Photos: A Sprint Network Vision Cell Site

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Near Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s world headquarters is Kansas City, Kan., one of the first markets to be upgraded as part of the carrier's Network Vision project.

Sprint took LR Mobile and several other media outlets to a cell site in nearby Olathe, Kan., to get up close and personal.

Click on the image below to launch a short slide show of our visit.

The Olathe cell site included Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) equipment, although the vendor is splitting the U.S. with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Samsung Corp. as well. The markets, though dominated by different vendors, will interoperate via a shared, independent packet core, Sprint VP of Engineering and Operations John Harrison said. That core will be enabled for all of Sprint's phase-one launch markets by the end of June.

Harrison said that 20 to 30 percent of Sprint's cell sites are on roofs, and the building process requires negotiating terms with building owners and tower companies, leasing and zoning the space, and, finally, tower construction. Ericsson Managed Services represents Sprint to the OEM involved with the build, and Harrison said you start to see benefits of the towers immediately after the site is turned up.

"There's good days and bad days," Harrison said, noting that a natural disaster taking down a tower would qualify as a bad day. "It's very complex; it's not simple."

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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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