Now What Does Vodafone Do?
Losing out on the AT&T Wireless deal has additional ramifications for Vodafone. It certainly doesn’t make their relationship with Verizon Wireless any more comfortable, so it’s expected that Vodafone is going to do something, but people aren’t exactly sure what that something will be. There is still the option of buying up all of Verizon (as was rumored), but that seems doubtful. Another option would be to make up with Verizon Wireless by teaming up with them to buy up Sprint PCS (the other CDMA player) and giving the old corporate raspberry to the combined Cingular/AT&T Wireless. Of course, the article suggests they might by all of Sprint (not just the PCS part), which would be another large deal. The other whopper of a suggestion would be to wait until the Cingular/AT&T Wireless deal closes, give them a little time to discover all the integration problems they’re having and then swoop in and buy the combined company. Talk about last laughs… Still, the most likely, at this point, seems to be that they’ll sell out their Verizon Wireless stake and focus on buying into Nextel, and convince them to go the W-CDMA upgrade route. Derek adds: The juicy long-term rumors I’m hearing regarding Sprint PCS are more along the lines of BellSouth exiting Cingular, and buying Sprint PCS, since BellSouth operates multiple CDMA networks in Latin America. BellSouth has a similar issue with Vodafone of having one air interface for most of the world, and a different one in the US – but the inverse. Hmmmm… would a swap work between the two?