SoftBank President Masayoshi Son is in the U.S. and American telecom operators are yet to respond to broadband speed demand of mobile customers after he said Japan offers better speed. Son also hinted at a wireless tariff war if Sprint can purchase T-Mobile US.
His comments are a strong blow to American telecoms Verizon Wireless, AT&T and fourth-ranked T-Mobile US. SoftBank took a controlling interest in Sprint in the summer in a $21.6 billion deal. Now it wants T-Mobile under its fold.
American regulator is not really concerned about customer experience. Their main interest is to protect customers from cartels. That’s why Sprint cannot purchase T-Mobile even if the latter’s German owners are willing divest at a price.
Interestingly, North America has 100 million LTE connections, representing half of the worldwide subscribers. The mobile industry will try to believe that Americans are not enjoying better broadband speed if compared with Japan. The U.S. has about 200 million mobile broadband users. This means, 200 million American mobile broadband subscribers are suffering due to relatively poor speed.
The American telecom industry hopes that SoftBank owned Sprint will spruce up broadband speed immediately, putting additional pressure on American wireless operators. They do not know why SoftBank wants to buy T-Mobile US to enhance broadband speed.
SoftBank chief says he is ready to postpone profit for the purpose of expanding subscriber base and to offer better experience to American mobile subscribers. He did not say that the company is ready to improve customer experience as well.
He has met resistance to a T-Mobile deal from U.S. regulators skeptical that cutting the number of national wireless carriers to three would promote competition, Bloomberg reported.
During an interview on Squawk on the Street, Masayoshi Son said wireless connectivity in the U.S. lags woefully behind other countries, For example, he said Japanese Web users receive broadband connections up to twice as fast as their U.S. counterparts. Son told CNBC he could offer speeds of up to 200 megabits per second in the United States.
Verizon offers speeds ranging from 500 to 15 Mbps, but Son contends that average broadband speeds in the U.S. run much slower — around 20.
Some of the facts are too appealing to American wireless users, may not be to telecom regulators. The U.S. has slower Internet services than Japan and South Korea, and ranked 15 out of 16 countries surveyed by speed.