& cplSiteName &

Sprint: LTE TDD Speed Boost Coming Soon

Sarah Thomas
4/29/2014
50%
50%

Sprint has completed lab testing of the LTE TDD radios that will give its network a significant speed boost and plans to start overlaying them on its existing equipment by mid-year.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) Chief Network Officer John Saw said on the company's first-quarter earnings call Tuesday that the carrier has completed lab testing of 8T8R (8 transmitters and 8 receivers in one box) basestation equipment with all three of its vendors -- Samsung Corp. , Nokia Networks , and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) -- and has already begun field testing. (See John Saw to Become Sprint Network Boss, Sprint Sparks Up Vendors for Faster 4G LTE, and Sprint's LTE TDD Future to Boost Current Vendors.)

When used at the cell site in conjunction with MIMO (multiple input, multiple output antennas), 8T8R can give Sprint more range out of the 2.5GHz LTE TDD spectrum it acquired from Clearwire. SoftBank Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son has boasted that this technology will deliver a significant speed hike to Sprint customers in markets with the spectrum deployed. Saw said it will begin overlaying 8T8R on existing equipment by the middle of the year. (See Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?)

The middle of the year has become an important deadline for the US's third-largest wireless operator as it struggles to retain customers and improve its network. At that time, Sprint's rip-and-replace of its 3G network will be substantially complete; its LTE network, which now reaches more than 225 million people, will cover 250 million, and HD voice will be rolled out nationwide. (See Sprint's Hesse: HD Voice Goes Nationwide in July .)

Sprint also announced six additional Spark markets today, including Orlando and Oakland, bringing its total to 24 markets. It offers 14 devices capable of supporting the tri-band 800MHz, 1.9GHz, and 2.5GHz spectrum, including the recently launched Samsung Galax S5 and HTC One. Sprint is a quarter of the way to its goal of covering 100 US markets with Spark in three years. (See Stephen Bye: Sprint's Network Visionary and Igniting the Future: Sprint Spark.)

These improvements are crucial for Sprint as it looks to reverse its churn dynamics. Network issues are the biggest cause of customer churn, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse reiterated on the first-quarter earnings call. Sprint lost 231,000 postpaid customers and 364,000 prepaid customers in the quarter, due primarily to these growing pains. The carrier finds the metrics improve in any market that that has been at least 70% covered with LTE for 10 months, and Hesse said churn should improve in the second half of the year. (See Sprint Feels the Churn Burn Before Spark.)

Sprint's Framily plans, the fastest-growing in its history with 4 million customers now signed up, should also help its cause. But Hesse admitted none of that really matters until Sprint's network is up to par. (See Sprint Launches No-Sharing 'Framily' Plans.)

"The network is obviously a crucial foundation for being competitive," Hesse said. "It almost doesn't matter what your offer price is if your network is not strong."

Overall for the first quarter Sprint reported a net loss of $151 million on revenue of $8.88 billion, although it was a 77% improvement over the pre-Softbank-acquistion first quarter of last year. One bright spot continues to be its wholesale program, which added 212,000 customers in the quarter. Sprint managed to add 516,000 tablets in the quarter, more than the 313,000 AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) added, but shy of the 634,000 Verizon Wireless notched up. (See AT&T Gets 81% of Subs Off Unlimited Data and Verizon Loses Its Postpaid Net Add Crown.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/30/2014 | 6:47:20 PM
Re: More to come...
It's sort of a bit of a tangent (and I've been good at that lately :-( ), but the combination of speed and the marketing smoke regarding Spotify yesterday (and it may just really be smoke) seems to be an "On Notice" message to satellite radio.  I don't see how that survives, at least at the rates charged, if Sprint's bandwidth/marketing mojo kicks in (assuming other carriers weigh in with similar mojo).
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/30/2014 | 4:02:24 AM
Re: More to come...
I'm surprised with Vz's wholesales number, does that include resellers and MVNO?
Sarah Thomas
0%
100%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/29/2014 | 4:14:52 PM
Re: More to come...
Thanks, dude. Updated now.
phxdude
50%
50%
phxdude,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/29/2014 | 4:12:20 PM
Re: More to come...
Ericsson didn't get selected for LTE -TDD network.  Just NSN, ALU, and Samsung.


Ericsson is part of the LTE-FDD deployment
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/29/2014 | 1:07:35 PM
Re: Ericsson?
Ericsson was left out of the Spark update vendors. They chose NSN instead, but I thought Ericsson was still the vendor for TDD. I could be confused though, so I will verify and update.
lrmobile_Ziggy
100%
0%
lrmobile_Ziggy,
User Rank: Moderator
4/29/2014 | 12:58:03 PM
Ericsson?
I thought they were left out of Sprint's TDD suppliers.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/29/2014 | 12:15:18 PM
More to come...
Our intrepid reporter Dan Jones is at the Sprint event today in NYC, so check back for more to come on Framily, HD Voice, and Network Vision...
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
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
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.
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
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
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.