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Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

Sprint Product Ambassador

Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

Geek.com has a really clear writeup about how Sprint is rolling out LTE as part of Network Vision.  They don't pull any punches: "...Sprint’s WiMax deployment was not the 4G people were looking for. Lets face it — Sprint is likely going to spend the next year playing catch up to Verizon and AT&T", but they have some solid information from CTIA.

Sprint’s LTE deployment may be coming in a distant third, but their deployment plan is structured to allow for an inexpensive upgrade from the LTE r9 that we know now to the LTE r10 (also called LTE Advanced). The plan, pending approval from the FCC, is to us the 1900Mhz spectrum for LTE r9 on their networks. The towers where LTE r9 has been deployed will also have an 800Mhz broadcast point that can be activated just be dropping a card into the tower. Sprint’s plan as of right now is to offer an LTE service that is competitive to the existing offerings, but as soon as the FCC approves the 800Mhz usage their techs will install the card needed to then start broadcasting LTE-A over the same footprint as the existing LTE networks. Even in testing their network testing when deploying these towers, Sprint is testing both LTE r9 and r10. When the network is active, Sprint will be able to offer significantly faster LTE speeds than their competition, and neither Verizon nor AT&T’s towers are build to adapt as fast as Sprint’s

They also cover some of the network management and backhaul changes we're making:

Broadcasting the signal is one thing, but there’s a lot more to deploying a network than the towers. Sprint thoroughly explained how they have re-architected their entire backhaul to support data increases over the next few years. Sprint claims that they backhaul is ready to handle LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) the moment it is turned on. On top of this, their network engineers have spent a lot of time to guarantee a zero-interruption handoff between LTE and 3G. Their staff dedicated to supporting the tower construction and network deployment is about 6,000 employees at the moment according to Sprint.

In a nutshell, it seems like Sprint has paid very close attention to what has happened in the ecosystem so far, and plans for their LTE deployment to be a zero-friction kind of offering that will immediately compete with the rest of the market, as well as be ready to leap frog ahead of everyone else.

Their conclusion?

Sprint’s network deployment plan is by the best out there. The ability to shift to LTE-A in 2013 will be a huge benefit that Sprint will have over wither AT&T or Verizon Wireless. Unfortunately, the network is still dark and there are no real dates attached to when users will actually start to use this network. Even after the network is live, it is difficult to offer a device-by-device comparison for how exactly this new network will keep up with the rest of the crowd.

The next year of network deployment is absolutely critical for Sprint. If their network deployment plans stick, by the time 2013 gets here there will be no question that Verizon and AT&T will have some real competition from Sprint in the LTE world.

Geek.com has more good information at http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/sprints-lte-plans-and-how-they-stack-up-against-the-rest-2012051...


Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Tags (2)
18 REPLIES 18
Journeyman

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

For Sprints sake, I hope they're right because people (me) arent going to sit around for another two years waiting on 4G service. Hell, the only reason I came back to sprint is because they had the "first 4G network" and I was told (by sprint employees) that 4G/wimax would be in my area by the end of the year

Wizard

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

Thanks WIngland for a very insightful post.

At the same time, I hope everyone in Sprint's PR department is looking for work tomorrow.  If it weren't for a few people on the site who share insight like this from 3d party articles, we would be in the dark about LTE deployment and Sprint's position in the marketplace.  Sprint as a company does a horrible job of self-promotion, which is a shame given the potential they have to surpass Verizon and AT&T in several major markets. 

Give me 10 minutes with Mr. Hesse and a camera crew and I'd have the commercial you need:

- In our desire to roll out the first 4G network, mistakes were made.  We chose Beta while the rest of the US went VHS.

- We're on track and making up ground quickly

(show crew updating tower)

- Sprint's LTE is here.  5 markets will be active in June 2012.  18 by December.  We will reach 20,000,000 customers by December 2013.

(show happy customers)

- This time, we're building it for the future.  Pending FCC approval, we'll have the fastest LTE-A network in existance with the flip of a switch.

- Best new devices

(show HTC Evo LTE / Samsung S3 / iPhone 5)

- Best network

- Thank you to all the loyal customers who stood by us as we realigned our network for the future.

Seems simple to me and I'm not a marketing guy...

GrandMaster

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

i know this has been beat to death...but seeing as how the snapdragon s4 is capable of using the 800LTE..will it actually be able to if this comes along sooner than later? will this be a simple update or do we have to look foreward to a even newer phone once were out of our new contract?

Message was edited by: fireguy_6364

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I like many others come onto this site for assistance and to help others. Marking a reply as helpful or correct helps others with like issues when they try to search the site for assistance. I do not work for Sprint and my suggestions and or opinions are my own. *************************************************************************************************************
Wizard

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

That is just so great to read! We will just have to wait a little longer? Sorry we have been hearing this same song and dance from Sprint since June 2010 (Evo 4G). Excuse me if I just say "I'm not holding my breath". I hope all this Sprint propaganda you copied is accurate but I would rather remain skeptical and not get my feelings hurt.

Highlighted
Journeyman

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

ok that sounds good LTE-A but i have a question..... are the current lte phones (galaxy nexus, lg viper, htc evo) going to work under LTE-A? i mean those phones are just LTE, is there a difference between LTE and LTE-A for the phones?

GrandMaster

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

any phone running the S4 Snapdragon chipset has the ability...but so far it is unknown if a simple update to the OS will make this available or if it would need a whole new antenna...if its the later then it will never happen until we upgrade to a phone that is already set for both. other than that im not sure which chipset the viper or the nexus is running.

*********************************************************
I like many others come onto this site for assistance and to help others. Marking a reply as helpful or correct helps others with like issues when they try to search the site for assistance. I do not work for Sprint and my suggestions and or opinions are my own. *************************************************************************************************************
GrandMaster

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

MeatMan69 wrote:

That is just so great to read! We will just have to wait a little longer? Sorry we have been hearing this same song and dance from Sprint since June 2010 (Evo 4G). Excuse me if I just say "I'm not holding my breath". I hope all this Sprint propaganda you copied is accurate but I would rather remain skeptical and not get my feelings hurt.

longer for what? 4G LTE? no...same time frame...the only thing that is currently unknown time/date wise is the 3G 800LTE...the new phones and older phones currently run on the older 3G anyways. which so far speeds have increased a great deal in the areas that have had the NV hit them. most are seeing at least 1mb+ speeds..

*********************************************************
I like many others come onto this site for assistance and to help others. Marking a reply as helpful or correct helps others with like issues when they try to search the site for assistance. I do not work for Sprint and my suggestions and or opinions are my own. *************************************************************************************************************
Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

arTim - outstanding post.  Forwarded to JGAtSprint and several other PR and CorpComm managers for review.  We'll be talking more internally your points!

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

No idea on the chipsets vs software upgrades for current LTE phones supporting LTE-A (Release 10).  In my personal research I wouldn't hold my breath -- it seems like Qualcomm is holding back the Release 10 features for the latest S4 chip they start shipping this summer.  But I have no view into the internal workings of the product, device and chipset teams. 

As always - buy the phone that suits your needs *now*, without thought about what may come from an upgrade or update.  Don't buy one of our phones based on a hoped-for MR or update.

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Wizard

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

Thanks.  I hope you edited out the part about me hoping they all got fired

Journeyman

Re: Sprint’s LTE plans, and how they stack up

I can see how this will be another excuse to start charging us an additional $10 "Premium Data" charge once LTE rolls out.  Total BS!  Don't believe the hype.  Where has my so called "Premium Data" experience been in the past year and a half with my EVO?  My city never got Wimax 4G and probably won't get LTE for another year or so while I suffer through pathetic 1G service.  Unacceptable!!!

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