most out of it. This without question is a bold move and i hope it helps TMO take a step in the right direction to improve coverage and begin the buildout….

    • Jaythe01

      BTW remember that CLEAR was testing out LTE with their spectrum. They do have the spectrum and potential for conversion with the right tools and money to do the dirty work. They just have more spectrum than they can use (ie bought to much and no have no $$$). One persons trash is anothers treasure…

    • Alan

      Clear only owns spectrum in the 2.5–2.6 GHz range in the US.

  • http://twitter.com/DrBaconator Dr.Prof.Baconator

    This will be GREAT for the people who have Clear 3G in their town but are stuck on T-Mobile EDGE (SLOW).

    • Reading Comprehension

      Read the article again. You’re misunderstanding.

  • Mr. Strat

    I just dumped my Clear Internet service last month because of poor performance, lack of knowledgeable tech support, and throttling issues. Screw ‘em.

  • Anonymous

    If this gets them more coverage in America why not. T-Mo needs to support the westside more.

    • Kerry

      When you are outside the I-5 Corridor, it sucks… and it starts to suck fast. I’m in OR and find this true in WA as well.

  • Visitor

    2.5GHz, huh? T-Mobile must really be banking on their customers using that WiFi Calling app if they wanna use their phones indoors… Jeez…

    I already jump from 4 bars of 3G to no signal to 4 bars of EDGE in Richmond’s west end (no tall buildings, sparse trees sitting still…) This ain’t gonna help…

  • Guest

    Can someone enlighten me on how this move would benefit T-Mobile? It’s very high frequency (even worse than TMO’s 1700/1900), and Clear’s coverage map looks an awful lot like T-Mobile’s 3G map… Would they be buying spectrum in places where Clear doesn’t currently operate? That’s the only way I see this as a benefit. Guess I need to wait for some kind of official announcement…

  • CF

    This would be a poor move like when Sprint saddled itself with Nextel’s useless network. As it is, Sprint and Clear have a deal for Sprint’s 4G network that looks like it’s going to disappear in a puff of smoke because Clear is too broke to grow their network. I bet the exec’s at Sprint are having kittens right now with their 4G strategy. I doubt they have the capital to get a new network together to start or grow a real 4G solution.

  • Hamster

    Guys, the purchase of spectrum has no immediate impact and does not give them any of Clearwire’s currently in place network. What T-Mobile is bidding on is spectrum, not technology. Bascially they want the ability to *exclusively* use some spectrum (frequency range) that Clearwire has (the article does not mention the frequencies this spectrum would be at) for T-Mobile’s own future network buildouts.