Sprint Corp.'s PCS wireless unit said it sold its Sprint Spectrum equipment in the Washington area to Omnipoint Corp., after most customers of the Spectrum wireless network moved to Sprint PCS service.
Terms weren't disclosed. The transaction includes Sprint's Spectrum base stations, antennas, switches and other network equipment in Washington and Baltimore but not its Sprint PCS network, wireless licenses, customer accounts or employees in the area. Sprint Spectrum began service in 1995, Sprint PCS said.
Omnipoint uses the same technology as Sprint Spectrum--GSM, or global system for mobile communications, the world's most popular digital cellular-phone standard. Sprint PCS uses a newer technology called CDMA, or code division multiple access. Sprint had operated both networks in the area since 1997.
Wireless-phone companies are consolidating to create national networks. These cut costs by decreasing calls their customers place on other carriers' systems, and allow operators to offer more minutes for a flat rate, with long-distance calls included. The five national wireless networks in the United States use three different digital technologies.
Sprint PCS, based in Kansas City, fell $1.37 1/2, to $104.37 1/2. Westwood, Kan.-based Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. long-distance company, fell 25 cents, to $69. Omnipoint, based in Bethesda, rose $4.06 1/4, to $108.43 3/4. Sprint has agreed to be acquired by MCI WorldCom Inc. Omnipoint has agreed to be bought by VoiceStream Wireless Corp.
Lehman Brothers Inc. analyst John Bensche said in a report this month that Sprint PCS lost 25,000 to 50,000 Spectrum customers who didn't move to PCS service.