Inside Scoop: How will your Sprint plan change?CNET's Sumi Das talks to senior managing editor Kent German about the consumer ramifications of SoftBank acquiring Sprint.
-Hello and welcome to Inside Scoop. I'm Sumi Das and joining me is Kent German, one of our senior managing editors, here at CNET. Kent, thanks for being with us. -Sure no problem. -So big news announced today, SoftBank, a Japanese company is acquiring Sprint. -Yes. -You tell us a little bit about the deal. -Sure. Well, Sprint is a third largest carrier in the United States and SoftBank is a big Japanese carrier, also the third largest-- -Not a bank? -No. Not a bank actually, a wireless carrier and they're gonna be acquiring Sprint for $20.1 billion dollars. -So, the deal has not yet been approved so that's gonna happen what sometime next year, right? -Yeah. It could happen next year. It could happen sooner, but basically, you know, it needs to get approval by the U.S. government before that can go through. -And so nothing is gonna change for at least say 8 months or something like that, right? -You know, Sprint customers probably won't see changes probably even a long time. I mean this is not a merger. It's not two companies joining together and having a mess of their phones and their plans and their corporate cultures. This is just one company buying another. So Softbank is probably gonna keeps Sprint intact as it is, so we don't expect customers to see changes for a long time if they do at all. -What is this mean for Sprint though 'cause this is good news for Sprint, correct? -It is. Sprint is in a trying time right now. You know, it is a first carrier to roll out a 4G Network, but that on the WiMAX, which is a different technology than what's really popular right now, which is called LTE. And the Sprint needs to switch over to LTE, but building out the network takes a lot of money, takes a lot of time and takes a lot of equipment and Sprint really needs the cash and the equipment and just the help to be able to do that. -And they're getting a great deal of cash, a big infusion from this deal. -Well, you know, the Softbank CEO, he is complaining about U.S. carrier networks. You know, a lot of us do. He says the networks are too slow. There's not enough-- You know, data speeds are too slow and he really wants to make it faster so this could be a good thing for Sprint's customers because they may see a fast-- a better LTE network sooner, faster, and sooner than we thought. -But again, several years out or couple years out. -Yeah, when you talk this kind of stuff takes a lot of time to build out. -Right. -So, we wanna see it for several months. Sprint is-- Sprint [unk] very slowly, you know, they've been rising up to 400 cities by now. -Uh huh. -Sprint is way, way behind, but hopefully this will speed it up by a few months and, you know, by the time next year we see in a lot more cities especially the bigger cities like New York, San Francisco, LA. -So basically, the word for Sprint customers is that there is no reason to worry about. -Right. -Services certainly not gonna get any worse. -Now, we don't expect any changes for Sprint customers. They'll probably-Things would probably grain in as they are for a long time. -Okay. Kent thanks so much. -Sure. -For Inside Scoop, I'm Sumi Das. Thanks for watching.