Sprint Gives Progress Report on LTE Upgrades
As Major Market Launches Could Still be Six Months Away
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.
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:
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.