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Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

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Wizard

Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

Finally Sprint is upgrading it network hopefully they expanded aswell

Source http://blogs.forbes.com/elizabethwoyke/2010/11/30/analyst-sprint%E2%80%99s-network-upgrade-will-net-...

Analyst: Sprint’s Network Upgrade Will Net $2 Billion In Savings Annually

Investors have long been waiting for a turnaround from Sprint Nextel. Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin thinks the carrier’s planned network upgrade is the key.

In a Nov. 30 note to investors, Chaplin estimated the cost of the upgrade, which is expected to begin in early 2011, at $6.5 billion. Since the work will condense and modernize its network, however, Chaplin also believes that Sprint will save at least $2 billion in maintenance and roaming costs. Those savings would add $2 a share in incremental value to Chaplin’s current price target of $6.

The projections could make Sprint a more attractive investment. In his note, Chaplin, who has an “outperform” rating on the company, noted, “While investors will likely remain skeptical until the [upgrade] project is well underway, we believe the value creation possibilities will make Sprint increasingly difficult for value oriented [investors] to ignore.” Chaplin’s estimate of $8 per share in potential value makes Sprint the only large-cap company in his coverage area that he believes could double over the next three years, he added.

Sprint has not detailed its upgrade plans yet, though it is expected to do so in December or January. Chaplin made his calculations with the help of network engineers and industry consultants, including Atish Gude, who used to head strategy at Nextel and Sprint and served as the Chief Marketing Officer at mobile broadband provider Clearwire until Nov. 2009.

In a Nov. 30 investor call hosted by Chaplin, Gude backed up Chaplin’s estimates. Sprint, he agreed, will probably reap $1 to $1.2 billion in roaming savings by installing new base station technology and repurposing some spectrum currently used for its older iDEN network, which supports push-to-talk phone technology. Another $1 billion is likely to come when Sprint completely shuts down the iDEN network and 20,000 related cell sites. During the call, Gude said he thinks that will happen between 2012 and 2014.

Modernizing its network will not be cheap. Chaplin estimates that Sprint will require 46,000 to 48,000 base stations to give its customers national coverage. Each base station will cost about $30,000 in equipment and $10,000 to $15,000 in installation work, for a total of about $4 billion, according to Gude. Adding in new antennae, which cost about $15,000 per pair, will add “another couple million dollars” to the tab, he said.

The upgrade is well worth it because Sprint will benefit from lower expenses and better service, Chaplin contends. Its current setup, in which it operates two discrete networks, requires it to support many more cell sites than its peers—39% more than T-Mobile USA, for example. Eliminating these sites and beefing up its core network will improve reception while decreasing roaming costs, said Chaplin. The moves should enable Sprint to boost its margins, which are below T-Mobile’s even though Sprint boasts 46% more subscribers.

The changes will also give Sprint flexibility to respond to future trends. While the company’s initial deployment will be to the third-generation (3G) technology CDMA, Gude said the new base stations will support fourth-generation technologies like WiMax and LTE. Upgrading to 4G will simply require the insertion of a channel card, at a cost of $5,000 to $7,000, into each base station. “The new antennas and base stations are all leverage-able as Sprint goes to LTE,” said Gude. “With this upgrade, Sprint becomes a very strong competitor.”

None of these scenarios take into account potential network integration with Clearwire, the Washington-based 4G broadband provider in which Sprint holds a majority stake. Clearwire is struggling to raise money to continue building out its own WiMax network. Sprint could lower its expenses and capital requirements by merging operations with Clearwire, noted Chaplin. He expects Clearwire to resolve its funding issues before year-end.

13 REPLIES 13
Journeyman

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

If this actually does go underway, this will make me not regret my move from Tmobile onto Sprint very much, I switched to Sprint with many promises that I realize are now empty promises. 4G is not available in my area as promised, Network is not "pretty much everywhere" as promised to me, Froyo still not on my Epic 4G. I switched to Sprint because I was assured all of this was in the "works" and now the end 2010 is only 31 days, and NO WORD YET.

