Light Reading
Small cells are an important part of Sprint's network investment, and execs say both indoor and outdoor deployments will begin this year.

Sprint Plans Indoor, Outdoor Small Cells in 2014

Sarah Reedy
2/11/2014
50%
50%

Sprint will begin deploying both indoor and outdoor small cells later this year, executives confirmed on the carrier's fourth-quarter earnings call Tuesday.

Steve Elfman, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s president of Network, Technology, and Operations, told analysts on the call that small cells are an important part of Sprint's network investment strategy and to expect deployments both indoors and outdoors this year.

Sprint was an early leader in 3G femtocells and has been working on deploying LTE picocells with its partners, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Samsung Corp. It has several enterprise deployments underway and is rumored to be working on small-cell-centric LTE networks in some states in the US, but it hasn't outlined its specific deployment plans so far. (See Top 6 Small Cells Movers & Shakers, Sprint Plans to Add 4G LTE Urban Heft in 2014, and Sprint Tees Up LTE Small Cells.)

Small cells will be an important component of Sprint's Network Vision, as it looks to fill in its gaps in coverage. Right now, it's focusing primarily on building out its tri-mode Spark LTE network in the 1900 MHz, 800 MHz, and 2.5 GHz frequencies. It currently has this latest network upgrade up and running in 14 cities, including Philadelphia and Baltimore, both launched today. (See Sprint Adds 70 Fresh LTE Markets and Sprint Feels the Churn Burn Before Spark.)

Its other priorities this year including achieving nationwide coverage with LTE, as well as launching voice-over LTE (VoLTE) and completing its HD voice rollout. Sprint announced last month that it is partnering with BroadSoft Inc. to enable IMS and VoLTE, but it didn't offer a timeline on when VoLTE would go live. Elfman said on the call today that it would have 3G voice over its 800 MHz spectrum, alongside nationwide HD voice, by midyear, which suggests that VoLTE might soon follow. (See Sprint Taps BroadSoft for VoLTE Transition.)

Overall in the fourth quarter, Sprint fared better than analysts were expecting. It lost $1.04 billion, down from $1.32 billion last year, and its revenues grew slightly from $9 billion a year ago to $9.14 billion this quarter.

But, despite the loss of funds, Sprint managed to add 477,000 new wireless customers in the fourth quarter, 58,000 of which were the more valuable postpaid subscribers. As a result, its wireless service revenue grew 5% from last year to $28.6 billion.

When asked about the potential acquisition of T-Mobile US Inc. -- the other topic on all investors' minds -- Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said he wouldn't comment on media speculation, but he didn't dismiss the possibility. (See Tough Road Ahead for Sprint/T-Mobile? and SoftBank's Son Keeps Sprint on Short Leash.)

"I've said consistently for some time that I believe that further consolidation in the industry outside of the big two, AT&T and Verizon, which are big enough, would be healthy, better for the country and for consumers, and I still believe that to be the case," said Hesse.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(11)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/13/2014 | 6:55:03 PM
Re: Help a newbie out??Definitions
OMG IT'S AS THOUGH YOU READ MY MIND!!!!!111!!!
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/12/2014 | 10:51:59 AM
Re: Small cell & VoLTE
That's what I was thinking too, but Bill Ho pointed out on Twitter that SPrint has discussed using them to help with 'speed augmentation' as well. They didn't break out whether they meant indoor or outdoors though.
pzernik
50%
50%
pzernik,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/11/2014 | 10:07:41 PM
Re: Small cell & VoLTE
Small cells are a pure capacity play, and only in urban areas.  I don't think Sprint will solve any coverage issues with small cells (that will be Band 26).  I do see Band 25 being very useful for inbuilding, small cells and other high capacity situations.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/11/2014 | 9:58:51 PM
Re: Help a newbie out??Definitions
Funny you asked:

http://www.lightreading.com/mobile/small-cells/know-your-small-cell-home-enterprise-or-public-access/a/d-id/707044?

There ya go.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/11/2014 | 6:45:54 PM
Help a newbie out?
What are small cells? I'm guessing they're some kind of box that can be attached to a utility pole or something like that, and used to extend coverage in little corners that aren't covered by big, expensive towers? Or do they replace the need to build new towers?
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/11/2014 | 4:24:39 PM
Re: Small cell & VoLTE
Sprint needs help with coverage in any way it can get it. No matter whether it is indoors or outdoors, they just don't compete with Verizon on coverage.

For companies, this is a make-or-break proposition and why most organizations I have worked with on IT side use Verizon. 

The merger of Sprint with Japan-based Softbank was a sign that there would be increased capitalization in infrastructure investment. Small cells are a big part of this to help fill in a lot of gaps. 
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/11/2014 | 2:09:43 PM
Re: Small cell & VoLTE
Indoors should -- in theory -- be easier to deal with vis-a-vis interference with the macro network because they're using less RF power.
McCray
50%
50%
McCray,
User Rank: Light Weight
2/11/2014 | 1:07:34 PM
Re: Small cell & VoLTE
I agree with you Sarah regarding your statement on O-DAS. I think even the Tier 1 operators are still identifying the right solutions (backhaul, antenna types, aesthetics, right-a-way issues). I think the number of application requirements out weight the available solutions.

The suppliers are working hard to develop variety as there is no one size fits all solution to support the various applications (tunnels, campus, outdoor malls, dense urban, rural, coastlines such as long island or pacific coast highway, etc.)

Then you have to factor in that like I-DAS O-DAS is being driven by neutral host providers, carriers, integrators, and even venue owners partnering. There is much experience in the O-DAS space particularly with the Crown Castles, Extenet Systems, American Tower, and revamped Mobilitie groups (Those most familiar with).

It 's going to be interesing how this plays out and one thing for certain is that the larger base station OEMs (ALU, Ericsson, Samsung, Huwaei) versus Small Cell suppliers have initial dominance in the O-DAS space. 

 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/11/2014 | 12:11:51 PM
Re: Small cell & VoLTE
I agree, and it seems most operators are pursuing indoors first as the deployment plans (rights, backhaul, etc) are more clear cut. Sprint certainly needs help with its outdoor network too though.
McCray
50%
50%
McCray,
User Rank: Light Weight
2/11/2014 | 12:07:47 PM
Re: Small cell & VoLTE
Sarah,

I would think indoor would be the priority given over 70%+ of subscriber traffic (voice/data) is generated indoors. I also think milimeter-wave transport will play a key backhaul role.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Caroline Chappell on Open Cloud Trends

11|14|14   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Caroline Chappell from Heavy Reading shared her perspective of open cloud trends. She believes it's really important to all work as a community and establish stable core to OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
'Job Security' Biggest SDN Security Challenge
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/14/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Subsea Market Lures New Cast of Characters
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 11/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed