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News tagged: Sprint


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by Karl Bode 04:25PM Friday Dec 19 2014
In a network build blog update, Sprint says the company has reached all of its major milestones in 2014. According to Sprint Chief Network Officer John Saw, Sprint finished their Network Vision deployment (consolidating, removing/replacing gear), finished rolling out HD Voice by July, expanded the company's footprint across all 3 bands at 1.9 GHz, 800 MHz and 2.5 GHz and reached 100 million people with 2.5 GHz LTE by the end of 2014. Saw notes Sprint now offers LTE in 552 markets covering more than 260 million people.

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"Our focus today and in the year ahead is on providing our customers with a network that works where and when they want, with a consistent experience and improved voice quality and data speed," says Saw, who is quick to point out that Sprint customers saw a "marked improvement in network performance" in studies like those from Rootmetrics.

Saw is a little less quick to highlight that while Sprint may be improving, they've consistently remained in last place in numerous tests when it comes to speed, coverage and latency. Consumer Reports also ranked Sprint last in customer service.

Still, Sprint and SoftBank have made it repeatedly clear it would take two to three years post acquisition to get the company on more sound footing.

"Our hard-working network team is laser-focused on improving the experience for our customers and our network’s performance is getting better every day," says Saw. "We will continue to utilize some of the most advanced technologies in wireless – carrier aggregation for higher speeds, 8T8R radios for enhanced coverage and multi-antenna processing techniques like MIMO for higher capacity; along with tri-band LTE Sprint Spark™ devices for our best high speed data experience for our customers."

72 comments


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by Karl Bode 06:22PM Tuesday Dec 09 2014
According to the latest data from wireless research firm RootMetrics, Verizon Wireless still takes the speed crown, despite significant improvements in particular by T-Mobile. The firm's latest study broke the country down into eight geographical regions, then studied the maximum upstream and downstream speeds delivered by each of the big four carriers.
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by Karl Bode 02:15PM Wednesday Nov 12 2014
Sprint continues to tinker with pricing in an attempt to turn around the company's flagging fortunes, this week announcing they're reducing the data access charge on the company's $80 and $90 Sprint Family Share Pack Plans to $15 per month per line. According to the Sprint announcement, the promotion will run from November 14 to January 15. The data access charge for those plans was previously $25 per month, per line. Earlier this month Sprint announced that the carrier lost 272,000 subscribers on the quarter, and that the company would be trimming another 2,000 employees as it attempts to restructure under new owner SoftBank.

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by Karl Bode 06:00PM Tuesday Nov 11 2014
The Electronic Freedom Foundation last week filed a petition with the Librarian of Congress and the Copyright Office to extend and expand six different exemptions to the DMCA, covering everything from the right to bypass car DRM -- to the right to continue tinkering with games no longer supported by the developers. In a blog post the EFF notes the group also urged the Librarian of Congress “to extend and expand the exemption that allows you to ‘jailbreak’ your phone from those restrictions, without running afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).”

In January of last year unlocking your cellphone technically became illegal after the Librarian of Congress removed it from the DMCA exception list.
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by Karl Bode 06:50PM Monday Nov 03 2014
Sprint's latest earnings don't quite yet scream "turnaround," despite new CEO Marcelo Claure at the helm and a deep-pocketed sugardaddy named SoftBank waiting in the wings. According to Sprint's numbers, the company posted a net loss of $765 million on the quarter, fueled by a steady stream of subscriber departures.
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by Karl Bode 09:17AM Tuesday Oct 21 2014
In December of 2011, right after the cable industry struck their massive spectrum and marketing arrangement with Verizon, Sprint filed suit against Comcast, Time Warner Cable, CableOne, and Cox for supposedly violating Sprint VoIP patents. In early 2013 Comcast returned the favor, suing Sprint for violating numerous patents related to core network services, SMS/MMS, and 3G modem technology. After a four day federal trial, this week Sprint was forced to pay $7.5 million to settle the case. Sprint's original suit, which resulted in this counter-suit, isn't expected to see a court room until next year.

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by Karl Bode 09:14AM Friday Oct 17 2014
One thing of particular note to our readers during Apple's unveiling of new iPads yesterday is the new Apple SIM, which Apple didn't mention at all -- yet most analysts believe has a real chance to disrupt the industry. Installed on iPads with embedded Wi-Fi and cellular radios, Apple notes their new Apple SIM allows users to float between carriers without having to replace the SIM card.
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by Karl Bode 02:20PM Tuesday Oct 14 2014
With the Sprint deal dead due to skeptical regulators and the Iliad deal now dead, can T-Mobile now finally just focus on being the best wireless competitor they can be? While Deutsche Telekom has expressed interest in offloading the US carrier for much of the last decade, company board members are starting to wonder if it's a good idea to offload that company's only growing asset. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has also stated he's "sick and tired" about M&A speculation.

While everybody was busy speculating on who would be buying the under-performing T-Mobile, the company slowly but surely stopped under-performing, and while still facing plenty of challenges, is starting to pose a more serious challenge to incumbents AT&T and Verizon:
quote:
“Now that you’ve flushed out that M&A speculation, the stock is actually attractive now on fundamentals,” Kevin Smithen, an analyst at Macquarie Securities USA Inc., said in a phone interview yesterday. “They’re doing very, very well in the current environment.” T-Mobile has done a good job understanding what consumers are looking for, including more simplified pricing plans, said Smithen, who has the equivalent of a buy rating on the stock and expects it to reach $34.
Legere seems ok with that:
quote:
“The company is doing extremely well so I can do whatever the f--- I want,” Legere said, when asked about his relationship with Deutsche Telekom.
Acquisition speculation isn't entirely dead given Dish's supposed interest in acquiring a stake in T-Mobile. However, after years of speculation about Charlie Ergen's intentions it's still hard to tell if Dish is serious about wireless -- or if the company is just making a lot of noise to inflate the value of Dish spectrum ahead of a sale.

