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Robert Syputa

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  • Internet TV package from Dish Network starting to take shape [View news story]
    DISH Networks is participating in the broad trend toward OTT, over the top, and multicast TV that will converge upon mobile and hybrid forms of broadband communications. While DISH has negotiated agreements for online service packages, Verizon has prepared to expand FiOS TV with LTE eMBMS, enhanced Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service and AT&T hopes to expand U-Verse TV with acquisition of DTV.

    The long anticipated convergence between mobile, fixed broadband, online content and TV broadcast/multicast services has needed the availability of easily accessible wideband spectrum and evolution of network equipment and handset chips and devices combined with the evolution of markets to bring about the fruition of 'quadruple play' and 'broadband everywhere' scenario.

    This leaves questions for what many think will be the next major step in the communications industry:

    1) Is the US public ready to either pay for an additional mobile service or shift from cable or satellite to a converged mobile or fixed+mobile wireless service? As with the emergence of 3G and the SmartPhone phenomena led by Apple iPhone, the uptake of mobile online (OTT), and multicast services are not clear. Trends found in OTT fixed broadband and mobile spheres are favorable, however, how well packaging of TV with mobile or hybrid mobile broadband and satellite might fair against the current mix of wired and wireless BB OTT service providers is unclear.
    2) Coverage is king in mobile networks. Can DISH compete as a relative startup in achieving hybrid service? Can the rollout occur city-by-city/area or is a regional or national rollout needed to make advertising and capex expense cost effective?

    There are many possible twists to how DISH, Sprint, T-Mobile, rural carriers might proceed while the mobile market leaders attempt to reshape market demand to the converged platform.
    Sep 16 11:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sprint May Be A Great Buy At Current Evaluations [View article]
    Sprint looks undervalued based on some metrics, not others:

    While the sales multiple disparity is correct, Sprint and T-Mobile deserve lower price/sales ratios because their margins are much lower than that of Verizon or AT&T.

    Of the two, T-Mobile has demonstrated sales and marketshare growth while achieving profits. Some of the gains likely have come from defectors from Sprint's network, which remains in forth place in performance.

    Sprint followed T-Mobile into lowering prices and simplification of plans. This is an overall sign of weakness rather than strength until and unless its shown that the 'price war' results in substantial inroads into Verizon and AT&T's marketshare. A pitched battle that trades share between Sprint and T-Mobile is not a viable long term solution to the lower margin while the need for stepped up investment in network coverage expansion and improvements remain. The next challenge will be to incorporate video services and move coverage better into suburban and rural markets. While rural partnerships help on an incremental basis, they fall short of changing up the overall level of competition. As a result, Sprint remains 'treading water' as the 4th place carrier in terms of overall network quality, bandwidth-to-coverage, and customer satisfaction.

    Sprint's valuation looks technically oversold. However, nothing now understood about Sprint-Softbank's plans change their status as 4th in terms of network and service capabilities. Expected improvements should show the gap narrowing but will not show large gains against rivals outside of selected metro areas where density of deployments are most emphasized, such as NYC.

    Individual observations of network performance, pro or con, are anecdotal and should be largely ignored. All independent surveys including RootMetrics recent report, show Sprint as #4 behind T-Mobile, which as a bird of a feather, trail significantly behind Verizon and T-Mobile.

    The upside is for a recovery towards 7ish unless upset by DISH+TMUS hooking up or worse than expected results. Average financial analyst expectations are ratcheted down to reflect the circumstances following the dropped pursuit of T-Mobile to now look about right imo. However, if Ergen follows through late this year, after the AWS-3 auction being more likely, with a bid for TMUS that Deutsche finds agreeable, all bets on S will need re-evaluation imo.
    Sep 9 12:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: Wireless Growth Drivers Still Appear Strong [View article]
    The wireless, communications and computing industries now use a common set of protocols and are aligning on common virtual networking technology, IP based media/RV, and 'Internet of Things' connectivity.

    Throughout the relatively short history of wireless personal communications, the industry has evolved/morphed as the range of capabilities has grown to include text in addition to voice, data, broadband data (distinction over 'data' in being able to deliver near wired/fiber data rates at low latency).

    The Internet of Things, wireless connectivity and marketing of cloud services, and a full spate of video/TV services are part of the continuum of this evolution that operators and their suppliers look to for growth and relief from commoditization of the mature device and service components that is inevitable.

