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  • #2190697

    The Cell Phone Geek


    by o/siris ·

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    • #3047204

      Sprint-Nextel and the Affiliate Shell Game

      by o/siris ·

      In reply to The Cell Phone Geek

      Sprint Nextel today announced plans to acquire two more affiliates. This as Nextel Partners continues manuevering in its “Put” option with Nextel, and as acquisitions already announced and planned continue to play havoc with lawsuits taking one stance or another concerning the merger.

      IWO holdings is the first in this balancing act. They were spun off from U.S. Unwired ealier this year as part of a reorganization. Currently serving something more than 273,000 subscribers across New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, their network also provides coverage over 4.8 million potential customers. That’s a lot of room for growth.

      Just as Hurricane Katrina came along to possibly annihilate Gulf Cost Wireless’ network, Sprint Nextel today announced that they would acquire this affiliate, too. Gulf Coast represents about 95,000 customers throughout Southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

      Both affiliates have agreed to seek an immediate stay in litigation that was pending before the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Louisiana.

      These come on the heels of Sprint Nextel’s acquisition of U.S. Unwired last month for about $1.3 billion. together with the $427 million for IWO Holdings, and Gulf Coast for $287.5 million, brings the total costs of affiliates over $2 billion… so far.

      In the meantime, on the Nextel side, Sprint Nextel has moved forward with an appraisal process of Nextel Partners’ holdings. This is being done instead of an attempt to negotiate a final value for the Nextel affiliate. Nextel Partners, in the meantime, is reporting that it will recommend that its shareholders approve the “put” option that would require Sprint Nextel to buy out the remaining 68% of the affiliate that Nextel did not already own before its merger with Sprint. That option, written into the affiliate contract with Nextel, requires a purchase at “fair market value” plus a “put premium.” Currently, Nextel Partners’ market capitalization is valued at around $7 billion.

      These maneuverings could easily double the price of the merger, and there are still Sprint affiliates out there with moves to play in this “game.” Alamosa PCS bought out AirGate PCS, Inc earlier this year, and AirGate already has a complaint filed. In the meantime, Horizon Personal Communications and Bright Personal Communications Services LLC are in the middle of renegotiating their affiliate contracts, with a deadline of January 1st to arrive at some conclusion.

    • #3055464

      There Will *Never* Be Enough, Will There?

      by o/siris ·

      In reply to The Cell Phone Geek

      Yet another study complete, and yet another LACK of evidence of any kind of cancer link to cell phones.

      RCR Wireless News is reporting that researchers in Europe have completed a 10-year-long study of cell phone consumers, and found no increased risk or a particular nervous system tumor called an Acoustic Neuroma.

      As the story notes, scientists cannot use this to say that there will *never* be risk, but over ten years is a sufficiently long time to rulle out, for example, some of the Luddite masses that stopped T-Mobile from building towers on park land simply because, in the minds of the fearful masses, the towers emit <GASP!> radiation, and would be, in their minds, too close to schools.

      The amount of radiation involved pales in comparison to even a simple sunburn.  And someone really bent on creating hysteria could point out that the radioactive potassium in a banana is more radiation than a day under a cell tower.

      It is, quite bluntly, not possible to create a risk-free world.  What it takes, even in theory, to make one is not a world I’d be interested in seeing anyway.  I’m all for parents staying informed, and exercising their rights to oppose the wishes of their government.  But doing it for any reason so devoid of reason and logic as this isn’t smart, isn’t careful, and isn’t considered.  It’s mania.


    • #3056815

      The BBB Ejects Cingular

      by o/siris ·

      In reply to The Cell Phone Geek

      RCR Wireless News recently reported on the expulsion of Cingular Wireless from an Upstate New York regional Better Business Bureau membership due to too many complaints.

      While industry press has certainly covered the issue, I’m surprised by how little general attention this is getting.  Cingular is a national carrier of PCS/Cellular phone service, and is noted for its recent acquisition of AT&T Wireless.  AT&T Wireless, in turn, experienced an enormous surge in complaints related to several business decisions that went wrong.  From choosing a provider of Number Portability that, quite simply, didn’t get the job done, to a billing system upgrade that took several weeks to iron out, AT&T Wireless was a train wreck in the last few months before the acquisition was finalized.

      So far, Cingular hasn’t yet managed to overcome that disability.  As CMP Media reported in its Small Biz Pipeline:

      “According to the statistics that Consumers Union obtained from the FCC, the combined Cingular/AT&T Wireless had about 289 complaints per million users in 2004. That was about four times the complaint rate of the second-largest U.S. carrier, Verizon Wireless, according to Consumers Union.”

      That’s not even close.  This expulsion from the BBB, even if only a regional office, plus the extraordinarily high levels of complaints to the FCC, these are critical issues.  It’s too bad the industry itself doesn’t think in those terms.  Aside from some minor advertising references, none of the national carriers seems interested in experience they inflict on their customers.

      • #3057104

        The BBB Ejects Cingular

        by ukcats1 ·

        In reply to The BBB Ejects Cingular

        I second that emotion, Cingular should be kicked out of more regions!!!

        My Treo 270 mysteriously stopped recognizing my SIM card about 3 months before I had to switch from AT&Terrible to Cinguliar.

        There are many more instances of poor or no reception now.
        More Bars? I have had instances where I have 5 bars and a call will not complete.

        I hate my new phone because it is lame compared to having a Treo PDA w/ a keypad.

        I am curious about Verizon or Sprint/Nextel, but that will kill this Cat(fan) because I’ll need to wait another 18 months to avoid cancelling charges.

        Does anyone out there care, uh-um, that means you orange cartwheel guy!

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