Sprint embarks on a huge network coverage and speed upgrades

Sprint embarks on a huge network coverage and speed upgrades
After the failed merger with T-Mobile, analysts predicted that Sprint will have little choice but to commence a huge network upgrade, now that it is clear it will be braving the unforgiving carrier landscape elements on its own. It is therefore no wonder that the 4th largest US carrier unveiled an ambitious capital expenditure plan back in December, aiming to upgrade its network to the tune of $6 billion this year.

That's double what it spent last year, and analyst have noticed that it is already starting to deliver on the project, with requests for proposals (RFP) sent left and right to tower companies, small cell manufacturers, and fiber suppliers. According to Jennifer Fritzsche from Wells Fargo: "Sprint is real. The RFPs are coming at an increasingly growing rate (and have built since the CFO change). These RFPs are wide in scope – macros, small cells and fiber. One contact even indicated S [Sprint] has already placed orders for some of these antennas."

Apparently, SoftBank’s chief executive Masayoshi Son, who is Sprint's chairman, too, was serious about the multibillion network investments, as Crown Castle, the company that builds carrier towers, hinted at two new long-term contracts it has signed, and the lease duration indicate these are Sprint and Verizon. Sprint also inked deals with the wired providers Cox and Altice not long ago, aiming to further increase its backhaul reach and capacity.

In the short run, the company will be adding 2.5 GHz and 800 MHz antennas to new and existing cells and towers, in order to increase its coverage, said Sprint's CTO. The 5G efforts of other carriers are just about to bear fruit, and Sprint doesn't want to be left woefully behind, it seems.

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14 Comments

1. palmguy

Posts: 952; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

I heard this way back in 2005 when Sprint purchased Nextel. Sprint needs so much help to improve it's everything (image, network, perception).

3. Acdc1a

Posts: 461; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

It's not perception. They are consistently bad and consistently come in last place in independent tests. T-Mobile had this same problem 6 years ago when I got them. Over time the network has improved and their perception certainly has improved. I don't get stupid looks anymore when I tell people which carrier I use. Sprint has to duplicate what T-Mobile has done.

13. audibot

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

right and then they destroyed the greatest network ever iden nextel

2. applesnapple93

Posts: 278; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

They need more low frequency spectrum

4. Fire5

Posts: 314; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

10 years in the same, sprint please ...

5. phoneguy

Posts: 213; Member since: Jan 08, 2009

Seems Like all they Do is Upgrade their Network, build a new network. Blah blah . Its getting old

6. phoneguy

Posts: 213; Member since: Jan 08, 2009

And I used to work for them and drank the koolaid. I feel sorry for the employees that have to try and justify all Sprints inadequecies to their customers. Its Pathetic really. They were in a Better postion than Tmobile at one point and completely blew it and look what Tmobile has accomplished.

7. therealestboy

Posts: 82; Member since: May 03, 2013

T-Mobile is just as bad as Sprint in my testing. If you want reliable coverage AT&T and Verizon is the way to go.

9. TechnoTechyes

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 24, 2011

Of course that's not always the case. I can tell you of plenty of areas where Verizon and AT&T are out performed by Sprint at least (and probably T-Mo). i.e. My son's San Fran Apartment (My phone outperforms his Verizon) My friend's Houston house. (My phone outperforms friend's AT&T) Ski Resorts in Colorado (My phone outperforms friends' AT&T & Verizon's phone outside, yet under performs them deep in buildings) And there's more, like Internationally. I had no issues in Panama and Costa Rica. My friends with Verizon all ended up sharing locally bought phones. But admittedly in plenty of areas (semi remote Wyoming, Verizon is best). So, if you travel between Casper and Thermopolis Verizon outlasts everyone else.

11. DFranch

Posts: 490; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I agree, that AT&T and Verizon have the best overall coverage, but It really depends where you live. Where I live T-mobile is a viable alternative. My brother is on T-Mobile, and the speed locally is much faster than Verizon. He doesn't ever complain about coverage either. He used to be on Sprint, Sprint is a joke. It was like 3g speeds.

8. TechnoTechyes

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 24, 2011

It is faster than before. This morning I was having issues with Xfinity, it was super slow (2 Mbps instead of normal 125 ). So I turned off the WiFi, checked Sprint's speed, and it was 56 Mbps. That speed is good with me. It is faster than the WiFi I get in some of my friend's houses.

10. dragon76

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

I think Sprint has a good LTE network with great speeds, but it is very spotty with coverage being a hit or miss. Most of my "home" area is LTE with speeds averaging 40+Mbps in most cases... so if they can push that into more areas that have "Dead Zones" Sprint could use the improved network to lure new customers..... But once the customers are there Sprint's customer service/care is very very subpar, like I keep saying on other sites..... Sprint is number 4 for a reason and my personal experience with the customer service department from any of the ways of contact suck ass......

12. Eclectech

Posts: 336; Member since: May 01, 2013

I spent 19 years as a Sprint customer before finally making the switch to T-Mobile several months ago. I am still rooting for them from the sidelines and wouldn't rule out coming back if they fix the holes and speed inconsistencies in their network. Sprint works better for me when I'm back in Los Angeles, but T-Mobile works a bit better for me in my current home, Atlanta.

14. erolva35

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 18, 2017

I personally think it's too late for Sprint. They need a major overhaul. First definitely expand their coverage first. I wouldn't even worry about 5G until they get coverage and LTE-A down. If they can cover the whole map by 2019 they're in business but if not, they'll prob just keep lagging behind until they go bankrupt or bought out honestly.

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