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3G/HSPA

Sprint Accelerates Network Vision

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Sprint Open Solutions -- Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is spending money to make money on its Network Vision plans, and CEO Dan Hesse says it plans to do so sooner than expected.

"Network Vision is coming along so well, we've accelerated from three to five years to just three years," he told attendees at Sprint's developer conference on Thursday evening. "We'll be spending more money sooner."

Sprint stock has been under pressure, and Hesse said the size of its investment to modernize the network and the subsidy expense to carry the iPhone are to blame. He admitted Sprint would need to borrow more money for Network Vision, but he called Wall Street analysts short-sighted for their criticism, since the carrier could recoup its investment in 2014 or 2015.

Sprint's Network Vision involves reusing its iDEN spectrum, what Hesse called Sprint's best spectrum, for indoor coverage. Sprint has three different frequency bands, and he said the low band is good for building penetration and the high band for tonnage, while the mid-band is most efficient for high volumes. (See Sprint Hastens to Join US LTE Race .)

"We think the best network experience is one that can allow for a seamless handoff and takes advantage of low, medium and high [frequencies] for the best speeds, cost performance and coverage," Hesse said.

In addition to its Long Term Evolution (LTE) deal with LightSquared , Sprint will continue to sell WiMax devices through the end of 2012, and Hesse said it's working on a future device road map with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), which is adopting Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD). (See Sprint to Launch LTE by Mid-2012, Sprint's $13.5B Jump to LTE With LightSquared, Sprint & Clearwire Bury LTE Hatchet and Clearwire Goes It Alone With Faster 4G.)

Sprint is planning dual-mode CDMA LTE devices next year, as well as some WiMax and CDMA devices, Hesse said, adding that there are no plans for an LTE-WiMax combo in a handset at this point.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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