Sprint has unveiled its Network Vision blueprint to deploy a cost-effective, innovative network plan to further enhance voice quality and data speeds for customers acro
Sprint has unveiled its Network Vision blueprint to deploy a cost-effective, innovative network plan to further enhance voice quality and data speeds for customers across the United States. Sprint’s Network Vision is expected to consolidate multiple network technologies into one, seamless network. However company has not mentioned the technology path for 4G (LTE or WiMAX).
Sprint has awarded contracts to Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung to bring Network Vision to life by implementing multimode technology to enhance service – coverage, quality and speed – create network flexibility, reduce operating costs and improve environmental sustainability. The awarded suppliers will deploy state-of-the-art technology expected to bring Sprint customers an overall enhanced network experience and deliver financial value to Sprint.
Today, Sprint uses separate equipment to deploy services on 800MHz spectrum, 1.9GHz spectrum and, through its relationship with Clearwire, 2.5GHz spectrum. Under the terms of the new contracts, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung will install new network equipment and software that brings together multiple spectrum bands, or airwaves, on a single, multimode base station.
The base stations will allow for the flexibility to offer new technologies using any of the 800MHz, 1.9GHz or 2.5GHz bands, as well as other spectrum bands. Sprint and the three companies expect to finalize the implementation schedule and begin the first stages of deployment in 2011. Completion of Network Vision across the Sprint network is expected to take from three to five years.
Through spectrum efficiencies associated with Network Vision, Sprint intends to repurpose some of its 800MHz spectrum for CDMA service, thereby enhancing coverage, particularly the in-building experience for customers. Augmenting its 1.9GHz footprint with 800MHz, Sprint expects its CDMA coverage density will increase throughout the country. More density generally equates to fewer dropped calls and a more seamless network experience for customers. According to a 2010 PCWorld 13-city, 3G drive test, Sprint had the most reliable network. The Network Vision plan expects to enhance that competitive position.
As the Network Vision transformation unfolds, Sprint expects to launch the next-generation of PTT services in 2011 on the CDMA network, offering customers sub-second call setup time along with robust data capabilities. As the shifting to more broadband-centric PTT applications on the CDMA network occurs, it is expected that iDEN cell sites will be phased out. This phase out is expected to begin in 2013.
Sprint expects the Network Vision plan to bring financial benefit to the company, not only by reducing operating costs, but also by avoiding future expenses as wireless data traffic continues to grow. The total estimated incremental cost of the Network Vision program during the deployment period is between $4 billion and $5 billion. Sprint estimates the total net financial benefit for a seven-year period to be between $10 billion and $11 billion. Cost savings are expected to come from capital efficiencies, reducing energy costs, lowering roaming expenses, backhaul savings and the eventual reduction in total cell sites. As Network Vision gives Sprint a more efficient network, and wireless data demand continues to increase, the per-unit cost efficiencies of serving Sprint customers should improve.
The nation’s geography will be divided among Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung on a market-by-market basis. Several of the markets for each company. Alcatel-Lucent has New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C./Baltimore and Los Angeles while Ericsson got Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Kansas City and Dallas markets. Sprint selected Samsung for Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Seattle markets.