Sprint Strategy Update event coming October 7th: will it bring 4G LTE news, tiered data or an iPhone?

Sprint Strategy Update event coming October 7th: will it bring 4G LTE news, tiered data or an iPhone?
Sprint is the carrier which needs a strategy update the most and the carrier which needs a strategy update the least. Let us explain - the third-largest US carrier currently offers a WiMAX 4G network and in the light of its recently signed 15-year deal with LTE wannabe provider LightSquared, a change seems imminent and needed. At the same time, Sprint is the only carrier offering unlimited data and from a user’s standpoint, that strategy needs update the least. But an update is coming - the carrier has issued invitations for Sprint’s strategy update event on October 7th.

While we don’t know whether the carrier plans to pop the champagne for a Sprint-bound iPhone, as some reports have previously suggested, or just unveil more details for the transition to LTE as its main 4G technology, let us explore all the options and weigh the possibilities.

First comes the possibility of Sprint giving new light on how exactly it will switch to long-term evolution (LTE) wireless broadband. The carrier is currently using ClearWire’s services for WiMAX and ClearWire has clearly stated its intention to move to LTE. In order to do that, though, the wireless provider needs funding, a lot of funding, which by all assumptions needs to come mostly from Sprint. Will the carrier be willing to continue pouring down cash in ClearWire in the future? The recent 15-year deal with LightSquared questions that, as it seems that two LTE networks are just too much for a single carrier. To complicate matters more, under the deal, Sprint may buy up to 50% of LightSquared’s 4G capacity, if it adopts L-band LTE as part of its services.

Second comes the sad possibility of the carrier slashing unlimited data. Sprint is the only one of the four major carriers still offering all you can eat data, but its pre-paid arm, Virgin Mobile, has recently announced a move away to tiered plans. Adding speculative fuel to the fire, in the last couple of days, a lot of Sprint users have seen their data counters reset and no longer showing unlimited minutes (not data). Unlimited was replaced with a huge number, in the millions, but while this doesn’t necessarily signal no more unlimited plans, it does vaguely hint at such a possibility.

Third, comes the juiciest part - a Sprint-bound iPhone 5. The Wall Street Journal reported about it, and there are a couple of events leading us to think that it’s possible. First of all, the dates fit - the next-gen iPhone is expected to hit shelves mid-October, a mere week after the Strategy Update event. Second of all, the Now Network is hiking its early termination fee to $350, up from $200. This coincides with the upcoming launch of the Galaxy S II in early September, but it could also make up for the huge subsidy which an eventual Sprint iPhone 5 could carry. Some of our users have also mentioned that their early upgrade dates have been moved a couple of months ago to October, all pointing at a possible grand Apple-esque conspiracy.

We wouldn’t put our bets on the latter, though, and whatever it is, we’ll only know after more than a month on October 7th. But looking at all the possibilities, which one seems most possible to you?



1. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

So let me get this straight, not alll carriers in the us has the iphone ? In sweden every carrier has the iphone, maybe it is because the iphone has the biggest market share in sweden at the moment...

3. sun0066

Posts: 282; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

in the us there are two types of cell signal, gsm and cdma , at the beginning the iphone was just gsm,, just in january 2011 the release the cdma version for verizon, sprint is cdma also but dint get it. also att had had the iphone just for them for about 4 years , lol

2. UberGOOD unregistered

wow I locked into verizon unlimited plan for who knows how long... could be months only. But with all these shaky plans sprint's making kind of makes me worried and having second thoughts of jumping ship from verizon to sprint even if they do have great promos on phones. Maybe I'll wait and stay with verizon. What are all of you guys on verizon going to do? Stay with verizon and pay for the higher price phone or jump to sprint and get some good deals?

6. ibap

Posts: 871; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

Whatever plan you get will have its terms preserved for the life of the contract, and after that until you buy a phone from them. There might be a catch if you switch between phones that do and do not have the $10 data premium (smartphone feature phone or simple phone). I held onto an old Verizon plan for a long time (some time ago) buy buying replacement phones on eBay rather than from VZW.

14. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

Sprint knows that it cannot upset it's customers because they cannot afford a defection of subscribers. Many of Sprint's customers are there for value and for unlimited data, so I do not expect they will upset the cart on these issues...

21. agamhonda unregistered

I think you should switch to At&t because the next time you upgrade they will most like make your switch to the 2GB plan which is the same price that you are paying for unlimited. If you switch to At&t you can get a single line with unlimited talk and text plan for $60 and $25 for 2GB data and $100 for a family plan with unlimited talk and text. Data will cost you $25 per line with 2GB of Data. Verizon plan for unlimited will cost you $115 for the same plan on a single line or family plan with two lines is $150 for talk and text unlimited. Data will add another $50 for 2GB of data. You are looking at $200 for a family with unlimted. With Verizon you are looking at additonal $75 for another line with unlimied talk, text and 2GB data. At&t is only $35 for additional line with 2GB of data.

23. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

our 3 lines on everything family data [unlimited text & data] plan costs costs $160 with Sprint after corporate discount and $10 add on per line for smartphones. We don't care about talk minutes, we don't need them. We use over 2GB/ month on each line. Per your post, ATT would cost us more. Not switching.

27. What? unregistered

U must work for AT&T or ur parents pay for your phone

28. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

AT&T is bogus, fanboy.

4. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Kinda fun timing for my family and me. Our contract with AT&T is up on November the 11th. With my employers discount, if Sprint stays as is as far as plan pricing we would save a truck-load of money by going to them. But, their service is not great here. So, a rundown of their plans will help that decision. We will know what devices they will have by that time as well. It is unrealistic to think Sprint will stay unlimited forever. As a side note- Dish Network, who recently bought Blockbuster Inc and now owns the retail and streaming capabilites of the media giant now, has purchased TerreStar bandwidth, and may be looking to get into wireless cable and even maybe "other" wireless ventures. One of the partners they are interested in teaming with to help set up this network? Sprint, according to fierce wireless and the Kansas City Star. That could be a multi-billion dollar cash stream for Sprint if it happens. It may be a year or so away, but it is interesting. http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/entner-how-ergens-dish-network-could-steamroll-wireless/2011-08-29 http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/26/3100399/dish-teaming-with-sprint-on-wireless.html

5. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Which carrier do you work for, seeing you say you get emplayers discount ?

8. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I do not work for a carrier. But carrier's will offer discounts to the employee's of the larger buisnessess they have contracts with as incentives to get more users. The hospital system I work for has discounts with Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. But Sprints is the largest.

11. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

ok, i see.

15. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

This would be awesome for me since I use DishNetwork for TV and Sprint as my Cell Carrier! Both are value oriented too...

7. Mooooo

Posts: 212; Member since: Aug 27, 2011

The only reason I am still with AT and T and not with Sprint is because of my employee discount. I really hope Sprint keeps there unlimited plans because I foresee myself leaving the AT and T in the near future.

9. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

If AT&T would just improve their customer service from unbearable to just plain bad, I could stand them. Their network is really pretty decent, and their device selection is the best of the major carriers. But, dial a 1-800 number and ask for help, and you might as well block out 3 - 5 hours of time for the runaround that is coming.

16. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

even with the higher cost you pay?

17. spanky

Posts: 81; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

id be willing to bet that if you have a discount with them you will have a discount with Sprint.

10. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Given the timing of the announcement, I suspect an iPhone on Sprint may be part of the announcement. Whether an iPhone on Sprint is a 'one more thing', or the main event, time will tell.

12. Crude unregistered

This is what I am expecting since sprint have now LTE and WIMAX: They are going to announce that they will use their LTE for their broadband services while expanding their WIMAX service for their mobile service. Then again they will use the LTE signal to power the highly data demanding iPhone 5 cause we all know WIMAX sucks! or then again it could be the other way around and current WIMAX cell phone users will be screwed!

13. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

@Crude - LTE from Sprint is a ways down the road. Fortunately for Sprint, the iPhone 5 is a 3G edition. Sprint is going to have to scramble in a year or so when Apple releases an LTE capable iPhone, because no one wants to have a slower phone when the guy next to you is zipping along on LTE from VZW. Right now, VZW seems to be the leader in rolling out LTE (both footprint and speed).

18. Herman unregistered

Who wants to buy a high powered phone now if you are only going to be allowed 2g a month wether you are on at&t or verizon. It's like you purchasing a ferrari but only given the option to drive it around your neighborhood and nowhere else. Carriers are starting to get like cable companies where they raise their rates on an annual basis. Sooner or later John Doe will get tired and jump on a prepaid plan.

19. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Everyone is talking about speed and how much fast LTE is. But the fact of the matter is speed don't mean much when all need customer to VZW will be on a Tier plan. Speed kills in Tier plan because something that fast you will be hitting your limit in 4 to 5 to stream netflix or 10 or 12 hour on Pandora. Because these app quality is base on your connection speed. The fast the better the quality of sound/picture.

22. sinfulta

Posts: 279; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

You can actually go into your netflix account from your web-browser/home computer and determine which quality to stream at. I showed my sister how to do this because she's on a 2Gig Plan with Verizon on her LG Revolution. The most she ever uses is like 1-1.2GB a month. I am not sure why everyone is going crazy over unlimited data. I use tons of data and the highest I've got is 1.7GB, and that was TRYING to get they're and I already have unlimited data.

24. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

I thinks it's more of a "just in case" kind of thing. I mean some months I use well over 2gb's and I don't want to have to worry about being shut off or paying extra. The unlimited is keeping me worry free for heavy usage in certain months.

20. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

I hope they keep unlimited data. I don't understand why we need such fast 4G speeds if we cap out at 2GB, it's like saying "Let's race to see who can get to the cap first, so that for the rest of my month I'm screwed."

25. Mr.Mr.Upgrade

Posts: 474; Member since: Aug 30, 2011

I like sprint prices but service sucks, no body recognizes 3rd place phone company

29. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Good grief.

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