James F. Booth

For more than 25 years, James Booth has provided consulting and legal services to telecommunications carriers and to enterprise companies that manage their own telecommunications networks. Since June of 2009 he has also served as General Counsel of Spread Networks, LLC, which is the industry leader in the construction and operation of low latency high speed networks. Before joining Spread he was General Counsel for OnFiber Communications, a competitive telecommunications provider, and was the sole attorney for Qwest Communications International in support of its construction of an 18,800 mile fiber optic network spanning the United States. Earlier he was lead counsel for U S WEST in its wireless and cable television ventures in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why Billionaires Salivate Over the U.S. Wireless Market

T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) is becoming billionaire bait even though it’s the smallest national competitor in a market where the vast majority of the population already has a mobile phone.

What’s luring France’s Xavier Niel and Japan’s Masayoshi Son to bid on T-Mobile is a chance to get into the $195 billion U.S. industry before a new surge in demand for data services such as Internet access and video streaming. It’s the same rationale Verizon Communications Inc. used to justify its $130 billion deal to acquire full control of Verizon Wireless earlier this year. Data sales are already climbing 18 percent this year, according to analyst Chetan Sharma.
The bet is that wireless data will move beyond phones and tablets to a number of other devices, from cars to smartwatches to thermostats -- all requiring a way to connect to the Internet for updates and monitoring. If that vision comes true, there could be a gold mine in owning one of the few networks capable of handling that demand in the gadget-hungry U.S., where people have proved willing to pay steadily for wireless service even as spending drops elsewhere.