Archive for October, 2011

Shipping Industry and Travelers

Monday, October 31st, 2011

I sometimes travel for work and pleasure, but also have packages shipped to my home without some sort of pre-notice of what they are or when they will arrive. For several years I have been subscribed to FedEx Insight to get notices of inbound packages. This is very nice as we could enter in many variations of our home address and people who would receive and get notices of this. It is often incomplete as shippers can block this visibility or it may come to yet another variation that we are unaware of.

UPS has finally launched a consumer-oriented version of this service they dub “My Choice”. One can sign-up online here and get notices when packages are inbound, usually the night before. What’s even better here is you can ask them to hold/delay delivery, and see what items may be signature required. They also give an estimated time of delivery based on the schedule and expected load of the drivers.

I’ve already come to love this capability as it can easily identify when a package is coming to our home. If you miss your driver, or have people ship items to you unexpectedly I strongly suggest you sign up for this service, as well as the FexEx variant. FedEx will call you to verify each addition, even if it’s just an address variant (eg: LN vs LANE).

Thoughts on T-Mobile USA, Sprint and AT&T

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Sprint (S) has seen its stock price slide 34% in the past week and is currently down 65% based on its’ 52-week high. This slide has been continued as a result of the recent announcement that Sprint will convert to a LTE cellular network from the WiMAX network deployed by their partner Clearwire (CLWR).

Some are now predicting that Sprint will be forced to file for bankruptcy due to the increased debt load they will be required to carry.

This has consequences in other market segments, including on the AT&T (T) and T-Mobile USA (subsidary of DTE.DE) acquisition.  I have privately predicted that I believe AT&T will be on-the-hook for the $3 bln breakup fee for many months.  There are only a few global players that have the capital available to acquire Sprint. Sprint is a major player in the federal telecom space, consequently any of these would face blockage by the US Government as part of the Treasury Department CFIUS process.

With the current Verizon (VZ), Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile players, the elimination of Sprint and T-Mobile as players is not something the Department of Justice will stand for in their antitrust case against AT&T.


With the pending credit downgrades of Sprint, I do not expect the pressure to decrease on them and the potential for an acquisition to be unlikely. The most likely situation I see is the T-Mobile acquisition to not be completed, Sprint to file for bankruptcy in the second half of 2012. The fate of T-Mobile USA is uncertain, perhaps Sprint can shift their commitments from Clearwire to T-Mobile, but adding a 3rd incompatible network (CDMA vs iDEN vs GSM/LTE) is going to be a major capital process regardless. Short of splitting the wireless and fixed network assets to promote value, I’m not sure anyone wants to pick up the disparate technologies and assets to continue an integration plan.

DISCLOSURE: Author owns none of the stocks mentioned in this article.