Sprint could have LTE network up and running by next year
Why is the carrier waiting until the middle of the year to make a decision? Steve Elfman, Sprint's president of network operations and wholesale told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference that the company is still working out its 4G strategy with its partner, Clearwire. The latter owns a mobile WiMAX network and Sprint just wants to make sure that both parties are on the same page.
During the conference, Sprint also reiterated its "Network Vision" plan that will cost the carrier $4 to $5 billion to modernize its pipeline over the next 3 to 5 years. Elfman passed along some potentially good news for Sprint customers in the big cities. The operator will try to enhance its 800MHz CDMA coverage to improve in-building coverage. Later this year, Sprint also will have a new PTT system from Qualcomm that will use new Push-to-talk devices that Sprint will launch in Q3.
1. bigtittiedho (unregistered)
it says sprint is gunna enhace its cdma network in the 800 mhz band . will they run Lte on the 700 mhz like verizon? also i heard at&t will use the 700mhz band for Lte
2. Gawain (Posts: 375; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)
The WiMAX network operates on 2.5GHz if I'm not mistaken. So, I would imagine that they would have to keep those licenses since I think VZW and AT&T took the whole 700MHz block.
As to why Sprint is waiting, I think it's more about being ready to deal with a potential Clearwire bankruptcy. The company is drowning in red-ink and the only real generator of business is Sprint through its subscriber base (that and that $10 smart-phone add-on).
3. Uh Oh (unregistered)
Sprint is in for a major overhaul. First they bought the anchor Nextel. Now they are first to market with 4g and WiMax only to realize that first isn't always best. Please explain how they are going to manage, iDen, Wimax, LTE, CDMA network and merging their wimax and lte networks. Not knocking them, but seems like an absolute kluster do deal with. Glad I am not there...I'm sure they have the funds to do it, but this is a major decision for them!
5. phoneduder (unregistered)
If they switch to LTE they will not use Wimax much further out than a year. The have plans to shut down IDEN hence the New Qchat service that is planned. Part of enhancing the 800mghz is shutting down Iden an reaollocating the spectrum.
7. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)
But what happens to all those folks who bought EVOs? If you turn off the WiMAX network, they will be left with just 3G...I feel like if that's going to be the case, they should get a free exchange to a new working 4G phone.
I have to agree, it is a big cluster with networks at Sprint. When Sprint bough Nextel back in the day...it wasn't so much a bad choice, I just think Sprint messed up the merger. WiMAX was them jumping too soon at 4G. Just not really sure how they are going to get out of this one...
8. snowgator (Posts: 3306; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
Yeah, but didn't they get a ribbon or something for being "first"?
9. snowgator (Posts: 3306; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
Hadn't heard of Qchat. Would that just run on the normal network (whatever that ends up being) and just be a series of push-to-talk phones in IDEN's place?
4. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
so what happens to 4g devices running on WIMAX??? will they charge the customer for phone replacement??? and :D yay more real PRE "4G"!!!
6. snowgator (Posts: 3306; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
Cannot imagine that the phone cost is Sprint biggest worry in this. As I am interested in going to Sprint this summer, this really is the biggest question for it's customer base. You would think that Sprint would offer near free phones of equal power and capabiities once this switch is made (and let's face it, they are going to do it). One thing Sprint can not do in it's distant 3rd place on the subscriber ladder is bleed customers. They would HAVE to include phones to their existing base as part of this upgrade. (I mean, really, wouldn't they? They ain't DUMB, are they?)
And what about IDEN? Does that stick around? I haven't really heard if that is a money maker for them.
11. Gateway (unregistered)
iDEN - Integrated Digital Enhanced Network. My brother-in-law nearly threw a fit when I told him iDEN was getting scrapped within the next year or so in the U.S. If I've observed correctly, anyone who is anyone (or thinks they are anyone) has a Nextel device...south of the border anyways. But now I'm left with more questions: Who runs iDEN in Mexico? Is it Sprint? If it's Sprint, do they simply migrate the iDEN technology to Mexico and continue operating it? If not, do they sell it off to whomever it is that operates iDEN in Mexico?
10. dabeast (unregistered)
@luis_lopez_351 by the time they make the switch everybody that boughs Evos will be eligible for upgrades
12. homineyhominey (unregistered)
the network initiative will get rid of iDEN, combining technology into one tower. They won't combine all signals. Making it on the same tower is gonna save Sprint a toe of money. WiMax is an entirely different network, ie different towers. Sprint will use the 2nd gen ptt, Qchat. They tried dual mode a couple years ago and it was a flop. That's why they have been working with qualcomm for so long on the new ptt. iDEN isn't a huge money maker, but it is a staple for their business division.