Blog Post

SK Telecom Wants Sprint? Maybe Not

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

SK Telecom, the South Korean carrier who till now has frittered away hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get a toehold in the U.S. market, was rumored to be looking to spend a few billion to buy Sprint, in partnership with some private equity firms, according to news reports based on a CNBC claim. That rumor caused some furious activity in the shares of those two companies.

Now there are rumors that SK Telecom and Spring were looking to partner on technology. The whole thing is just too curious, and the company spokespeople for both of them are staying mum.

Sprint has about 52.8 million customers, but is having a tough time holding onto them. The company recently merged its WiMAX effort, Xohm, with Clearwire to form a new company that attracted $3.2 billion in financing from Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner and others.

SK Telecom owns 17 percent of MVNO Virgin Mobile, which recently acquired Helio at a throw-away price. SK has sunk a lot of money into Helio. Both Helio and Virgin use Sprint’s network.

And on a related note, Helio’s store in Palo Alto shut down today, after setting what must have been a new record for being devoid of customers but still opening its doors every day. Rumor has it that employees at Palo Alto startups would make bets on whether or not any customers could be spotted in the Helio store. I guess the only ones who didn’t get the memo about people not caring about Helio stores was the management.

4 Responses to “SK Telecom Wants Sprint? Maybe Not”

    • 데카원을 아십니까 ~

    ■한국인 체질에 맞는 천연생약초.허브고농축 기능 강화 제품 (미국FDA분류)
    미국최고의 기술진에 의한 발#기부전퇴치의 일대 혁명 ! 신제품 ! FDA 승인 !
    1알 복용으로 3-4일 지속, 강직도.발기력 비아그라보다 4배 이상

    ■-초강력 40분 이내 발#기 강력 유지!! *부작용 제로!!
    100% 효능 보증

    => 방문인터넷 :
    미국내직통: 0011-215-421-8766

    ■음주 후 발기가 안되면 Deca-one (데카원)을 찾으십시오!!
    – 데카원은 반드시 결과가 나옵니다!

    한국내 휴대폰전화요금으로 미국직통: 013-0299-7056,
    문자주문.구매상담.문의.한글 문자메시지 가능: 013-0299-7056,

  1. ol' yeller

    SK definitely knows how to run their business in Korea well, although there they own the dominant carrier. If they were to buy Sprint they would be ruthless in thinning out the ranks and bringing in ‘A’ players.

    Sprint has a complete lack of execution in their core business, probably due to its nice, but painfully dense and slow-moving middle management in Overland Park. The Nextel team in Reston used to laugh about how thick their counter-parts in OP were.

    Sprint needs new leadership and new blood, which probably means new owners. They probably need to lose CDMA on the way to GSM and Wimax.

    @Petabro – CDMA has gone the way of Beta. It was a superior technology and could have ended up dominating, were it not for Qualcomm’s greed. Someday, there will be economic studies done on whether Qualcomm would have profited more over the long run by charging less usurious fees in the early going and my guess is the answer will be they shouldn’t have been quite so greedy. That’s not to say QC didn’t produce billions in shareholder value during its reign.

  2. Om,
    They have been talking for over a year. I was hoping you would provide insight into regulation – Will help if you could provide insight on the foreign ownership limits. I still hope Comcast buys Sprint. Step up to the plate, Mr. Roberts. I know you have talked to the past two and the current CEO of Sprint about a merger.Sprint uses CDMA – the most efficient user of spectrum. Qualcomm will be happy about that also. They have this little venture called – “Mediaflowusa”