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Sprint Chairman Taking more Active Role in Densification Plan

June 15, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Sprint’s Chairman, Masayoshi Son who is also Softbank’s CEO. Is said to be taking a more active role in the densification plan that Sprint and Marcelo Claure have been working on. This is all according to analysts, so there may be some truth to this, there also may not be any. So we’ll take this with a grain of salt. Sprint’s densification plan, in layman’s terms, is to build up a stronger network in busy areas. Like downtown areas of cities, malls, stadiums and such. For instance, if you go to a baseball game, you’ll likely get slower speeds because you have more people there connected to that tower, which means slower speeds for everyone. Densification aims to improve that, by adding more bandwidth. Verizon has done this by using small cells. Sprint is likely to also utilize small cells.

Macquarie Capital analysts Kevin Smithen and Will Clayton met with Marcelo Claure and the company’s CFO Joe Euteneuer as well as Chief Network Officer John Saw, at Sprint’s headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas. Also there were SoftBank and Sprint investor relations representatives. The analysts believe that Sprint will be using a plan that is primarily based on using small cells. Which are quicker and cheaper to deploy than new towers. And can be placed on top of light or utility poles.

“While no specific financial or operational metrics were discussed at the meeting, we came away feeling that much has been happening behind the scenes and that Sprint’s network plan is near finalization and a rapid, phased deployment over the next 18-24 months,” wrote, the Macquarie analysts in a note. “We sense that the plan has been thoroughly vetted by SoftBank CEO Son-san, who has personally taken a more active day-to-day role in Sprint’s network deployment, cost-cutting, and financing activities which, in our opinion, has resulted in recent progress on churn and improved network performance in several markets.”

The analysts also think that Sprint’s densification plan will only cover about 800,000 square miles in the US. That would be about 85% of the POPs in the US. Compared to the 2.2 million that competitors Verizon and AT&T already cover. This is a big step for Marcelo Claure, in becoming a competitive carrier with Verizon and AT&T. Claure recently said that his network will rank 1 or 2 in the next couple of years. Which is a bold statement compared to where Sprint – the current #3 largest carrier – is right now.