Sprint CEO: More LTE Info Coming This Summer
Hesse talked strategy at a JP.MorganChase conference in Boston today. He said that a network-hosting deal -- whereby Sprint gets spectrum and in turn hosts the donor operator on its network -- was "a potential that could happen" for Clearwire. A network-sharing deal between the two has been widely anticipated since Sprint re-upped a $1 billion wholesale agreement with Clearwire in March. (See Sprint Gives Clearwire $1B Boost.)
While Hesse did confirm that Sprint is also talking to other carriers about network sharing, he didn't name LightSquared , which is the deal that many in the telecom market are waiting to hear about. (See Sprint/LightSquared Deal Expected Soon.)
An agreement between the two has been rumored as early as this month. Such a deal, however, would tip Sprint's hand about using LTE, as LightSquared only plans to implement that flavor of 4G.
To that end, Hesse once again reiterated that Sprint will make an announcement about its future 4G plans mid-year. This could mean at least another month or two before the LightSquared-Sprint saga plays out.
"I don’t think an announcement is imminent, it sounds like they’re still evaluating options and an announcement will come with their 4G announcement in the summer," suggests Michael Nelson, executive director of equity research in telecom services at Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
Of course, the continued concern over the potential of the LightSquared network to mess with GPS could put a damper on the whole escapade. Even if, as DSLReports notes, there is definite anticipation of Sprint, Clearwire and LightSquared forming a "super union" to take on their massive rivals in the future. (See FAA Warns on LightSquared GPS Tests in Nevada.)
Financial types on the network-infrastructure side are also gagging to know whether LightSquared will get onboard with Sprint's Network Vision multi-modal base station plan. The reason being that such a move would be detrimental to tune of $7 billion for Nokia Networks but a boost for Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC). (See NSN: We're Still in at LightSquared.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile