Small cells

Sprint's Dual-LTE Future Looms: Help Wanted!

Sprint is looking for a self-optimization expert and a manager to help it design an LTE TDD network that can live in harmony with its existing 4G network.

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

DollarsnSense 7/24/2013 | 3:40:53 AM
re: Sprint's Dual-LTE Future Looms: Help Wanted! First smartphone, LG LS 980, with 2.5GHz TD-LTE (and 800MHx LTE) passes through FCC: http://www.phonescoop.com/arti...
Cellco 7/23/2013 | 10:56:27 PM
re: Sprint's Dual-LTE Future Looms: Help Wanted! I think you are right on both accounts, the merger timing and the devices availability 1) external devices are consumer acquired and enabled (for choice networks), not necessarily from the operator. So, convincing the weakened PC/LAPTOP market to pro-actively include when so few took on 2.6 and 5.8 enabled carriers before is tough. For the manufacture to add to the many modes requested by a small network operator and at the same time offent much larger carriers will be hard.

Why not make the small carrier pay for the feature. The included modes should be for those with 40% marketshare. Quite frankly, why would you build in the multimode for 8% market share? Charge the carrier for a branded device. By all means my point is not fair, just economical.
DanJonesLRMobile 7/23/2013 | 4:00:17 PM
re: Sprint's Dual-LTE Future Looms: Help Wanted! Also, timing might also speak to the timing of the closure of the mergers too.
DanJonesLRMobile 7/23/2013 | 3:59:34 PM
re: Sprint's Dual-LTE Future Looms: Help Wanted! It probably says that initial devices that support 2.6GHz will be dongles and Wi-Fi router type devices and that multi-mode tablets, laptops and smartphones will need to be enabled by more work on the radio network.

Also, as they layer in more 2.6GHz coverage with metrocells and small cells they are going to need to look at hand-off between different RAN networks and devices.

It is going to be a complex business.
earth 7/23/2013 | 3:53:39 PM
re: Sprint's Dual-LTE Future Looms: Help Wanted! 2500 LTE is already turned on in some markets. It's been spotted in Denver, word is Chicago,NYC, LA, SF and a couple others will have it soon if not already.
Sarah Thomas 7/23/2013 | 3:48:00 PM
re: Sprint's Dual-LTE Future Looms: Help Wanted! I'm sure they already have engineers on board working on this, but what do you think the fact that they're just not seeking more position says about the timing? Think TDD LTE is phase two Network Vision -- maybe late 2014 time frame?
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