EMPTY PROMISES! Keep this up, Ill go back to T-mobile where the promises they give me actually follow through because i came to Sprint on a limb, and a very convincing sales rep. They told me the network was strong, and the phone android issue would be taken care of, broken promises. I dont even know where to voice my concerns, I have to endure 2 years with a company that lies to me to trap me?

don't get me wrong, the employees are wonderful, but they give me the run around every time I call in because they do not know what to say about the issue, and give me useless information that just gives me more questions which make me more frustrated to not have my issues properly acknowledged, its not them, it is coprorate that deals with this, froyo simply on my android would at least let me forget about the network issue until these towers come into play, but it seems I get the broken end of the deal.

NOT A HAPPY CUSTOMER. NOT THE BEST BUSINESS STRATEGY TO TRICK THE CUSTOMERS INTO COMING ON BOARD!

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

Very interesting article.  Only sad part is that this just adds more fuel to the fire that us Nextel iDEN users have been claiming since day one of this merger: Sprint management has NO CLUE what they're doing.

I said from day 1 that Sprint needed to continue to build out BOTH iDEN and CDMA/EVDO to expand both coverage and capacity for each network.  Doing so would have allowed Sprint to become far less reliant on roaming onto the [Alltel and] Verizon towers, saving this company in the long run some much needed capital.  Instead, this company simply chooses to spend money on a $6B stock buy back (dumb move).

Then, Sprint management said that they were going with WiMAX, and were looking to build out the network on their own.  Great....but the fact that Sprint completely fumbled the iDEN side only proves that the company couldn't afford to now pay to build a new network from the ground up, let alone do so while losing 500K post-paid subscribers every quarter.  So, they had an opportunity to have SK Telekom invest $5B in building out the WiMAX network for Sprint, and do so by 2009.  Instead, Sprint balks because doing so would have forced the company into promoting former Nextel CEO Tim Donahue as the NEW CEO of Sprint.  So, instead...the company opted to pass on the SK Telekom investment and proceeded to lose 7M more net post-paid subscribers, going from 55M subscribers to a mere 48M (SUPER dumb move).

Then you have CEO Dan Hesse claim he's going to "reinvigorate the Nextel brand" and invest in that side of the company, but the very next thing he does is write off nearly $30B in Goodwill, claiming that the $35B that Sprint paid for Nextel was $30B too much.  Well, when you manage to lose nearly half of all iDEN subscribers, I suppose the Nextel side isn't worth as much as it was at the beginning of the merger.  But doing so also drastically limited Sprint's ability to borrow much needed capital in the future.  So, instead of using that $30B to leverage it as potential assets, Mr. Hesse drops the ball and deams Nextel to be just short of worthless...yet within a year, launches Boost Unlimited in a pathetic attempt to stem the post-paid losses by substituting new pre-paid subscribers for those losses.  Hasn't worked...since Sprint continues to report net iDEN losses, and Sprint can't afford to actually build out anything (despite what this article says)...so that would mean that this is Dan Hesse's ultimate debacle (ULTRA UNBELIEVABLY DUMB BEYOND BELIEF dumb move).

So...now with over $20B in debt, no earnings, decreasing revenues, decreasing subscribers, and only $10B in liquid cash, Sprint execs somehow think that they can afford to actually pay to upgrade and expand CDMA?!?  No, wait...CDMA as well as WiMAX?!?  This company has lost it!

The sad part is us iDEN users that are left are going to suffer the most...and end up leaving this comany the same way we were brought to this company: completely disgruntled and disenchanted.  End result: Sprint drops to under 35M subs, forcing the company to look for a suitor or file for bankruptcy.  And since Verizon wants NOTHING to do with Sprint, guess what will have to happen by 2015?  Yup...Sprint goes bankrupt.  Nice.

