During the Mobile World Congress in February, Sprint shared an update on its Network Vision project. The initiative is aimed at simplifying and integrating Sprint’s convoluted network infrastructure. Sprint has placed a price tag of up to $5 billion on Network Vision, but expects the upgrades will enable the company to decommission up to 20,000 cell sites, delivering massive operating cost savings over the long term.
According to a report in Fierce Wireless (See http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-decision-lte-likely-four-six-months/2011-02-15), Sprint Senior Vice President of Networks Bob Azzi explains that part of the strategy includes a deployment of CDMA 1x Advanced, which may offer 20 percent to 40 percent improvement in network capacity and performance. The big item on the list though, is shuttering the old Nextel iDEN network. The company’s well-known Direct Connect push-to-talk feature will be replaced with a CDMA-based alternative.
Today, Sprint is rolling out 4G services with its partner Clearwire using WiMAX technology. However, Azzi indicated the company is evaluating the option of migrating to LTE, the 4G technology favored by Verizon and AT&T.
How will Sprint’s Network Vision initiative impace cell site owners?