Sprint Corp. is looking for extra technical help on networking as it moves to deploy another flavor of 4G LTE along with its existing network in the coming months.
Sprint, which has now officially dropped the "Nextel" from its name, posted a want ad this weekend asking for a Manager - RAN Development and Integration.
This position calls for a person to develop a plan so that a radio access network (RAN) using time division duplex (TDD)-based LTE on the 2.6GHz frequencies Sprint acquired through the Clearwire merger will live in harmony with its existing frequency division duplex (FDD) 4G network on 1900MHz and, soon, 800MHz. (See Defining 4G: What the Heck Is LTE TDD?) Here's the key requirement from the ad:
- As the Manager of RAN Development and Integration, you will be responsible for the design, development, architecture and testing of the Radio Access network elements that will support Sprint's LTE network development and integration. This team will have the responsibility for the delivering an end-to-end RAN design and architecture for the TD LTE network that will co-exist with an existing FD LTE network.
[Ed note: The acronyms "LTE TDD" and "TD LTE" are used interchangeably for this technology. Confusing, ain't it?]
Sprint is also looking for several LTE RAN engineers as it moves to swallow the Clearwire spectrum. Knowledge of "TDD/FDD Interworking" is listed among the key job requirements. Clearly, getting the radio elements right is a primary concern.
But that's not all the current open positions reveal about Sprint's planned network upgrades. The operator is also looking for a manager to pull together its self-optimizing network (SON) strategy for integrated LTE.
"As the Manager of the LTE EMS/SON Architecture, you will be responsible for the design, development, testing and architecture of the Element Management Systems and Centralized SON services that will support Sprint's LTE Network Vision macro and small cell architecture," the ad says.
Self-optimizing network technology becomes more important as operators start to put more and more small cells on the edge of the network. AT&T Inc., however, is the only major U.S. operator that has really talked up using the technology so far. (See AT&T's No. 1 SON.)
Clearly, however, optimization and self-healing networking are on Sprint's radar for LTE.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile