This is a bit of interesting news, but Sprint has confirmed to Fierce Wireless that their Chief Technology Officer, or CTO, Stephen Bye is leaving the company on July 24th. Right in the middle of the third largest carrier working on their densification plan. Evidently, Bye is leaving Sprint to “pursue other personal opportunities.”
Bye actually joined the Now Network in 2011. Coming from Cox Communications, he left Cox shortly after the company gave up on building out its own wireless network and sold off its spectrum. Bye then joined Sprint and was the VP of technology development. In which he was reporting to Steve Elfman, who was Sprint’s president of network operations and wholesale. Bye quickly rose through the ranks at Sprint, and as CTO he was in charge of the company’s overall network strategy. Sprint has had a long line of exec’s leaving the company lately. Just last year, Iyad Tarazi, Sprint’s VP of network technology development and integration, Steve Elfman, president of network operations and Bob Azzi, the carrier’s SVP of networks all left the company. This all happened around the time that Dan Hesse was removed as CEO of Sprint and replaced by Marcelo Claure. Sprint also appointed SoftBank executive Junichi Miyakawa to a newly created position at Sprint, Technical Chief Operating Officer, who reports directly to Claure. This happened late last year, before this, Miyakawa previously was in charge of SoftBank’s network operations. Which relied heavily on TD-LTE technology with 2.5GHz spectrum, which is what Sprint is doing.
Stephen Bye has worked through several network overhauls at Sprint. When Bye first joined the network, Sprint had announced their “Network Vision” which was geared at improving CDMA network as well as launching their LTE. There was also Sprint Spark, which is taking the 2.5GHz and 800MHz spectrum to combine with their 1900MHz spectrum to offer great signal and amazing speeds. Along with plenty of bandwidth. This year, Sprint also announced the “Sprint Next Generation Network” which is their massive densification strategy. It’s basically going to improve signal, as well as add more capacity to dense areas. That way everyone can enjoy fast speeds from Sprint. Other carriers have done this recently, for example, Verizon is doing it with small cells in areas like arenas, malls and downtown areas.