Light Reading

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?
SarahReedy
0%
100%
SarahReedy,
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
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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...
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Qualcomm Wants FCC to Stay Out of LTE-U Fray
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Distract-a-Cat Click Here
The vibrate function makes for a useful cat distraction.