    At this point the industry looks healthy: overall margins are high and revenues remain stable or modestly growing despite the headlines grabbing 'price war'. The price war is a misnomer: this is more a fight for the value segments of the overall business. Price adjustments, over time, for premium service plans and devices are to be expected. So long as these stay proportional to downward price/bit and price per service capacity, all is copacetic for the overall health of the industry.

    AT&T is somewhat more vulnerable than Verizon to the impacts of price contraction in the commoditized tiers of business. The war is mostly among T-Mobile and Sprint. As of yet, it has allowed T-Mobile to gain about 3% of industry share, about 1.5% of which has come out of Sprint's share. Meanwhile Verizon has gained subscribers and held share while AT&T has lost only a percent or so of the mostly talked about consumer side of the business and held their own in enterprise, government segments.
    Aug 31 01:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Big Mistake In Suing Samsung [View article]
    The majority of patent attorneys are generalists with no experience in RF circuits or the field of 'signal acquisition and processing' used in communications or any other field. Just because a plaque can be hung on the wall saying you've passed the law exam and you have experience processing patent applications, does not make you right. That is anecdotal information imo.

    The Supreme court has recently handed down a string of rulings, along with the IPR process and other patent reforms, stand to tighten the type of abuse of the patent system Parkervision has mastered with the help of the vested lawyers fighting on their behalf.

    From Patently-O, Aug 28, 2014: "Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has uncovered a few glaring errors in the patent records. Namely – hundreds of thousands of patent claims have issued that are – in fact – not patentable. These problematic claims either lack eligible subject matter under the patent common law and 35 U.S.C. § 101; are indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112; or are obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. This results is prompted by the recent decisions in Supreme Court cases such as Alice Corp. v.. CLS Bank International, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014); Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2120 (2014); Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S.Ct. 2107 (2013); Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., 132 S.Ct. 1289 (2012); and KSR Intern. Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398 (2007)."

    I believe the majority of Parkervision's claims are invalid as covered by prior art and indefinite. Judge Dalton ruled only on the issue of vagueness/indefiniteness of the patent en suite claims, you can dredge up the sternly worded ruling in which Dalton chastised PV for being vague and not showing proof. These and prior art will be issues in the IPR and any subsequent trail.

    Devoid of a clear storyline similar to the first case, PRKR is forced to rely more on proof of infringement which was the point of failure in the first case. On appeal or in the second case, this legal strategy will certainly fail. I don't think its simply a matter of odds on appeal in such cases but has always been about the validity and useability of PV's patents. It's been inevitable Parkervison's ability t ride a wave of the loose and overworked patent office process would fail once subjected to the full rigors of the legal process and, furthermore, tests in commercial markets.
    Aug 31 08:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Big Mistake In Suing Samsung [View article]
    You are tilting at windmills; hardly good advise to fellow investors is it? You seem to be a believer in a (lost) cause rather than a dispassionate evaluator of the odds for PRKR among choices for investment.

    If sticking to a point of view has value regardless of the odds, you win. Congratulations, don't spend all your winnings in one place.
    Aug 29 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Big Mistake In Suing Samsung [View article]
    I say PRKR is desperate for many reasons besides the one's talked about. If we ignore the court cases altogether and just consider Parkervision's financial position, cash burn rate and need to ramp up its legal defense and prosecution, and lack of any revenue from sales, factoring in the company's repeated history of failure to deliver on past promises, its clear that the business is desperate. The lawsuit against Qualcomm was the last in a long string of failures. You can have the opinion that PV will reverse the lawsuit failure into a success even though the odds of doing that from the perspective of the average of such appeals is not better than ~20%. The IPR process is new but the tract record of it and prior challenge to patents shows that in over 50% of cases claims are reduced or the patents declared invalid, often due to the showing of prior art similar to what is shown in this case.

    All of the usual measures of investment place PRKR as a long shot bet: the company must not only win their case but do so by winning an usually high award compared to what is typical for an embedded RF technology. PV does not just need to win, they must win to an unprecedented degree of award that, in itself, extremely unlikely. When I say 'unprecedented' I mean that - I cannot find a single case in which such an outside award has been granted or agreed to out of court.

