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Sprint Gives Progress Report on LTE Upgrades
As Major Market Launches Could Still be Six Months Away
by Karl Bode 09:01AM Thursday Oct 25 2012
Sprint's third quarter earnings were released this morning and suggest that the company's LTE build is, as you'd expect, chipping away at the company's revenues. Sprint posted a loss of $767 million, up from a loss of $301 million one year earlier. Quarterly revenues were $8.76 billion, up from $8.33 billion a year ago. Sprint also lost 465,000 subscribers in the quarter. Both the subscriber losses and the lower earnings are courtesy of Sprint's Network Vision LTE upgrade, which will cost the company at least $4 billion over the next few years, and the company's shutdown of the iDen network acquired from Nextel.

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Sprint gave some additional insight into the progress they're making on LTE upgrades, noting that the company now offers LTE in 32 cities, with 115 more launching in the coming months. Their use of the word "cities" is rather generous, since the majority of their market launches have been in small markets. Even their large market launches haven't been particularly robust, a recent study showing that Sprint's significantly over-stating coverage in launched markets.

Sprint desperately needs to launch LTE in some larger markets to keep pace with AT&T and Verizon, though a source tells CNET this week that Sprint's definition of "coming months" means six months. In other words, promised large market launches like Boston, Philadelphia, Losa Angeles and New York City may not appear until March.

Still, Sprint says that LTE construction is underway in more than 200 cities, and that they've got 13,500 sites now ready for construction. The company also insists that current construction starts per week have grown over 250 percent from second quarter, meaning that once larger markets start arriving, they should do so in fairly quick waves.

Sprint's current LTE markets, if you're interested:
quote:
Atlanta, Ga.; Athens, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Barnstable-Hyannis/Mid-Cape, Mass.; Calhoun, Ga.; Carrollton, Ga.; Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.; Gainesville, Ga.; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, Ind.; Granbury-Hood County, Texas; Houston; Huntsville, Texas; Hutchinson, Kan.; Lawrence, Kan.; Kankakee/Bradley/Bourbonnais, Ill.; Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.; McPherson, Kan.; Manhattan/Junction City, Kan.; New Bedford/Fall River, Mass.; Newnan, Ga.; Rockford, Ill.; Rome, Ga.; San Antonio, Texas; Sedalia, Mo.; St. Joseph, Mo.-Kan.; Topeka, Kan.; Waco, Texas; Waukegan-Lake County, Ill.; Wichita, Kan.; Wichita Falls, Texas.

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tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Saint Clair Shores, MI

Never would have guessed

Sprint's significantly over-stating coverage
Gee, who would have guessed? I'm sure this is something current Sprint customers already have experienced.

FifthE1ement
Tech Nut

join:2005-03-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sprint listen up!

Sprint just started lighting up a few towers down in in South Florida but it is taking way to long. If they release LTE in my area and then jack the prices up or remove unlimited data, like they said they might, I will be gone and many of my friends and family will be going with me. Heed my warning Hesse and Sprint.
--
"The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled..."
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Sprint listen up!

They won't be jacking up prices until they have a nationwide LTE network. So you're safe for now.

anon

@att.net
Why would you move to another carrier that has already jacked up prices (ie AT&T or Verizon?) Sprint would still be a better deal, no?
ydoucare

join:2003-03-12
Lafayette, IN
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
·Embarq Now Centu..
said by FifthE1ement:

Sprint just started lighting up a few towers down in in South Florida but it is taking way to long. If they release LTE in my area and then jack the prices up or remove unlimited data, like they said they might, I will be gone and many of my friends and family will be going with me. Heed my warning Hesse and Sprint.

You people threaten to do this all the time. Just switch carriers and be done with it. Then you can troll the Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile articles and complain about how they're ripping you off.

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

1 edit

Only $4 Billion Dollars?

Sprint needs to spend more money on this Network Vision upgrade project and further accelerate this deployment. If they don't, they are in big trouble.

That Softbank money ought to be used to accelerate this network buildout instead of paying down debt. It's ridiculous that Sprint is selling LTE-capable phones/tablets when they don't have an LTE-capable network significantly deployed. You've got people who are signing up for new AT&T/Verizon Contracts now for the new iPhone 5 and will do so for other LTE-capable devices (iPad/iPad Mini). These are customers that Sprint won't even get because its network isn't ready to support these devices properly, compared to AT&T/Verizon. And since these folks will be under new contracts with these other carriers, it's unlikely they'll switch to Sprint anytime soon. So those customers are lost and may never come back to Sprint from those other carriers.

When AT&T failed to acquire T-Mobile, AT&T had to pay out $3 Billion in cash along with spectrum worth at least $1 Billion....
Source: »www.brighthand.com/default.asp?n···transfer

$4 Billion isn't what it used to be.
Hurry up Sprint. Hurry up. Or you'll be left behind.
--
"We're going to start at one end of (Fallujah), and we're not going to stop until we get to the other. If there's anybody left when that happens, we're going to turn around and we're going to go back and finish it."
Lt. Col. Pete Newell: 1st Inf. US Army
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Only $4 Billion Dollars?