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by Karl Bode 03:07PM Friday Oct 10 2014
“Sprint will cease operating the Sprint 4G WiMAX network on or about November 6, 2015,” a Sprint spokesperson tells Wireless Week. Sprint had previously only stated that the network would be shut down sometime in 2015. Internal Sprint documents leaked to Android Central indicates that letters announcing the shutdown were sent to Sprint's corporate-liable customers this past Monday, with individual-liable and prepaid customers being notified of the shutdown 180 days in advance. If you travel with me for a moment in the way back machine to 2004, you might notice that the claims made about WiMax changing the world didn't quite live up to snuff.

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by Karl Bode 02:20PM Monday Oct 06 2014
Back in January, a Sprint SEC filing stated that the company would be launching "workforce reduction plan to reduce costs and better meet the changing dynamics of the marketplace." Those reductions have been ongoing throughout the year, with a new SEC filing indicating that Sprint expects to take a $160 million hit in the second quarter due to severance packages. The company's latest filing did not disclose the precise number of employees that have (or will be) let go, only noting the layoffs are hitting management and non-management positions alike.

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by Karl Bode 03:28PM Wednesday Sep 24 2014
Dish announced in May of last year that the company would be offering fixed LTE services in a new partnership with nTelos. At the time, the companies stated they'd be ultimately offering the service in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky -- though hard details on the plan were hard to come by.
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by Karl Bode 02:13PM Friday Sep 12 2014
Sprint has slowly but surely been expanding the company's "Spark" LTE upgrades, which combine the company's 2.5 GHz, 1900 MHz and 800 MHz bands for improved regional capacity and speeds Sprint promises should top out around 60 Mbps. According to a Sprint announcement, the company just added Cincinnati, Ohio and Rockford Illinois to the list of markets where Spark has been deployed. You can find a list of all Spark deployed markets here, and all of the Sprint smartphones that support Spark here. You can find Sprint's master list of deployed LTE markets here.

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by Karl Bode 08:25AM Friday Sep 12 2014
Back in July French telco Iliad lobbed a rather underwhelming softball offer of acquisition at T-Mobile, offering $15 billion in cash to acquire 56.6 percent of T-Mobile. Deutsche Telekom wasn't impressed, though reports suggest that the company is still very much open to a deal to sell the freshly-disruptive US carrier, which the company has been trying to offload since 2011 or before. Reuters indicates that Iliad is preparing to make an improved offer, "but has set specific limits on how much money it would raise to fund any deal." Deutsche Telekom spent a year negotiating a T-Mobile sale to Sprint, only to have it scrapped on fears that regulators would block the deal.

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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Thursday Sep 04 2014
Popular Science serves up an interesting read about the discovery of fake "towers" that are being used to surreptitiously intercept cell phone traffic. ESD America offers a product they call the GSMK Cryptophone 500, which is essentially a Galaxy S III running modified hardware and a modified, more-secure version of Android -- which the company states purges 468 vulnerabilities from the traditional Android build.
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by Karl Bode 06:41PM Tuesday Aug 26 2014
California this week became the first state in the country to pass a law requiring that cell phones include so-called "kill switch" functionality to deter theft, enabled by default (the full law is here, pdf). Minnesota passed a similar law earlier this year, but in that version of the law, the functionality is turned off by default.
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by Karl Bode 12:26PM Friday Aug 22 2014
After unveiling the company's new cheaper shared data options earlier this week, Sprint has also now unveiled a new, cheaper plan for single lines. According to the Sprint announcement, users this week can now get unlimited data, voice and text for $60 a month.
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by Karl Bode 12:21PM Thursday Aug 21 2014
T-Mobile took a shot at Sprint, AT&T and Verizon today with a new promotion that gives the company's Simple Choice plan users unlimited LTE data for a year if they bring another user over to T-Mobile. If the Simple Choice plan users already have unlimited data, users will receive a $10-per-month credit for a year.
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by Karl Bode 01:50PM Friday Aug 08 2014
It was just last week that we noted how Sprint CEO Dan Hesse seemed terrified of cutting prices to compete with T-Mobile, expressing concern that if the company reduces prices -- they by proxy reduce revenues necessary to get the company's LTE network up to snuff. Hesse of course has since been informed he'll be fired from the new CEO spot, with Sprint also announcing their intention to give up their pursuit of T-Mobile.
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by Karl Bode 10:07AM Monday Aug 04 2014
Last month we noted that Sprint and T-Mobile were hoping to join forces and bid under a joint venture company in the FCC's 2015 incentive auction of 600 MHz spectrum. That may not float for the FCC, who in a blog post stated that the agency is circulating a proposal that would bar such a play.
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by Karl Bode 02:46PM Thursday Jul 31 2014
Sprint and SoftBank's plan to acquire T-Mobile just got somewhat more complicated on the news that French telco Iliad has made their own counter-offer to acquire the telco. Iliad today announced the company has made a $15 billion cash offer to purchase 56.6 percent of T-Mobile.
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