There’s no doubt that under Sprint’s new CEO, Marcelo Claure, the company has done some things they wouldn’t have done under Dan Hesse. Claure has gotten Sprint to lower prices, as well as offer some plans we probably never would have seen before including the Unlimited Plus Plan, the International Value Data Roaming add-on, as well as co-branding a number of Radioshack stores to increase their distribution. These are all good things, but they don’t mean much when their network hasn’t really improved much.
It’s the age old question, what’s up with Sprint’s network? One of the bigger issues with Sprint’s network is the fact that they choose to go with WiMax a few years ago instead of LTE. Which put them behind the curve. WiMax delivered some pretty decent speeds, especially in an age where we were all on 3G and LTE didn’t really exist. They were actually first with “4G”, they just chose the wrong 4G technology. The Nextel acquisition was another decision that made Sprint suffer, perhaps more than choosing WiMax, which many say was the worst acquisition in history. One of the bigger reasons why Sprint was buying Nextel was to get their spectrum, specifically the 800MHz spectrum, which they couldn’t use for years and years due to their iDEN network. Only recently have they been able to start rolling out LTE onto that spectrum and they are rolling it into their Sprint Spark network, which is supposedly going to give theoretical speeds of around 100mbps. Seeing as it uses three bands, including the 800MHz, and the 2500MHz bands, it allows for better in-building connectivity as well as more bandwidth.
Sprint is getting there, their customer service is improving, their prices are improving, now we are just waiting on the most important part. The network. What good is getting a Galaxy S6 on Sprint with unlimited data, if you can’t use it in most areas, and need to use WiFi? That’s really the only thing Sprint needs to fix. Sprint has been adding customers, at least as of Q4 2014, which is a big change. Seeing as they are usually losing ones. Bringing in more customers, means more revenue is coming in as well. Which should help out Sprint in building out their network. So in short, all of the changes Sprint’s made since Marcelo Claure has taken the reigns in Overland Park have been great, but it appears that he’s ignoring the elephant in the room right now, and that desperately needs to be addressed.