    From the perspective of trading on the volatility of PRKR's stock to capture upside moves, that is not the subject of this article. You may well be able to 'buy low, sell high' using astute timing as a trader. That skill is not determined by outcomes of court cases or long shots such as sale of licenses or products. The only thing I can see in common is that these would all be unprecedented events: playing a stock to the upside while it has a ~10 to 1 long term downside bias, or Parkervision selling something for revenue, or PV winning a case in court.
    Aug 28 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Big Mistake In Suing Samsung [View article]
    Buy low, sell high is exactly what short sellers in PRKR have, on average, been able to accomplish. The timing of selling vs. buying may be different than some of the longs, but the axiom still holds.
    Aug 28 12:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Big Mistake In Suing Samsung [View article]
    Lawyers sell time or barter for a percent of the action. They are not malevolent witnesses to Parkervision's patent validity or whether Qualcomm, Samsung or any other party that looks convenient to sue. You talk as if because PV's attorneys have made a business from suing over patents that this gives PRKR an instant level of authority that is beyond the need to be proven in the court.

    Parkervision is desperate. The company has one last chance to build a case for selling more stock. None should dance around the fast that this lawsuit is all about that.. the patents and companies are incidental to pursuit of lawsuits as the last vehicle for sponging more cash from the public through stock sales.

    "While the upside of adding Samsung to its lawsuit is relatively limited for ParkerVision, the downside is significant: it likely destroys the licensing business that the company hoped to develop."

    I doubt that either Parkervision or its lawyers, as dutifully blind to the facts as they have irrevocably proven, have a reasonable odds believe that they will win in court. They cannot calculate the odds any better than about 20% based on court averages on appeal and given their tract record on the 1st case.

    The tract record on the first case made a few things clear: Parkervision and its intertwined group of attorneys like to win cases based on creating an emotionally charged story for the jury. Since Qualcomm has not engaged in negotiations to use D2P similar to the story portrayal used in the first case, Parkervision, McKool are at a loss for a strategy that can obscure the weakness, which I think is no less than invalidity, of the patents en suite.

    In other words, Parker and the lawyers think the best way to recruit more funds is to build a case strategy similar to the first, temporarily winning jury bending case. Before the case proceeds, PRKR can hope to sell stock, no doubt at a dilution of interest of current shareholders. I do not think that can work out for them. This last hail marry pass will likely go down as a sack with no time left on the clock.

    As far as Parkervision's hopes to license their technology: I believe Parker understands full well that no company will buy their products or licenses. The technology has not proven, after several attempts and years of PRKR and so called experts to sell licenses, no license has resulted in revenue. Contracts with VIA and others appear to be 'pay-go', PV paying for VIA to go each step of the way in purported product development that has never resulted in sales to VIA, their customers or anyone else.

    Parker does not hope to license their technology because even those companies less able to defend themselves have not succumbed to threats of costly lawsuits. Now that Parker has chosen to sue those it talks with, even if during different times, and over use of different technology, and after PV has been dealt a defeat court, no firm is likely to enter into talks to license.
    Aug 27 08:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The War Sprint Can't Afford [View article]
    History is important insomuch as it leaves remnants that can stand in the way of taking appropriate actions. Sprint's history is important in respect to how its spectrum holdings may be treated if/when Sprint makes an acquisition or partnership that impacts spectrum holdings as this will be part of what determines who regulators will continue to shape Sprint's future.

    The history of their networks use and abuse in the past is areas including technology and innovation in its application is very important. If the culture is changing it should be judged based on how skilled at executing valid plans. Reluctant management held back by incumbent thinking has to be rooted out thoroughly for Sprint to move forward.

    Investors tend to build up hopes when new management steps in but that is no reason not to understand what management should be doing and holding their feet to the fire if they don't.
    Aug 22 11:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The War Sprint Can't Afford [View article]
    The churn factor you describe makes is a good point. However, the 5X5 MHz FDD channel spectrum Sprint has at 800MHz is insufficient to be used for broadband once the user base is converted.

    Verizon has 22-46MHz and AT&T 12-24Mhz in the 700MHz band . Verizon has 22Mhz across the entire country with concentrations in most major metro areas, while AT&T's coverage straddles east and west coasts and other major population areas. That provides both the ability to better use a mix of spectrum that combines with mid-band to provide more consistent and reliable voice, text and broadband service cost efficiently.
    Aug 22 06:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The War Sprint Can't Afford [View article]
    Sprint's network is sub-par the competition because of a fundamental mismatch of spectrum and how its deployed. This limits the impact that Sprint can have by changes in pricing plans and marketing to, no more than, modest gains in subscribers. While that would be a great change from the losses over the past few years, it will be short of the lofty expectations.

