Light Reading

Sprint RFP May Include LTE

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan

AMSTERDAM -- LTE World Summit -- Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has issued a "next generation network" request for proposal (RFP) for its mobile network in the US, and Long Term Evolution (LTE) has emerged as a potential technology choice.

"There's nothing that prevents us from... moving to LTE," said Kevin Packingham, senior VP of product and technology development at Sprint, speaking at the LTE event here. "We're doing a technology evaluation and making a decision on our core network and how we want to evolve that going forward."

By "core" network, he meant Sprint's CDMA network, which Packingham clarified with Light Reading Mobile on the sidelines of the event. The technology evaluation, which Packingham described as a "next generation network RFP," is for the CDMA networks Sprint operates in 800MHz and 1900MHz spectrum.

Packingham's comments could be the clearest signal to date from the third-largest US mobile operator that it may migrate from CDMA to LTE. Of course, no decision has been made, but Sprint is definitely open to it. (See CTIA 2010: Hesse – LTE Will Be Bigger But We Are First.)

This new technology evaluation does not mean Sprint is ready to wave goodbye to WiMax any time soon. "We don't see WiMax and LTE as being mutually exclusive," he said.

Packingham would not reveal which vendors were invited to participate in the RFP, noting only that, "Everyone who could respond was invited."

Vendor candidates for this RFP would include Sprint's current CDMA suppliers, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT). Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) are possibilities as well.

If Sprint makes the leap to LTE, the move would follow Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) down a well-trod technology path from CDMA to LTE. (See MetroPCS Chooses LTE for 4G Wireless Network and Verizon Goes LTE.)

The revelation of Sprint's interest in LTE follows reports that Sprint may be considering a 3G network upgrade to EV-DO Rev. B.

Packingham would not specify a timeframe for when Sprint might make a leap to LTE. He suggested, however, that such a decision would be informed by customer reaction to the EVO 4G WiMax smartphone, which will be released on June 4, as well as an understanding of what work needs to be done at standards bodies to make a technology shift possible in its frequency bands.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:35:41 PM
re: Sprint RFP May Include LTE

To me it seems only prudent for Sprint to be issuing an RFP to get vendor input on the evolution of its core "next generation network."  As a majority owner of Clearwire Sprint currently enjoys a significant time-to-market advantage on 4G, and consumers will also see the immediate value of investing in an EVO 4G device.  With more than 100 MHz of 4G spectrum in most US markets, Sprint/Clearwire could deploy WiMAX and LTE networks side-by-side.  I am not surprised the company needs more details on CDMA/EV-DO evolution, how WiMAX vendors plan the evolution to 802.16m, and how the 3GPP vendors see the evolution of LTE-FD and TD-LTE toward IMT Advanced.  Many other issues have to be examined along the path to 4G, including the deployement of an evolved packet core and expanding the backhaul.  I only wish I could see the responses. 

Michelle Donegan
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:35:38 PM
re: Sprint RFP May Include LTE

Yeah, I think a lot is riding on the EVO for Sprint. WiMax's advantage is definitely that it's available here and now, and I think it can whet consumers' appetite for faster mobile broadband access. 

Could Sprint end up using WiMax for fixed/portable wireless broadband access and an upgraded cellular network -- whether that's EV-DO Rev. B or a migration to LTE, or a bit of both -- for mobile broadband services?

Michelle Donegan
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:35:37 PM
re: Sprint RFP May Include LTE

Prudent is the word. Sprint's keen to stress that its main motivation here is to pick the technology that will help it handle the mobile data deluge in the most cost efficient way.

I wonder which vendors will land the upgrade deal.

From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Sonus Shakes Up SD-WAN

10|2|15   |   7:22   |   (0) comments

Sonus CTO Kevin Riley sat down with Light Reading to discuss the trajectory of the company, its SDN ambitions and why Sonus is taking a market-disruptive approve to SD-WAN.
LRTV Interviews
CityFibre's Gigabit Vision

10|1|15   |   03:18   |   (1) comment

Mark Collins, director of Strategy & Public Affairs at competitive UK city network operator CityFibre, talks about his company's plans to help build Gigabit Cities.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Automate, Scale & Create With Juniper's vCPE Solution

10|1|15   |   6:34   |   (0) comments

Join Kireeti Kompella, Juniper Networks CTO, and Steve Saunders, Light Reading Founder and CEO, as they discuss Juniper Networks' approach to NFV showcased with a turnkey vCPE solution, which demonstrates how service providers can use automation to rapidly deploy services.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe: Day 1 Takeaways

9|29|15   |   05:47   |   (5) comments

Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Iain Morris sup a beer and discuss some of the key takeaways from the first day of Gigabit Europe 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit in Europe

9|29|15   |   04:24   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe 2015 event in Munich, Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie talks about the availability of gigabit broadband in Europe.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Band of Women

9|28|15   |   4:36   |   (0) comments

Brooks McCorcle, the president of AT&T's partner solutions divisions and a mathematician by trade, shares stats on AT&T's diversity and advice on how to create your own band of women at work.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Communication service providers realize that an ICT transformation is critical to their long-term survival, but most haven't yet committed to making it happen.
Hot Topics
Google Gives Huawei a US Device Boost
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/29/2015
Verizon's Go90 Is Live – Will Anyone Watch?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/1/2015
Eurobites: Dunroamin'
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 10/2/2015
Following the Bouncing Capex Ball
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/29/2015
Good News for NFV Interoperability
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/29/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
Hold My Calls, Indefinitely Click Here