Sprint went ahead and shut down its mobile WiMAX network on Friday except in the markets around the country where it was ordered by a judge in Massachusetts to keep it running for two nonprofit groups that are locked in a contract dispute with the carrier. Meanwhile, Sprint disclosed it will incur as much as $225 million in costs related to the shutdown of Clearwire's legacy WiMAX network.
A state judge in Massachusetts delayed Sprint's plans to shut down Clearwire's legacy mobile WiMAX network in 75 cities across the country by 90 days. In doing so, the judge sided with two nonprofits that had sued the carrier, alleging that Sprint violated their contract by pushing them to accept LTE service that would have throttled their customers' speeds after 6 GB of data usage.
Sprint plans to shutter tomorrow the mobile WiMAX network it inherited when it bought Clearwire in 2013, and the carrier said only a small percentage of customers remain on the WiMAX network after a long campaign by Sprint to get customers to switch to its LTE network.
For the last couple of years, some have viewed Sprint as the Rodney Dangerfield of wireless. Indeed, the carrier has seen mostly negative press and perception ranging from subscriber losses to poor network execution to unfortunate technology selection, to M&A problems, and the list goes on. Add in a negative macroeconomic environment, unprecedented competition and some bad luck contributed to keeping Sprint down. Here's how I think Sprint got to its "no respect" predicament.
Sprint has been talking about the unique benefits of its 2.5 GHz spectrum for years--first when its partner Clearwire owned it, and then after Sprint bought Clearwire. They're still talking about how it's a differentiator. Yet unless and until Sprint fully takes advantage of that spectrum, I don't see it making meaningful market share gains or standing out from its competitors.
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.
Sprint confirmed it will shut off service on its mobile WIMAX network on or around Nov. 6, 2015, giving further clarity on its network evolution.
How did the wireless industry perform in the third quarter of 2014? Check here throughout the third-quarter earnings report season for full earnings reports from the wireless industry's carriers, handset makers, equipment suppliers and others.
Karma, an MVNO that rewards customers with additional data when they share their hotspot connection with others, is launching its first LTE hotspot, called Karma Go, on Sprint's tri-band LTE network. The company previously only offered service on Sprint's WiMAX network.
How did the wireless industry perform in the second quarter of 2014? Check here throughout the second-quarter earnings report season for full earnings reports from the wireless industry's...