SoftBank exploring Sprint spectrum portfolio options - Mobile World Live

SoftBank exploring Sprint spectrum portfolio options

24 APR 2017

SoftBank is investigating ways to cash-in on Sprint’s spectrum assets ahead of the lifting of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ban on M&A in the communications sector later this week, Bloomberg reported.

Citing unnamed sources, the news website said SoftBank executives in charge of Sprint believed its portfolio of spectrum assets were undervalued.

In a bid to maximise the benefits gained from its holding, SoftBank discussed a number of options including spinning-off some of its licences into a separate listed company.

The executives added any merger deal with T-Mobile or any other party would have to properly take into consideration the value of Sprint’s spectrum assets.

Speculation on the future structure of Sprint comes in the wake of a lengthy US spectrum auction, which saw broadcasters vacate airwaves for wireless broadband services. FCC rules forbid discussions on M&A activity in the sector during the process.

The FCC is due to conclude the auction process and lift related embargoes on Thursday, April 27.

T-Mobile merger
According to reports earlier in 2017, SoftBank is keen to rekindle its failed merger talks with T-Mobile as soon as the FCC’s process is complete. In an attempt to get the deal through, the company is said to be willing to cede control of the business to Deutsche Telekom.

At the company’s latest earnings call – made in February and covering its fiscal Q3 2016 (calendar Q4) – SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said it was assessing a number of options for Sprint, including a deal with T-Mobile or other parties.

Son said the company may buy, sell or merge the business and it was “open to any options.”

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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