Time Trippin’: AT&T drops T-Mobile USA bid; Cox drops wireless ambitions … 2 years ago this week

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Editor’s Note: The RCR Wireless News Time Machine is a way to take advantage of our extensive history in covering the wireless space to fire up the DeLorean and take a trip back in time to re-visit some of the more interesting headlines from this week in history. Enjoy the ride!

AT&T ends bid to acquire T-Mobile USA
After nearly nine months, AT&T has said it will drop its $39 billion acquisition attempt of T-Mobile USA. The carrier cited recent acts by the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission to block the deal in ending the acquisition attempt. In a statement, AT&T reiterated that it needed to acquire T-Mobile USA in order to gain access to spectrum resources to power wireless networks straining under increased consumer demand, and that without being able to gain access to those spectrum assets, “customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.” … Read More

Freescale announces reorganization
Freescale Semiconductor today became the latest semiconductor company to announce a restructuring. The Austin-based chipmaker says it will create two new strategic product groups, one focusing on networking and multimedia, which will include cellular products, and the other focusing on automotive and industrial solutions, which will include M2M products. Freescale’s networking and multimedia group will be headed up by Tom Deitrich. Lisa Su, the former head of networking and multimedia, is leaving Freescale and has accepted a position as senior vice president of global business units at AMD. Reza Kazerounian will lead Freescale’s new automotive and industrial solutions group. … Read More

Cox to sell AWS spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $315M
Cox Communications, having recently dismantled its wireless ambitions, said it plans to sell its 20 megahertz 1.7/2.1 GHz spectrum holdings to Verizon Wireless for $315 million. Cox noted that those spectrum assets cover 28 million potential customers and do not include its 12 megahertz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band or any of its current wireless customers. As part of the deal, Cox and Verizon Wireless also announced plans to resell each other’s residential and commercial products and services through their respective sales channels. Cox will also hold the option to sell Verizon Wireless’ services on a wholesale basis. … Read More

Crown Castle to buy NextG Networks for $1B
The nation’s largest tower operator is making a major investment in distributed antenna systems. Crown Castle International says it will purchase NextG Networks Inc. for roughly $1 billion from a private equity group led by Madison Dearborn Partners. With more than 7,000 nodes on air, NextG is the largest provider of distributed antenna systems (DAS) in the United States. NextG also has 1,500 nodes under construction and owns the rights to acquire more than 4,600 miles of fiber. … Read More

Verizon announces new global organization
In a move to help it provide fully integrated enterprise-class solutions, Verizon Communications today announced the creation of a new global organization that will oversee all business, government and wholesale operations from across the company’s wireless and wireline businesses. John Stratton, previously executive vice president and chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless, has been named president of the new organization, to be called Verizon Enterprise Solutions, the company said. … Read More

NTSB proposes call/text ban for drivers
The fight against distracted driving gained steam as the National Transportation Safety Board voted unanimously to recommend that all states ban the use of “personal electronic devices” while operating a motor vehicle. As part of the recommendation, the NTSB also recommended “high-visibility enforcement” to support the proposal and targeted educational campaigns to inform motorists of the dangers of distracted driving. … Read More

Clearwire closes on $715.5M in new funding, set for TDD-LTE rollout
Clearwire managed to attract $715.5 million in new funding through a rights offering and deeper investments by parent company Sprint Nextel that will allow the company to begin rolling out TDD-LTE technology across its network. The cash grab, which was announced this week, included $402.5 million in gross proceeds from the sale of 201.25 million Class A shares at $2 per share. Net proceeds came in at $384.1 million as 26.25 million of those shares were to underwriters that picked up their stock at a discount. The underwriters included J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies. … Read More

Interference, funding could hamper LightSquared’s future
Leaked accounts that the latest round of interference testing to see whether LightSquared’s attempt to launch an LTE network would interfere with commercial GPS communications garnered a strong reaction from LightSquared, though that reaction did not refute claims that interference still exists. Reports indicated that the latest round of testing showed continued interference from LightSquared’s ground-based cellular system and GPS systems that both use spectrum in the 1.6 GHz band. LightSquared issued a terse condemnation of that leak, noting that the interference claim was false that ignores “a critical element in LightSquared’s mitigation proposal to manage the power from its network that GPS devices will be able to receive.” … Read More

Apple loses twice in court as Samsung and Motorola win cases
The iPad and iPhone are looking much more successful in retail stores than in courtrooms, with Samsung and Motorola Mobility both scoring significant court victories against Apple this week. Australia’s High Court says Samsung will be able to sell its Galaxy 10.1 tablet this holiday season, dismissing an injunction that has kept the tablet off the Australian market since October. Apple claimed that the Galaxy 10.1 infringed upon its iPad 2 touch screen patent, but the court ruled in favor of Samsung, and is requiring Apple to pay all legal costs associated with the case. … Read More

American Tower, MTN partner in Uganda
American Tower expanded its presence in Africa signing a deal to form a joint venture with MTN Group to acquire nearly 1,000 tower sites from MTN Group’s subsidiary in Uganda for $175 million. The towers will be controlled and managed by the newly formed ATC Uganda, in which American Tower will have a 51% controlling interest, which cost the company $89 million. American Tower, which also works with MTN in Ghana, controls about 40,000 cell sites in the United States, Mexico, Latin America, Africa and India. … Read More

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About Author

Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
[email protected]
Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”