The financing is already in place for the LTE rollout. Sprint seems to be blaming equipment lead time from LTE vendors impacting the rollout schedule.

Some of the later large markets likely will see some LTE before 6 months. Some in LA are already reporting LTE in spots.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter
said by IPPlanMan:

Sprint needs to spend more money on this Network Vision upgrade project and further accelerate this deployment. If they don't, they are in big trouble.

I'm not so sure about that. Look at AT&T's glacier pace of LTE rollout (compared to Verizon). They are doing just fine.

bbrlogue
Learning New Things Daily
Premium
join:2003-12-07
Alexandria, VA

Re: Only $4 Billion Dollars?

But AT&T's HSPA+ is already way better than Sprint's 3G, so AT&T doesn't have the same urgency as Sprint. I have both (and being on paygo, no AT&T LTE), and guess which hotspot I turn on when I need to connect away from home or office? Even in a densely populated neighborhood where one would expect a decent coverage from any providers, Sprint's 3G, if I can get it, is still too slow compared to what I can get from AT&T.

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Re: Only $4 Billion Dollars?

Agreed. AT&T's "Faux G" network buys them some time....

asdfs

@comcast.net

VZ Vs Sprint

I'm currently on Verizon shared data plan. I don't like this kind of plan but I don't have any choice. I use it for business. Despite it costs more, it works like a charm... no disconnectivity. Yes, you get unlimited data plan on Sprint. What is the point of having unlimited and no connection or pool service?

bbrlogue
Learning New Things Daily
Premium
join:2003-12-07
Alexandria, VA

Market launch means nothing, really

A market launch merely means that some sites are on, but what they don't really tell you is that only less than 30% of that market's sites are LTE. At this point in the calendar, Sprint is way behind their competitors nationwide in deploying a worthy, high-speed network. Even T-mobile's users are mostly contend with HSPA+, which is night and day compared to Sprint's 3G.

When Sprint launches LTE in Washington DC (already late), it would means absolutely NOTHING to most of us here. The network vision map at s4gru (pay access) shows very few LTE sites that are going to go live. The launch would make not a dent inside the beltway, let alone the greater metro area.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Market launch means nothing, really

...which is why Sprint isn't launching DC yet. Or Chicago for that matter. In both cases they've got a lot of sites upgraded, but they're all still 3G-only. Gotta love slow backhaul providers.

bbrlogue
Learning New Things Daily
Premium
join:2003-12-07
Alexandria, VA

Re: Market launch means nothing, really

Chicago's LTE map already looks much, much better than DC's. I don't know if it's an ALU vs Samsung that's a factor here.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS

Kudos...

I cant speak for other areas but Sprint has already started the rollout in Maine and NH which has me floored. I assume it is just as easy for them to continue on from the Mass. rollout than relocate elsewhere.
--
Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts
sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111

Coverage

LTE is great but when your voice coverage still stinks even after NV upgrades, whats the point. They need to install new towers or something because the NV upgrades will only improve voice coverage maybe up to 15% in some areas with the RRUs up on the tower itself. The main reason I left Sprint was voice coverage. I would even go into the city and hit dead spots. I get better voice coverage with Cricket which is pretty sad.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: Coverage

They'll be doing LTE on existing footprint first and then expand coverage with 800Mhz starting in late 2013 after shutting down Nextel. Yeah, everyone wants it _now_ but it's a logistical issue.

BTW, it's Nextel users Sprint is losing and that is no surprise. They expect to lose 30-40% Nextel users by the time iDen network is shutdown. It's in their long term forecast to stockholders. Sprint doesn't really plan a major attack for new users until after Network Vision is complete. It will be painful over next year and they know it.

If Sprint isn't working out during the transition, go to Verizon. Check back with Sprint when Network Vision is complete.

»news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-575403···ag=title
Keefer21

join:2012-07-06
Hilton, NY

Not all markets are bad for sprint.

I used to have a sprint EVO and my best friend a LG LTE flavored handset from Verizon and my 4G coverage was more consistent and faster than hers! and sometimes my phone would drop down into 3g at the beach or something and i would still be pulling almost 3MB down and her Verizon would be struggling like it was 2g. People paint this picture of sprint not working everywhere but i gotta say in Rochester upstate new york sprints very competitive with Verizon. AT&T and T-mobile are a complete joke around here. Not all markets for sprint are terrible. The only consistent 2G area i was in for more than 2 miles were the Keys in Florida and some area's outside las Vegas. Not a diehard sprint head with posters on my bedroom wall but i appreciate the service experience Ive had in the last ten years. sprint really hasn't let me down ever.

Gest

@wayport.net

Sprint going to use optimum lightpath for backhauls

So I heard this is how sprint is going to upgrade the backhaul on cell sites on longisland. But the problem is it might be to late. Sites aren't to get tied in till after the new year. Ive had sprint for years now with blackberry so I thought that's why internet was so slow. I bought a iPhone at launch and data on it was bearly usable. Could not connect to app store unless it was early in morning or late at night. Speed test.net showed speeds 30kb or under on downloads.