CableLabs wants to use Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum to test how LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) co-exist with Wi-Fi networks.
Google's Project Fi MVNO, which uses Wi-Fi hotspots for calling and data in addition to cellular connections from Sprint and T-Mobile US, is not a competitive threat to MVNOs Republic Wireless, Scratch Wireless and FreedomPop that rely on similar models. Instead, these companies say that the the search giant's entrance into the wireless market is a validation of the Wi-Fi-first concept.
After Sprint revealed that it burned through $914 million in cash in the first quarter, some analysts and investors questioned the company's long-term liquidity and its ability to turnaround its business. However, Sprint executives maintain that the company will continue to invest to acquire customers and improve its network, and it has enough money to do both.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said that the company is finalizing plans for a massive densification of its network using the company's 2.5 GHz spectrum. Called the "Sprint Next Generation Network," the plan calls for a balance of small cells and macrocells and promises an improvement to both network speed and capacity.
Sprint edged out T-Mobile US and retained the title of the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier in the first quarter, remaining ahead of its rival for at least another quarter. Sprint added 1.2 million total customers in the period and though it lost postpaid handset customers it pared back those losses compared to earlier quarters.
Sprint likely lost postpaid handset customers in the first quarter but could report stronger financial results when it posts its quarterly earnings tomorrow, according to Wall Street analysts at Evercore ISI. In a research note, Evercore analysts Jonathan Schildkraut and Justin Ages also wrote that network quality continues to be a problem for Sprint that will need to be addressed.
Regional operator and Sprint wholesale partner nTelos Wireless experienced strong growth in the first quarter in its Western markets, with net subscriber adds totaling 8,000, up from 5,000 in fourth quarter of 2014. The company said the period was its best for net adds since 2007. In addition, the company said it is winding down its Eastern markets by migrating approximately 50,000 customers off its network.
Top executives from the nation's tower companies saw lower spending form the Tier 1 wireless carriers in the first quarter, but the carriers and tower firms all expect network densification and buildout activity to ramp up as the year progresses.
Sprint's years-long effort to be able to fully deploy its 800 MHz spectrum along the Mexican and Canadian borders got a boost after 29 U.S. senators wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry urging pressure on Mexican regulators to direct Mexican licensees in the band to retune to new channels.
Sprint struck a multi-year Wi-Fi offloading agreement with Boingo Wireless to seamlessly offload its customers' data traffic to Boingo's Wi-Fi networks at 35 major U.S. airports. The Boingo deal is one element of Sprint's evolving strategy to make Wi-Fi an integral part of its network as part of an effort to improve the performance of its network.