Sprint Needs $3B to Fufill Its 'Network Vision'

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) needs to raise around $3 billion more in funding to complete its Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 3G network upgrades, according to a report issued by Mizuho Securities USA Inc. on Friday morning.

Mizuho met with Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer at this week's 2012 International CES in Las Vegas. The company said they were pleased with the performance of the iPhone in the last quarter of 2011, while they are focused on executing the major upgrade of Network Vision over the next couple of years.

Network Vision involves using base station technology that supports both 3G CDMA and Long Term Evolution (LTE) across multiple frequencies. Sprint unveiled its first three LTE devices in Vegas this week

The Mizuho report suggests that Sprint needs billions in additional funding to complete the upgrade:

    Sprint successfully raised $4B in November, 2011 by refinancing some of its debt. Management indicated the company requires an additional ~$3B in funding for Network Vision. At least $1B will likely come from vendor financing, with the remainder coming from debt.

Why this matters
The Network Vision program is crucial to Sprint if it is to compete with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless . The upgrade is the company's initial pathway to LTE Advanced services in 2013.

For more
Read up on the network vision:

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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