Wizard

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

quasijedi a miracle still can happen in sprint upgrading it iDEN network since they have still have not announce a ppt technology on the cdma side. This miracle can happen if sprint notice there is no better way to have a ppt than on iden. They fail misirably with Qchat( I personally have never had a nextel but my mother uses one for work but I see the value in iden and if sprint invested in iden and internet would be 3g or 4g speed I would tell all my family to move from cdma to iden in a heartbeat.). Just recently NII i think that the company it nextel in south and central America extended the contract / relationship with Motorola and if I am not mistake sprint has a contract until 2012 sow till then there will be nextel and maybe by then they realized it a great technology. As far as sprint going bankrupt I dont think this will happen if the upgrade the network and expand (very important) since they will have cdma/evdo, wimax, and lte.

Wizard

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

From my expirience the network is great they just have to expand it more to make it perfect. As far as froyo (androd 2.2) that is comming. As far as 4g goes I live in Miami and just this monday Miami was turn on. The coverage is not all over the city yet since it goes from south miami all the way to west palm beach. clearwire still need to expand. Sow they could have told you 4g is coming but it could be that it is limited in areas near you. I dont know were your live but you can check the coverage at http://www.clear.com/coverage

Journeyman

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

I live in Washington DC and service goes in and out of where I work and live. I go in and out of the city frequently for work, and it says that I have CLEAR coverage, and excellent 4g apparently where I work, and well from what I see on my day to day life is nothing but 0 to 2 bars of no coverage, and excessive battery consumption on my phone. My house, there is from 2 to 3 bars, which is okay for me, but I must rely on my wifi network for good internet because if it were on my data from sprint it would every other page tell me to post data or reload or something. FRUSTRATING!!!!

I understand froyo is not available yet, but from what I can observe from my different phone calls, store experiences, and internet commentaries, I am not very confident in Samsung or Sprint to give me Froyo or 4G for that matter. and all this confusing mess about Clearwire coverage, or Wimax coverage is frustrating, some websites say it is available, then sprint says its not, some reps say that it is "trickling out little by little" and one even reccomended I MOVED to BALTIMORE! That was a good laugh for us both, but in all seriousness, I do not like to feel cheated into a service that is not even dependable. In my workplace, my coworkers who h ave Tmobile, and Verizon and ATT all have excellent service, where as my Epic 4G which is the hottest phone to me out of all theirs (G2 and iphone and Blackberry) sadly has no service or data.

I'm the fool who switched from Tmobile to Sprint with high hopes, because I thought Tmobile's network coverage was horrendous... thought wrong.

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

3020fjr wrote:

quasijedi a miracle still can happen in sprint upgrading it iDEN network since they have still have not announce a ppt technology on the cdma side. This miracle can happen if sprint notice there is no better way to have a ppt than on iden. They fail misirably with Qchat( I personally have never had a nextel but my mother uses one for work but I see the value in iden and if sprint invested in iden and internet would be 3g or 4g speed I would tell all my family to move from cdma to iden in a heartbeat.). Just recently NII i think that the company it nextel in south and central America extended the contract / relationship with Motorola and if I am not mistake sprint has a contract until 2012 sow till then there will be nextel and maybe by then they realized it a great technology. As far as sprint going bankrupt I dont think this will happen if the upgrade the network and expand (very important) since they will have cdma/evdo, wimax, and lte.

In my book, that's all wishful thinking that Sprint won't go bankrupt.  BTW, Sprint won't upgrade iDEN to 3G because the 3G upgrade for iDEN is HSPA+ (what AT&T and T-Mobile are using), and as for 4G, HA!  Sprint could have upgraded iDEN to 4G by offering the 3 Motorola "Harmony" phones that were developed for Nextel pre-merger.  Instead, Sprint mothballed those phones indefinitely, and instead commissioned HTC and Samsung to produce their 4G handsets (and all 4G phones with Sprint will be CDMA-exclusives).   Now, pair that fact with the fact that Sprint is going to take away the precious iDEN 800Mhz/900Mhz spectrum and use it on their pathetic CDMA network, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Now, I've played with Sprint's CDMA network before (most recently last month)...I'm sorry, but in terms of sheer speed, T-Mobile here in metro Detroit has the edge, with AT&T and Verizon just behind.  In terms of call quality, Verizon and AT&T are tops, with Sprint (and Nextel) right behind, and T-Mobile in the rear (but all within spitting distance of one another).  And as for that "4G" WiMAX speed, it's not all that impressive really...like I said, T-Mobile and AT&T are both providing local users with between 5-7Mbps down and 1-3Mbps up whereas WiMAX in Grand Rapids, MI is only delivering 4Mbps down, barely 1Mbps up.  Sorry, but Sprint has yet to prove that they deserve anyone's business in my view.

