& cplSiteName &

Sprint: LTE TDD Speed Boost Coming Soon

Sarah Thomas

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
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).
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
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/29/2014 | 4:14:52 PM
Re: More to come...
Thanks, dude. Updated now.
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
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.
User Rank: Moderator
4/29/2014 | 12:58:03 PM
I thought they were left out of Sprint's TDD suppliers.
Sarah Thomas
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.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
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 Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
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
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
US Issues Total Flight Ban on Samsung Note 7
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/15/2016
Oh Snap! Qualcomm Unveils X50, Its First 5G Modem
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/17/2016
Telecom Italia Plots Digital 'Overlay,' Not Transformation
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/17/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
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.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
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.