Light Reading
Sprint is wrapping up field tests of 8T8R antennas, and its first base stations are now live in Chicago.

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
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..
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
US Ops Spend $32.5M to Bring 4G to Chicago's Subways
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 1/30/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.