News tagged: Sprint Telecom
Sprint today announced and demonstrated "Sprint Spark," a technology that effectively combines the company's 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz LTE spectrum to provide what Sprint promises will be real-world downstream speeds of 50-60 Mbps. According to a Sprint announcement
, the company was today able to demonstrate wireless speeds up to 1 Gbps -- albeit in lab conditions.
Sprint intends to use aggregation technology in the 2.5 GHz band to deploy Spark, which will only work on Sprint's looming lineup of tri-band phones including the HTC One max, LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Mega and Samsung Galaxy S4 mini (all four are expected in early to mid November).
Starting today, Sprint is making Spark available (with "limited availability") in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. Sprint says they'll deploy Spark in about 100 of the nation's biggest cities in the next three years, with about 100 million Americans having access to Sprint Spark or 2.5 GHz coverage by the end of 2014.
"Sprint Spark is a combination of advanced capabilities, like 1x, 2x and 3x carrier aggregation for speed, 8T8R for coverage, MIMO for capacity, TDD for spectral efficiency, together with the most advanced devices offering both tri-band capability and high-definition voice for the best possible customer experience,” said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.
Sprint needs all the LTE help they can get.
The company is currently lagging all three of their major competitors in terms of LTE coverage. Numerous studies have also shown that Sprint significantly trails the other three carriers in terms of speeds provided via LTE, something that's not bound to be helped by Verizon's deployment of wider 2x20MHz channels
and T-Mobile's deployment of 2x10MHz channels
. While SoftBank's acquisition of the company should help immeasurably, at the moment's Sprint's struggling to keep pace.
Sprint's news release
offers up some additional technical detail for those interested.
Sprint's latest earning reports
indicate that the nation's yellow-hued third-placed wireless carrier posted a "highest ever" quarterly revenue total of $7.2 billion, though the company still posted a quarterly operating loss of $874 million. Sprint insists that total includes an accelerated depreciation of approximately $430 million that went toward last quarter's successful shutdown of the iDen network acquired from Nextel, the spectrum from which will be repurposed for LTE deployment. Still, the company saw a net loss of $1.6 billion and net subscriber losses of 2 million, but hopes things are brighter around the corner now that they've acquired Clearwire and been purchased themselves by deep-pocketed Japanese carrier SoftBank
Sprint today announced that Brooklyn and The Bronx will have full access to Sprint's shiny new LTE network as of July 30 (aka next Tuesday). According to a Sprint press release
, users in Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens will officially see LTE service launched in the "coming months," though many users have already been able to access the network for some time
. The company currently offers LTE in more than 110 markets, with the aim of covering 200 million potential customers by the end of the year. Sprint also today that they've finalized a deal with Transit Wireless that will allow Sprint users to use their service at the growing number of subway stations
where Transit Wireless is providing cellular service.
Not to be outdone by T-Mobile's semi-underwhelming announcements yesterday
(which included a new $10 monthly phone upgrade plan), Sprint this afternoon announced that the company will be unveiling some changes of their own, including a new program that provides users with unlimited data for "life" (yours or Sprint's). According to a Sprint press release
, the company's new "Sprint Unlimited Guarantee" guarantees that Sprint customers will be able to get unlimited data for as long as they keep their account active and
if they sign up for one of Sprint's new plans.
Confirming recent leaks from the agency
, the FCC today officially announced that they have approved SoftBank's acquisition of Sprint, as well as Sprint's acquisition of the remainder of Clearwire. Approval of the deals was unanimous
, with Republican and Democrat Commissioners alike insisting that the deal would help improve competition in the wireless sector, and lead to increased wireless broadband expansion.
Internal sources suggest that Sprint has approached Dish Network over a deal that would allow Dish to offer wireless service over Sprint's network, in exchange for Sprint getting access to Dish spectrum. According to a report by Bloomberg
, Sprint approached Dish about a deal, though Dish has acknowledged in recent weeks they've been talking with pretty much everyone
(including Google) about a wireless partnership.
Sprint is poised to turn on service in nine new markets, while many people wait for the company to seriously deploy LTE in some larger cities. According to a Sprint press release
, Sprint has started working on LTE upgrades in markets like Minneapolis and Oakland, with a full service launch expected sometime before January. Sprint is turning markets on almost as soon as they're even remotely deployed, resulting in many users with LTE devices seeing network connectivity before commercial launch.
While the pre-launch availability is nice, Sprint has recently resorted to announcing a lot of upcoming LTE markets, as opposed to actually available LTE markets. The carrier realizes that they're getting a lot of new iPhone users who may find themselves disappointed with LTE coverage compared to Verizon (417 markets) and AT&T (80 markets).
