Sprint CEO Claure meets with Miami's mayor, providing window into future network plans

Sprint (NYSE: S) CEO Marcelo Claure met on Monday with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and discussed Sprint's plans to expand and enhance its network in the Miami area in what could be the first hints at the elements of Sprint's massive network densification project. 

Although there was some speculation that the meeting was about a push to build a new soccer stadium in Miami, the meeting actually touched on Sprint's future network plans, according to the Miami Herald.

The report said that Claure wants city and county officials in the Miami-Dade area to speed up to permitting and give Sprint access to government-owned buildings for some of the transmitters for a $75 million network initiative in the market. The expansion would include the deployment of around 800 new cell sites in Miami-Dade County over the next 18 months, the report said.

The plans also include small cells and "monopoles," 150-foot tall transmitters that don't require high-tension wires or metal frame to deploy. The project will create 125 jobs in the area, with another 100 jobs being added through expanded retail operations, the report said.

According to the report, Sprint picked Miami as one of the early rollout cities for its new network project, and the carrier also plans to add 17 new stores in the area, according to a Sprint presentation.

"We have not announced any market-specific deployment details," Sprint spokeswoman Adrienne Norton told FierceWireless, declining to comment further.

"It's a pretty incredible project, from what I'm being told," Michael Hernández, Gimenez's communications director, told the Herald. "In addition to improving their network, it's also adding jobs in the area because you need the infrastructure and the workers to do that."

Sprint confirmed earlier this month it has received approval from parent company SoftBank to proceed with its massive network densification program, dubbed the "Next Generation Network" strategy. However, the carrier has stayed mum on the details and is still working on selecting vendors. The carrier has issued a RFP for the network work and is currently evaluating proposals. Claure and other Sprint executives have declined to reveal exactly how many small cells and macrocells Sprint is planning to add to its network. Sprint is aiming to use the project to dramatically improve its data performance and speeds and enhance its LTE coverage.

Sprint confirmed yesterday that CTO Stephen Bye will leave the company effective July 24 to "pursue other personal opportunities." The company did not immediately give any further details, including how Bye's departure will impact the carrier's network densification efforts and whether it would restructure its executive team.

For more:
- see this Miami Herald article
- see this Inside Towers article

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