Sprint officially announced that its very first LTE tower cluster is now operational, thus marking yet another significant milestone in its Network Vision
plan. The said tower array blankets the town of Kankakee, Illinois, which is located 60 miles south of Chicago. What Sprint also said is that field testing of its LTE infrastructure has been completed, meaning that the aggressive LTE rollout it announced earlier this year is still on track.
However, don't go popping any champagne bottles yet because it will take until mid-2012 for an LTE device to launch on Sprint. And nobody said it would be a smartphone or a tablet – instead, it could be a USB dongle or a wireless hotspot. Further announcements regarding the status of the carrier's LTE network are expected to be made in early 2012.
But deploying its LTE equipment is not the only task that has been keeping Sprint busy lately. The carrier stated that its 3G network has been given a boost from coast to coast, which is great news for all of those Sprint iPhone 4S owners that have been dealing with sub-par 3G speeds
for quite a while now. Furthermore, besides improving data speeds, the improvements that the carrier made to its 3G network should result in fewer dropped calls for its subscribers. More information on Sprint's most significant achievements for 2011 is available in the press release below.
+- Press Release
Sprint delivers 3G network upgrades coast-to-coast, marks significant milestones in Network Vision deployment
As 2011 draws to a close, Sprint customers from New York City to San Francisco now enjoy enhanced 3G coverage, resulting in faster data speeds and fewer dropped calls
LTE deployment is on track for 2013
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), December 27, 2011 - As part of its Network Vision program, Sprint (NYSE:S) doubled its 2011 capital investment over 2010 to make tens of thousands of capacity upgrades, resulting in a better wireless experience for its customers. Smartphone penetration is expected to double over the next four years.* With Network Vision, Sprint is making it easier for data to travel, so its smartphone customers – who use on average 10 times more data than feature phone customers* – can use their devices the way they were intended.
As a result of the network improvements across the country, voice service is enhanced and Sprint customers can expect to see better performance on their smartphones, mobile broadband connection cards and mobile hotspots when using the Sprint 3G network. Performance improvements include:
- Faster data speeds that enable instant web access for news updates, HD viewing and game-playing, quicker video downloads and clear video chats
- Better signal strength when making a call or using the web
- Fewer dropped calls for peace of mind when talking to friends, family or colleagues
"With the network investments we made in 2011 and as the only national wireless carrier to offer truly unlimited data plans while on the Sprint network, we continue to offer better value than Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T." said Bob Azzi, SVP – Network, Sprint. "But our commitment to an exceptional wireless experience doesn't stop there. Sprint's on an aggressive path to roll out Network Vision, and in collaboration with our partners, have already achieved many significant milestones that offer improved customer experience on the Sprint 3G network, and we expect to maintain and even accelerate this momentum in 2012."
Throughout 2011, Sprint achieved a number of significant milestones in the deployment of Network Vision. It is on track to offer LTE devices by mid-year 2012 and complete the majority of its Network Vision rollout in 2013. Sprint expects to make additional announcements about the timing of LTE markets and devices early next year. Milestones include:
- Completed development and integration of back-office systems to support the new base stations to ensure a seamless rollout
- Finished lab testing of all components of the Network Vision platform, eliminating most technical risks of the program and validating rapid LTE deployment schedule
- Launched Sprint Direct Connect® on CDMA and introduced three devices, allowing our iDEN customers to move to a truly mobile data experience with a comparable platinum push-to-talk experience
- Launched first multi-modal base station in Branchburg, N.J., and validated improved 3G data performance metrics, such as voice quality, drops and blocks and data speeds
- Launched first cluster of cell sites in Kankakee, Ill. and completing field integration testing
Nationwide, Sprint is overhauling its entire network and replacing existing equipment with the newest, most advanced equipment available in the industry through a program called Network Vision. Announced in December 2010, Network Vision is planned to consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless network with the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call quality and data speeds for customers.
Network Vision and the recent upgrades reflect Sprint's commitment to customer service, which tied for the No. 1 spot among major wireless carriers for customer satisfaction in the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index. The survey showed Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the past three years.