    Sprint's fundamental spectrum and network design problems will not get fixed completely until S either a) Acquires wideband sub 1 gigahertz spectrum: 600MHz auction being the only near term coming available. or b) Sprint designs a network solution to deploy 2-3 times as cost effectively in the vast but largely unused 2.6GHz B41 spectrum.

    The market has become more sophisticated over time in its demands: quality and coverage with adequate bandwidth is more important than peak bandwidth with metro spot coverage. Sprint's improvements are slow because the method of deployment is costly and slow. Multiple network surveys support this, showing Sprint as the lowest in network performance including average bandwidth or bandwidth-to-coverage. This will persist despite incremental network improvements for a few more years unless dramatic design changes are made.
    Aug 21 08:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The War Sprint Can't Afford [View article]
    The 'price war' is negative only if it is out of step with the progression of industry capabilities.

    The wireless industry is bound by how the technologies and utilization of spectrum progresses that is similar to Moore's Law for semiconductors in many respects and, in fact is enabled by semiconductors at its core. Moore's Law states that there is roughly a doubling of capacity/power in semiconductors (expressed very notably in processors GPUs and memory that have enabled both the PC and networking industries to flourish.. and so too the wireless industry) every 18 months. In a similar formula, wireless networks have roughly doubled in capacity about every 18 months. This has allowed more features to be encompassed, including broadband and video services, which are fueling expanded use at a rate of doubling every 12-18 months.

    Also similar to Moore's Law, the cost of delivering bandwidth is doubling while the cost of delivering it stays the same or goes down because of both higher efficiencies that result in lower cost per bit, and also because more diverse set of revenue generating services can be supported. There is always a 'eat your own' survival of the newest and fittest service capabilities that is part of this equation. As voice and text messaging have become commodities that make up a shrinking slice of of the overall revenue pie, video/TV and broadband revenues have grown to supplant and grow cannibalized commodity revenues as part of the evolving mix.

    That comes back to Sprint's position: waging a 'price war' while the fundamentals of their networks remain sub-par and higher cost than the competition.

    Sprint's problem is that, while having the largest amount of spectrum, the bulk of that is in the high frequency 'broadband extension band' (as ITU and 3GPP have termed it) that is more costly and difficult to achieve the bandwidth-to-coverage mix of capabilities consumers can get from competitors. The lack of wide channels in low frequency coverage band makes Sprint coverage look like 'lumpy gravy': it can offer high peak bandwidth with low latency in areas covered by the full contingent of Spark bands including 2.6GHz LTE band 41, but suffers low bandwidth in other areas compared to current competitive coverage profiles of Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

    Sprint can't fix that unless they were to deploy differently into 2.6GHz or acquired wide channel spectrum in the low and mid bands, particularly the low band. That will not happen soon given that merger with TMUS is out and DISH also lacks wide channel low band.

    Sprint caught between a rock and a hard place until they can catch back up with "Moore's Law of wireless". They could have done that using "Moore, Cooper, Alamouti's Law" for wireless progression but the guys running Sprint were idiots.
    Aug 18 12:59 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stick A Fork In ParkerVision For The Time Being [View article]
    Litigation is not a good model, enforcement of valid patents as a late inning part of developing technology certain can be.

    Parkervision has patents that have basic flaws: they do not teach practical application of technology and many of the claims will be invalidated imo.

    The company lost its legal battle against Qualcomm.

    It will not recover from that.

    Yes, stick a fork in it, done.
    Aug 13 05:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision: Potential Damage Award = $5 Billion, 5x Prior Award Plus 10 Years Future Royalties. Price Target = $50 [View article]
    Hmmph! My uninformed and unqualified opinion was confirmed by Judge Dalton's ruling chump.
    Aug 9 10:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There Is More Alibaba Magic In Sprint Than Yahoo [View article]
    No free lunch. Being in the investment business, you know that Softbank does not give away 'free money'... money or commercial advantages without getting something in return. Even though Softbank owns 81% of Sprint, they are very likely to treat similar to any of their subsidiaries - if the fund Sprint or provide it with commercial advantage, it will be as debt or in exchange for other commercial considerations.
    Aug 9 10:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment