Sprint is jumping into LTE Advanced (LTE-A) carrier aggregation later this year as part of its Sprint Spark initiative, and the operator is also taking hard looks at numerous other cutting-edge technologies, such as SON and even Cloud RAN, for inclusion in its long-term roadmap, said a top executive.
Sprint and T-Mobile US are nearing a deal in which Sprint would pay $32 billion for T-Mobile in a transaction that would combine the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. wireless carriers, according to multiple reports.
AT&T Mobility's Cricket prepaid brand is planning to phase out its support for the government's Lifeline service. The company said it will continue to support its existing Lifeline customers on CDMA phones for the next 18 months or so, and that it will not sign up any new Lifeline customers on Cricket GSM phones.
T-Mobile US is the only U.S. carrier that has so far confirmed it will support Wi-Fi calling for Apple's iPhone, a new feature Apple is enabling via its iOS 8 software update.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere again intimated that the carrier would benefit through larger scale, likely via a merger with Sprint, and served warning to the company's larger competitors about a potential deal.
Sprint parent SoftBank and T-Mobile US owner Deutsche Telekom are inching closer to a deal, with DT reportedly willing to keep a minority stake in T-Mobile in a deal to sell T-Mobile to SoftBank, according to a Reuters report.
Deutsche Telekom remained tight lipped over reports it has agreed a deal to sell nearly all of its T-Mobile US business to SoftBank-owned rival Sprint.
Verizon Wireless indicated it has struck deals with both Sprint and T-Mobile US to interconnect VoIP traffic, which could be a precursor to Voice over LTE roaming agreements.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said that Sprint needs "greater scale" if it is going to effectively compete in the U.S. wireless market, laying yet more groundwork for a potential combination between Sprint and T-Mobile US.
Sprint has a long history with mobile virtual network operators, becoming the first nationwide operator to openly embrace this business model and welcome new MVNOs to its network. Over the past several years that strategy has helped the company gain new subscribers even as its core wireless business struggled due to network issues and intense competition. Just over a year ago Karen Freitag joined the company as its vice president of global sales and business development for Sprint's emerging and wholesale business group, which contributed more than $1.5 billion to Sprint's bottom line in 2013. Freitag recently talked with FierceWireless Editor in Chief Sue Marek about Sprint's thriving MVNO business as well as the growing opportunity it sees in M2M.