A new report from Signals Research indicates that the transition from WiMAX to TD-LTE is occurring much more quickly than originally anticipated.
Sprint expects to shutter at least 6,000 cell sites as it makes plans to shut down WiMAX service by the end of 2015. Sprint has long said it would maintain WiMAX service through 2015, but has not given many details on what exactly it will do with the network after that date.
Sprint, the nation's third largest wireless operator, is largely finished with the mammoth Network Vision network modernization project it started more than three years ago. The result, however, is an LTE service that only covers around 200 million people and is, by most measurements, the nation's slowest. Compare this to T-Mobile, which covered roughly the same number of people with LTE in half the time as Sprint with speeds that often rank at or near the top. And T-Mobile is enjoying significant momentum thanks to its "uncarrier" branding. Nonetheless, Sprint executives are arguing that 2014 is "th e year" for Sprint. I think that remains to be seen.
In the eyes of many, WiMAX is old news in the United States, marked by the decision of Sprint's Clearwire unit to shift its focus from WiMAX to TD-LTE. However, Telrad Networks just announced that its equipment will be used in a new 3.65 GHz WiMAX network in Ohio.
Sprint may be bringing back the Nextel brand to lure enterprise customers back into the fold, according to a TechCrunch report. The report, which cited an unnamed source familiar with the company's plans, also said that Sprint may merge its Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile prepaid brands into a new brand dubbed "Sprint Freedom."
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is launching a limited bring-your-own-phone program for its nascent freemium phone service, allowing customers with off-contract and older Sprint smartphone models to bring their phones over to its service.
Karma, an MVNO that launched in December 2012 offering customers the ability to share data connections, plans to support Sprint's LTE network starting next year. The company also announced it now has more than 50,000 customers.
Valley Telecom made its initial payment of about $3.54 million for Alvarion, in accordance with a court-approved agreement to buy the former WiMAX gear maker out of receivership. The payment marked Valley's assumption of management and financing of Alvarion's operations.
Alvarion's court-appointed receiver asked the District Court of Tel Aviv-Yaffo to approve the company's acquisition by Valley Telecom for $1.5 million plus milestone payments of at least $1.8 million payable within one year.
Telrad Networks, which acquired Alvarion's WiMAX division earlier this year, has committed to a WiMAX-to-LTE technology roadmap, said its new partner, systems integrator Wireless Connections.