Sprint has bought 585,000 customers of US Cellular, but most of the $480m cash wad it will hand over to the wireless operator is for two chunks of radio spectrum that will enable Sprint to roll out LTE in previously unserved markets. Sprint was always just after the spectrum, the customers just got caught up in the frequencies …
good analysis, but something doesn't add up
I read somewhere that the deal was for the spectrum and subscribers, but not for the equipment (or real estate.)
I wonder what US Cellular could possibly do with all of that equipment. Maybe deploy to their remaining markets.
It seems that Sprint will pay them to keep the network running for a while, until Sprint can get the subscribers moved into their spectrum (as they're all CDMA/EVDO mobiles.) But then Sprint would go deploy new CDMA (in the case of capacity needs) or LTE equipment in existing Sprint site locations?
Re: good analysis, but something doesn't add up
US Cellular could reuse the equipment if it was current; as in LTE capable. Sprint has its own equipment vendors and why would they want 99% of their sites to use Brand X and Y and then this 1% use Brand Z.
In markets where Sprint has coverage, they could just add the spectrum to the towers. In markets where they don't, they will need to deploy the equipment of their choice.