Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is embarking on its long-awaited international expansion by partnering with the operator Three in the UK. FreedomPop is also still evaluating a possible acquisition.
Boingo Wireless is still in the early days of rolling out carrier Wi-Fi offloading with Sprint, but its Wi-Fi technology is on about 10 million handsets today, growing to 40 million, including some of Sprint's other brands like Virgin Mobile.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure left for Japan yesterday to meet with SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son to discuss Sprint's network densification project. According to one Wall Street research firm, Sprint may soon boost its capital expenditures for 2015 once Son signs off on the plan.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son promoted former Google executive Nikesh Arora to the role of president of SoftBank--and essentially designated Arora as his successor, an indication that SoftBank will continue to look beyond its native Japan for growth. Son said SoftBank, which controls 80 percent of Sprint, will be a global company and will continue to invest in mergers and acquisitions following its $21.6 billion deal to take control of Sprint in 2013.
Sprint in February changed its rules for devices that customers want to take to other carriers and MVNOs, which is having a negative impact on some Sprint MVNOs that offer Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs, including Tucows' Ting Mobile service. However, Sprint and the MVNOs say they are working together to resolve any issues.
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.