Regional flat-rate CDMA operator Revol Wireless announced it is going out of business. The carrier said it has stopped taking payments and will no longer provide service starting Jan. 16.
A Sprint offer for No. 4 carrier T-Mobile US is still very much a rumor, a far-off one at that. However, many analysts don't think such a deal could pass muster with regulators in Washington for a variety of reasons, even if both are much smaller than larger competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility.
Sprint is partnering with its erstwhile suitor Dish Network on a trial of fixed wireless broadband service. This is the second such trial Dish has engaged in; the first was with Sprint wholesale partner nTelos Wireless.
Wireless carriers seem to be obsessed with the speeds that their LTE networks can provide now, and will provide in the future. While downlink and uplink speeds are important factors in determining the consumer experience, an often overlooked metric is network latency.
Well, it looks like 2016 has arrived a little early. We have all known that a Sprint-TMO combination was a distinct possibility at some point, but believed, given the acquisition, and re-capitalization deals involving both companies just this year, that things would play out for awhile. But Sprint's thinking is that if a merger is a distinct inevitability, perhaps better to do it now. I think this makes some sense, and might be better long-term for the wireless industry and consumers.
It's no secret that a significant amount of attention and interest has been paid to wireless network speeds in the United States and globally. And that comes as no surprise: LTE networks provide significantly faster download speeds than 3G networks. However, relatively little attention has been paid to 3G and LTE latency speeds in wireless--which is notable considering a number of operators have pointed to improved latency as a major reason behind the push to LTE.
Sprint is considering a bid for No. 4 carrier T-Mobile US, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Sprint is studying potential regulatory concerns of the deal, and it might make an offer in the first half of next year.
Sprint desperately needs a repositioning, in the same way that T-Mobile has shown is possible. As the last quarters have proven, just providing "unlimited for life" is not enough for consumers to switch to Sprint in significant numbers because the other operators offer packages with more data per month than most consumers use. Unless Sprint can provide more value than Verizon or AT&T, the customer losses will continue.
Sprint is going to have to start executing faster and better if it wants to make Spark stand out next year. I'm sure SoftBank and Son will be pushing Sprint to do so. That may be the clearest measure of SoftBank's influence on Sprint.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse acknowledged that the carrier is still working through its Network Vision network upgrade, and that as it replaces equipment to improve its network, customers will see degradations in service and Sprint will see higher churn as a result. However, he said that Sprint's tri-mode LTE service, dubbed "Sprint Spark," which is just getting underway, will provide the kind of speed differentiation that will set Sprint apart.