Light Reading
Carrier has completed lab testing of 8T8R with all three of its vendor partners and plans to begin deploying the boxes in mid-year.

Sprint: LTE TDD Speed Boost Coming Soon

Sarah Reedy
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
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Lightning
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...
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
Cisco Puts a Fog Over IoT
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Apple Earnings: Strong iPhone Sales, iPad Sales Slump, $7.8B Profit
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/22/2014
Salary Survey Report 2014
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed