& cplSiteName &

Sprint Plans Indoor, Outdoor Small Cells in 2014

Sarah Thomas
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        ADD A COMMENT
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!!!
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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. 

 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
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
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.