US round-up: Softbank refuses to raise Sprint bid, AT&T surges passes 200 LTE markets, Verizon VoLTE ready this year

1 May 2013

Softbank Corp CEO Masayoshi Son has indicated that his company will not raise its USD20.1 billion offer for 70% of Sprint Nextel in order to compete with DISH Network’s unsolicited USD25.5 billion counterbid because he believes that his company’s offer is already superior. In a lengthy presentation to investors and media personnel in Japan, Son called DISH’s offer ‘incomplete and illusory’ and said the rival’s offer ‘includes statements that are misleading. It doesn’t compare apples to apples’.

Wireless giant AT&T Mobility has announced that it has extended its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to 17 new markets in Texas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee this week. The latest batch of deployments takes the operator’s total number of LTE markets to 207.

In an interview with RCR Wireless, Verizon chief technical officer Tony Melone revealed that the mobile giant’s embryonic Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology will be ‘network-ready’ this year. Melone commented: ‘[Verizon will be] aggressive but smart. We are not going to roll it out before it is ready. Building a nationwide VoIP network in a radio environment is not trivial and when we do it we want to make sure it meets the same high quality standards as our current voice network. You’ll see that roll out at the end of this year or early next year. We will be network ready this year. How we decide to roll it out is still being decided within our marketing organisation’.

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