Anonymous sources tell Bloomberg News
that Sprint has no plans (yet) to fully acquire Clearwire after Sprint itself was recently acquired by Japanese carrier SoftBank. Sprint currently owns a 49% stake in Clearwire and faces no pressure for full ownership given they've already paid Clearwire $900 million to lease needed spectrum.
Sprint today announced that the company is introducing new data pricing for the company's 3G (EVDO) and 4G (Mobile WiMax) customers that access these networks using laptops. Fresh on the heels of eliminating unlimited data options for devices other than smartphones
, a Sprint press release
notes that customers can now pay $50 for 6 gigabytes of data a month (previously $60 for 5GB) or $80 for 12 gigabytes of data a month (previously $90 for 10 GB).
Since their botched Nextel acquisition resulted in a huge exodus of annoyed customers, Sprint has been trying to do things a little differently from AT&T and Verizon, in the hopes that being a little more consumer friendly would net them customers. Those efforts have involved retaining unlimited smartphone data plans, while AT&T and Verizon both shifted to the low cap and high per byte overage model. story continues..
Like Sprint's planned migration to LTE, it's not a particularly well-kept secret that the company will finally get the iPhone 5 this month -- or that the company plans to continue offering unlimited data plans for the device in the hopes of giving AT&T and Verizon a little more competition. Despite unlimited data and a number of ever-dwindling pro-consumer policies
, Sprint hasn't quite seen the kind of subscriber growth they'd like -- and blames most of that on the lack of the iPhone.
According to the Wall Street Journal
, the Communications Workers of America has started attacking Sprint for its opposition to the AT&T T-Mobile merger. The CWA has launched a new website dubbed Eye On Sprint
, which attacks Sprint for opposing the deal "for its own self-interest, not the public interest." Given the deal would give Sprint a 17% market share, Sprint's motivations are fairly obvious here, and it's not clear who thought Sprint was fighting the deal out of altruism.
Following belatedly on the heels of Verizon
, Sprint will finally be raising their $200 ETF to $350. According to SprintFeed
, this change will take place September 9 and will only impact "advanced devices" such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks. Sprint held out on this shift for a little while: Verizon doubled their ETF for such devices from $175 to $350 in November of 2009, while AT&T started charging a $325 ETF in the middle of last year
. Sprint's change of course will only apply to new contracts or renewals signed after September 9.
According to new data from Validas
, Sprint customers consume the most data, eating an average of 778 MB per month and a median of 371 MB a month. That's not particularly surprising, given that Sprint (for now
) has made unlimited use the center of an ad campaign intended to differentiate the company.
Bloomberg story continues..
has obtained a letter from billionaire LightSquared backer Philip Falcone to Harbinger Capital Partners confirming the fact that LightSquared has struck a fifteen-year deal with Sprint to share network expansion costs and equipment, and to provide high-speed wireless service to the phone company. We first reported that this deal was being negotiated back in March
Yesterday we exclusively reported
that Lightsquared would be ditching Nokia for their LTE network build, instead piggybacking on Sprint's base station overhaul being conducted by Alcatel-Lucent, Ericcson and Samsung. Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media and Telecom Conference today (audio here
), Sprint CEO Dan Hesse reiterated Sprint's dedication to Clearwire and WiMax, despite numerous signs the company is ready to go the LTE route, alone if necessary.
Harbinger Capital Partners' Lightsquared network was originally intended to shake up the competitive landscape by offering new players wholesale access to an entirely new LTE network. Last July it was announced that Nokia won the $7 billion contract to build the LTE network
, though a source with knowledge of Lightsquared's plans tells Broadband Reports that things have changed significantly since then, and that not only is Nokia possibly out of favor as the primary builder -- but that Lightsquared and Sprint are working in conjunction on future LTE plans, with Sprint's recently-announced base station retrofit now the cornerstone of Lightsquared's nationwide LTE ambitions.
Sprint today released their fourth quarter and 2010 earnings
, which indicate the company posted a net addition of 58,000 postpaid subscribers in the quarter. That's obviously not much when compared to the massive additions of AT&T and Verizon, but it's notable because it's the first time Sprint has reported a subscriber gain
whatsoever since the second quarter of 2007. "I'm not declaring mission accomplished yet, far from it," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told investors on a conference call (probably good to note, since many analysts predict Sprint will lose subs again this quarter and they posted a $929 million loss). On the call Hesse also stated that the company would have some major news on their 4G migration path later this year, hinting at either Sprint's possible migration to LTE
, Clearwire's new role as a purely wholesale operator
, or both.
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