Sprint CEO Dan Hesse confirmed on the company's second-quarter earnings conference call that the carrier is trialing new rates plans in certain markets to determine if it should introduce more competitive pricing nationwide.
Sprint has stressed time and again that it is not rushing to launch voice over LTE (VoLTE), but that does not mean the operator is snubbing the technology. Far from it, in fact, given that a "high-level" Sprint executive has shared details regarding the "programming phase" the operator is reportedly in as it prepares to launch a VoLTE network designed for interoperability with domestic and international carriers.
T-Mobile US said 92 percent of MetroPCS' customers on its legacy CDMA network in Boston, Hartford, Conn., and Las Vegas moved onto T-Mobile's GSM/HSPA+/LTE network after T-Mobile shut off MetroPCS CDMA service in those markets. The carrier next plans to shut down MetroPCS' CDMA network in Philadelphia sometime later this year.
Sprint is likely going to report brutal subscriber losses in the second quarter, according to financial analysts. That will be largely the result of Sprint's 3G CDMA network upgrade, which has temporarily resulted in degraded service as the carrier works to improve coverage, call quality and network speeds. In response, the analysts said, Sprint will likely cut prices in the near term to remain competitive.
Sprint's pledge of unlimited data is looking increasingly less sustainable, as the carrier maneuvers to rein in network traffic generated by its heaviest data users and ensure quality of service for the majority of its customers.
T-Mobile US is notifying customers of its MetroPCS prepaid brand in New England and Las Vegas that they will need to upgrade their devices as T-Mobile prepares to shut off MetroPCS' legacy CDMA network in those areas and move customers to its GSM-based network.
The CDMA handset flashing business is alive and well, according to at least one vendor. Flashtotalk, based in Portland with 45 employees, said it counts a handful of corporate relationships with regional wireless carriers, and is working on an LTE flashing product.
Sprint will rely on its CDMA network and HD Voice technology for voice calling services for the foreseeable future, said Sprint Chief Network Officer John Saw. Saw said Sprint is investing in Voice over LTE technology, but doesn't have a timeline for deploying the service.
AT&T's acquisition of Leap Wireless and its Cricket brand has now received FCC approval, but it will be a few months before AT&T aggressively promotes what it has dubbed the "new Cricket," according to financial analysts.
The FCC approved AT&T's acquisition of Leap Wireless, the last hurdle the Tier 1 carrier needed to overcome to gain control of the regional prepaid provider and its Cricket brand. AT&T has vowed to retain the Cricket brand and compete aggressively on price in the prepaid market using the brand.