Sprint’s Chief Network Officer, Dr. John Saw, was speaking at the 4G World conference which is held in conjunction with Super Mobility Week in Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Saw had some interesting information about Sprint that he wanted to share with us. As you might remember, Sprint launched nationwide HD voice service two months ago and it now 16 million customers have access to HD voice service. Dr. Saw added that this improved voice quality is taking the pressure off Sprint to offer voice over LTE (VoLTE) service. He wants Sprint to offer a great VoLTE experience and it seems like it’s not there yet. Saw also added that Sprint offers approximately 30 postpaid smartphones and 33 prepaid ones with HD voice capability, which he thought are significant compared to the amount of offered VoLTE devices.
Dr. Saw added that Sprint has 250 million people covered with FDD-LTE (in the 800 and 1900MHz spectrum) and that 100 million people will have TD-LTE access in the 2.5GHz band by the end of this year. He added his is a significant differentiator for Sprint. Every base station that Sprint is currently using supports both FDD-LTE and TD-LTE, Saw said that he expects for the company to use TD-LTE for capacity and FDD-LTE for coverage while adding that backhaul is one of the biggest challenges in his planning. He said that it has to be resolved considering the problem won’t go away on its own.
Here’s some additional info about VoLTE when other US carriers are concerned, for those of you who are interested of course. AT&T Mobility launched VoLTE in certain market in the Midwest. Verizon Wireless is planning to deploy the VoLTE across the US in the coming weeks while T-Mobile offers VoLTE wherever LTE is available in their infrastructure while also offering HD voice. For those of you living in the US, which carrier did you choose? If you have an LTE enabled device are you satisfied with its coverage where you live?