Sprint: The Birth of a Network

5:20 PM -- We're seeing some of the usual teething troubles with the launch of Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s new Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, as users search for 4G coverage in the initial 15 market deployment.

There are some lively threads on Sprint's user forums about searching for an LTE signal in announced LTE markets like Atlanta and Houston: "I was all over Atlanta on the 16th with my EVO 4g LTE," writes one user on the Sprint community forum. "WHERE is this mythical 4G?"

Users on other forums also seem to be having trouble getting consistent coverage in Atlanta. "So Im as inside Atlanta as you can be and NO LTE SERVICE!!!" howled one on the Sprint Users Forum.

Meanwhile, over on the S4GRU forum, some users are trying to figure out how to get their new LTE devices to actually connect to the network.

Now, none of this is surprising with the launch of a new network. Recall that Verizon Wireless has had several major outages on its LTE network since its launch.

The thing is, however, Sprint -- because it is the last of the big three carriers to get going with LTE -- has less wiggle room than AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon when selling the network to new or existing customers.

It can't compete with either of its bigger rivals on LTE coverage and speed. The operator's key selling point still appears to be unlimited data, now on faster 4G.

This will be a compelling proposition for some. It is relatively easy to burn through a 2GB data cap streaming movies over LTE.

If it is not backed up with solid connectivity through network upgrades, however, LTE is going to stumble right out of the gate for Sprint.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

elgato990 12/5/2012 | 5:27:43 PM
re: Sprint: The Birth of a Network

Pretty disapointed they did not deploy IPv6 when they have the green field opportunity to do so in LTE, and they even veared into the carrier grade nat (CGN) world re-using DoD IPv4 space.  They are catching some flack for doing this legacy hack on next generation network here http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r27324698-LTE-access-early-  Not sure what network vision they are going towards, looks like they trying to find the path foreward by looking in the rear view mirror

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:27:41 PM
re: Sprint: The Birth of a Network

It's such a massive undertaking that I'm not surprised that some of the elements are difficult to deploy but, yeah, IP6 seems like it would be good to have on the ground floor.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:27:22 PM
re: Sprint: The Birth of a Network

DSL Reports has picked up this story and got additional user comment on the rollout. What percentage of a place should a carrier cover before they claim it on their coverage maps. 40%, 50% or more?

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