Sprint Nextel said poor execution by its network vendor partners in the latter part of 2012 was part of what caused it to delay LTE deployments and its larger Network Vision network modernization plan, according to a securities filing.
Sprint Nextel is squarely focused on driving its Network Vision network modernization project, which includes the rollout of LTE network technology, and is not letting Dish Network and SoftBank's competing bids for the company affect the effort, according to Sprint CFO Joe Eueteneuer.
Sprint Nextel is shifting its focus to the future and its CDMA and LTE networks as it nears the shutdown of its Nextel iDEN network, scheduled for the middle of the year. As it has in the past several quarters, the company reported relatively strong metrics for its "Sprint platform" (CDMA and LTE) while losing subscribers from its legacy Nextel (iDEN) network.
Sprint Nextel is continuing its push to attract small business customers to its modernized networks, with its latest promotion promising deals on devices as well as credit for every wireless line switched from a competitor.
Regional carrier SouthernLinc struck an agreement with MVNE Prepaid Wireless Wholesale to add nationwide GSM and UMTS service to its iDEN network footprint, though it is unclear exactly which GSM network SouthernLinc will use for the effort.
Sprint Nextel, in the midst of extricating itself from its legacy iDEN Nextel business, posted a net subscriber loss of 337,000 wireless customers in the fourth quarter. The carrier also reduced its LTE buildout plans for 2013.
Regional cellular carrier SouthernLinc said it will continue to invest in its iDEN network despite Sprint Nextel's decision to turn off its iDEN network by the middle of next year. However, SouthernLinc CEO Don Horsley said the carrier does have plans for a "nationwide solution" that SouthernLinc will launch in a "very short timeframe."
Starting Jan. 1 Sprint Nextel will begin charging Nextel iDEN customers who have not upgraded to Sprint's CDMA push-to-talk service an extra $10 per month. The step is being taken as Sprint continues to move toward the shutdown of the iDEN network by June 30, 2013.
AT&T Mobility is taking aim squarely at Sprint Nextel's remaining iDEN subscribers by announcing the full availability of its Enhanced Push-to-Talk offering as well as new smartphones for the service.
Sprint Nextel doesn't expect to conduct layoffs as part of Softbank's $20.1 billion deal to acquire to 70 percent of the company, according to a regulatory filing. Sprint also expects to drop the "Nextel" part of its corporate name if the deal is approved by regulators.