& cplSiteName &

Sprint Goes Live With 8T8R in Chicago

Sarah Thomas
6/23/2014
50%
50%

CHICAGO -- Sprint's first 8T8R antennas are now live in Chicago, the carrier confirmed on Monday, along with a slew of other announcements it made from the city's Museum of Broadcast Communications.

John Saw, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s chief network officer, told Light Reading the carrier has completed lab testing with all three of its vendor partners and is coming off field trials of 8T8R, the multiple antenna technology that combines eight-transmit/eight-receive radios at the cell site to boost the performance of Sprint Spark's LTE TDD 2.5 GHz spectrum. (See Sprint Promises 180Mbit/s 'Peaks' in 2015 and Sprint: LTE TDD Speed Boost Coming Soon.)

The first live Samsung Corp. base stations are now up and running in Chicago, Saw says, and field trials are wrapping up in Baltimore and Atlanta, among other cities. Sprint plans to ramp up its deployment now, and the former Clearwire CTO says its customers will notice the benefit in terms of speed and coverage as it continues to turn up sites.

"We have quite a few Sprint Spark sites, 2.5 MHz, in Chicago already, and the plan is to build many more," Saw told us. "We have densified so customers get a better experience today."

Going forward, Saw says, the combination of 8T8R and carrier aggregation will lead to speeds in excess of 100 Mbit/s, even up to 1 Gbit/s, as well as the use of beamforming to improve the speed, range, and signal-to-noise quality of data transmission.

"That's the potential we're trying to show with the right technology and right spectrum," Saw says, noting that doing 8T8R at any other frequency would lead to base stations the size of small cars. Sprint plans to roll out 8T8R radios nationwide, reaching 100 million people by the end of the year.

Running Buddies
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (center) buddies up to Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and trainer and coach Todd Durkin as the trio announce a partnership to bring health apps to the Samsung S5 Sport on Sprint's network.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (center) buddies up to Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and trainer and coach Todd Durkin as the trio announce a partnership to bring health apps to the Samsung S5 Sport on Sprint's network.

Sprint also said Monday that HD voice is now officially nationwide, reaching 16 million customers. It announced an additional 28 LTE markets and three Sprint Spark markets: St. Louis and Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C. The carrier also said it will launch international WiFi calling in the coming weeks, letting its customers make calls and send texts over WiFi in more than 100 countries. (See Sprint's Hesse: HD Voice Goes Nationwide in July .)

On the services end, Sprint announced Framily Wall, a private app for members of a Framily plan to communicate, share content, and locate each other. It also announced a partnership with Under Armour and Samsung on the Galaxy S5 Sport for MapMyFitness, S Health, and Spotify integration. (See Sprint Launches No-Sharing 'Framily' Plans.)

Sprint also took a page from T-Mobile US Inc. with a money-back guarantee. Unlike the "uncarrier," which isn't requiring customers to leave their current carriers, however, Sprint just says it will guarantee the customer experience on any Sprint device, letting customers return their phones within 30 days if unsatisfied. (See T-Mobile: You, Seven Nights & the Music.)

"We're confident we're turning the corner with our coverage and quality," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said. "We believe our network combined with great customer experience will delight customers."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/24/2014 | 9:41:14 PM
Re: 8T8R
I hope the deal gets blocked. I feel like it'll just add more congestion to an already lackluster SPrint network.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2014 | 3:39:28 PM
Re: 8T8R
I still don't think the brand has fully recovered from the Nextel acquisition, and I'm not sure any of these announcements (or Sprint's focus on smaller LTE markets and trailing LTE speed tests) are really changing minds yet. I know SoftBank stated that it would take a few years to turn things around. Certainly wouldn't put any hope in the T-Mobile acquisition getting approved. Seems like the most likely of the three current mega-deals to get blocked.
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2014 | 1:08:30 PM
Re: 8T8R
I'm struggling with what Sprint's identity is these days.

I worked there for a long time and in planning meeting after planning meeting, a consistent theme was the Sprint brand.  If Sprint and T-Mobile hook up, there is a great liklihood that the T-Mobile brand will be the surviving brand.

If so, how strong is the Sprint brand, and, strong or weak, what is the identity that Sprint is seeking?

I believe, @jackebrown, that Sprint should be rolling many of the competencies from this announcement into its brand image, not trying to leverage "Framily."  I wonder if you ask 100 people on the street what they think Sprint is good at, if there would be many concrete answers.
jackebrown
50%
50%
jackebrown,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/23/2014 | 3:36:09 PM
8T8R
Spot on Sprint... Excellent example of innovation at work and exceeding customer's expectations. We are looking forward to other great achievements that only Sprint can make happen.  I'm totally convinced that Sprints advanced network combined with great customer experience will really start delighting customers..
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.