Light Reading
Snaps from Sprint's visit to Chicago where it showed off its first 8T8R basestations, launched nationwide HD voice calling, announced a partnership with Under Armour, and more.
SlideshowPics: Sprint's Day at the Broadcast Museum
Sarah Thomas
6/24/2014
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Sprint paid a visit to Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications on Monday to unveil a slew of announcements around its network and services, as well as to offer a money-back guarantee for any customers not delighted with its new network.

In a 30-minute presentation, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) managed to unveil:

  • 28 additional LTE markets, bringing its total to 471 cities;
  • three additional Spark markets: St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C.
  • nationwide availability of HD voice;
  • international WiFi calling coming soon;
  • the exclusive Samsung Corp. S 5 Sport with a heart rate monitor, S Health apps, a Sprint Fit Live app, and MapMyRun through a partnership with parent company Under Armour. Sprint also said it would offer one year of premium MapMyRun services to those customers that purchase the phone;
  • Sprint Framily Wall, a private and secure social media space for customers on a shared data plan to connect;
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee if customers aren't satisfied with the network experience. Unlike T-Mobile US Inc. 's seven-day offer that lets customers stay with their current carrier, Sprint is offering its 30-day promo to new customers, so if they do decide they're unhappy after 30 days, they'll be left without a carrier -- but at least not be beholden to Sprint.

Sprint's Chief Network Officer John Saw also revealed to Light Reading after the event that the carrier's first 8T8R basestations are live in Chicago and that Sprint has single-mode LTE picocells live in the US as well. (See Sprint Goes Live With 8T8R in Chicago and Sprint's Saw: '5G' Opp Is Moving Signal Closer to Customers .)

All the announcements aside, there were also a bunch of cool demos and even more good food. Click on the image below to launch a short slide show of the event.

Dan, The Man
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse took to the stage, wearing his new favorite brand, to talk about America's newest -- and most complex -- network.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse took to the stage, wearing his new favorite brand, to talk about America's newest -- and most complex -- network.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2014 | 3:37:09 PM
Sprint
Still not seeing anything too wow inducing here. It doesn't look like Wall Street's too impressed, either:

"HD Voice is now available across Sprint's network footprint. While the service should provide better voice quality, we do not expect it to set Sprint apart from its peers. T-Mobile already offers HD voice and AT&T and Verizon will offer it with their VoLTE service," the analysts wrote. "The new Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport, which Sprint has exclusively, appears to be a neat device with fitness integration from Under Armour, but we don't see it driving material share gains."

The analysts concluded that they believe Sprint will continue to struggle to add subscribers, and the carrier won't be able to offer true network differentiation "until 2016 at best, and by then we worry spectrum acquisition and technology advancement will allow the other carriers to at least keep pace."
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2014 | 3:32:11 PM
Not quite ironic, but...
Kind of an odd venue choice for Sprint, given that "broadcasting" is pretty much at the end-of-life stage. I thought LR did much better metaphorically with the planetarium.
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