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

3020fjr wrote:

From my expirience the network is great they just have to expand it more to make it perfect. As far as froyo (androd 2.2) that is comming. As far as 4g goes I live in Miami and just this monday Miami was turn on. The coverage is not all over the city yet since it goes from south miami all the way to west palm beach. clearwire still need to expand. Sow they could have told you 4g is coming but it could be that it is limited in areas near you. I dont know were your live but you can check the coverage at http://www.clear.com/coverage

Sprint/Clearwire's "4G" coverage is seriously lacking.  MetroPCS has already lauched their LTE network here in metro Detroit (haven't had a chance to test it yet), and Verizon is making a similar announcement about their LTE network tomorrow(err..today).  Best part, despite Sprint's 2 year head start, Verizon is going to catch them within a year's time (probably more like in 6 months) because Verizon is launching in more big name cities than Sprint has (or will).  Verizon will have 38 major cities lit up with LTE beginning Dec 5th, while Sprint will have maybe 20 major cities.  Now you tell me who is really giving the customer the biggest bang for the buck?  So far, for the money, I'd say Verizon and T-Mobile (since T-Mo is offering a pretty awesome HSPA+ up/down speeds).

Wizard

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

My recomendation is to check sprint coverage for voice and data in the coverage map in the area were you work and if it say best or fair call support sow that they can open a ticket to check the tower. I have done this one for have slow data speed and it took 3 week to be fix sow you might have to wait (I gues it depends on importance)

Wizard

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

Here in south florida tmobile is a joke as far a reliable. Att, Verizon, are equal to sprint in call and data. As I tell everyone it all depend on were you live.

Wizard

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

quasijedi wrote:

3020fjr wrote:

From my expirience the network is great they just have to expand it more to make it perfect. As far as froyo (androd 2.2) that is comming. As far as 4g goes I live in Miami and just this monday Miami was turn on. The coverage is not all over the city yet since it goes from south miami all the way to west palm beach. clearwire still need to expand. Sow they could have told you 4g is coming but it could be that it is limited in areas near you. I dont know were your live but you can check the coverage at http://www.clear.com/coverage

Sprint/Clearwire's "4G" coverage is seriously lacking.  MetroPCS has already lauched their LTE network here in metro Detroit (haven't had a chance to test it yet), and Verizon is making a similar announcement about their LTE network tomorrow(err..today).  Best part, despite Sprint's 2 year head start, Verizon is going to catch them within a year's time (probably more like in 6 months) because Verizon is launching in more big name cities than Sprint has (or will).  Verizon will have 38 major cities lit up with LTE beginning Dec 5th, while Sprint will have maybe 20 major cities.  Now you tell me who is really giving the customer the biggest bang for the buck?  So far, for the money, I'd say Verizon and T-Mobile (since T-Mo is offering a pretty awesome HSPA+ up/down speeds).

agree and at the speed clear is expanding the network it will take decades to finish it (Miami is a city that only half built if you look at the coverage). Might be one reason sprint decided to upgrade all there antenas sow that at least in two to three years they can have a full upgraded network.

Wizard

Re: Sprint Upgrading its Network with new towers (Hopefully the expand the Network aswell)

More detail are released on the network upgrade and can be found here http://community.sprint.com/baw/message/237691 also we will have ppt on cdma in 2011 and nextel iden will start to shut down in 2013.

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