Sprint is upping the ante for DirecTV customers who want to switch over to Sprint by offering them plans with larger data buckets, though the new plans are not free of charge like the earlier offer (which still stands).
T-Mobile US may be plowing ahead with its 700 MHz A Block deployment to enhance its LTE coverage, but it remains the carrier with the least low-band spectrum below 1 GHz, according to networking testing and mapping firm Mosaik Solutions. And although LTE coverage has expanded rapidly across the United States in the last few years, Mosaik notes that more than 30 percent of the U.S. land area has no LTE service available, a significant portion of that being in Alaska.
While the other big U.S. nationwide wireless operators have lodged their opinions in the great LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U)/Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) debate, Sprint has been quiet on the topic. Of course, it's got plenty of other things going on, but it's somewhat curious because the company plays in both the Wi-Fi and LTE camps.
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 a clear message for wireless startups: work with us. The carrier said that in 2016, the Sprint Accelerator, powered by Techstars, will expand its scope from just mobile healthcare to all kinds of mobile technologies as Sprint looks to provide funding for startups.
U.S. wireless carriers will eventually shift to smartphone leasing and away from equipment installment plans, according to analysts at Macquarie Capital. Further, they think the operators could get a boost in leasing by partnering with Apple, which would stand to benefit from a move to leasing.
Sprint is continuing to invest in Chicago, highlighting that the windy city remains one of the carrier's premier markets as it prepares to densify its network and continue its retail expansion. The carrier said it plans to bring 750 additional new jobs to neighborhoods throughout Chicago and expects to invest $150 million in the market by the end of 2016, up from Sprint's previous commitment to invest $45 million.
If you haven't noticed there's some new and perhaps familiar faces appearing on FierceInstaller. In collaboration with my colleagues Dan Frankel, editor of FierceCable, and Phil Goldstein, editor of FierceWireless, I am now leading up this publication along with my ongoing daily coverage of the wireline industry segment at FierceTelecom.
While the overall telecom industry continues to be dominated by male executives, it's clear that women are becoming a growing and influential resource in the wireless and wireline industry segments. They are helping drive major network and marketing initiatives at some of the largest wireless operators and vendors in the U.S.
Sprint parent SoftBank's recent purchases of the carrier's shares have boosted its stock price up around 50 percent since before starting the buying spree in August. The share purchases are a reflection of SoftBank's confidence and have added $6.7 billion to Sprint's market value since Aug. 7.