Sprint is said to be planning a major network expansion, adding over 9,000 new cell sites around the US to expand and bolster its 4G LTE and 3G CDMA coverage.
The expansion, first reported by the Sprint 4G Rollout Updates blog, appears to somewhat reverse Sprint's attempt to decrease the number of sites it ran under its "Network Vision" plan. Under that strategy it had decommissioned over 9,000 Nextel 800MHz sites. (See Sprint Sacrifices Clearwire WiMax in iDEN Demise.)
S4GRU's sources, however, suggest that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will only reopen around 1,100 of the old Nextel sites; 5,000 of the new sites are expected to support Sprint's high-speed data "Spark" upgrade at 2.5GHz. (See Fanning Sprint's Spark in NYC and Sprint Mulling 2.5GHz Monetization Opps.)
The goal of the update is to move into new markets, expand coverage in more suburban markets and add more in rural areas where a lot of roaming between networks takes place. Sprint is said to be locking down funding for the major network update.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading