Ever since Marcelo Claure has taken over as CEO of Sprint, there have been quite a few operational changes and tweaks to Sprint’s plan offerings as well groundwork laid for the network overhaul that Sprint so desperately needs. Now Sprint is planning to launch new initiatives known as their “Sprint Next Generation Network” for the densification of its network which Claure states will bring long-term benefits of Voice over LTE deployment in the future, as well as give the coverage and capacity of Sprint’s network a major boost while also increasing the speed of the network. To do this, Sprint will be utilizing a deployment of small cells and macrocells and use the company’s 2.5GHz spectrum although the amount of each set of cells is unknown at this time.
According to FierceWireless, Sprint has a potential target number to increase their cell sites by about 20,000 in efforts to increase their LTE network and further its expansion, but could also include the use of recycling existing sites, which could amount to their total number of small cells and macrocells. Sprint reportedly has $5 billion set aside for network improvements for the 2015 calendar year, the majority of which is to be invested in 2.5GHz TD-LTE network improvements according to Marcelo Claure, although Sprint is also said to have plans for improvements on the 800MHz LTE network as well.
In addition to the $5 billion for network improvements and expenses, Sprint has also secured $1.4 billion in vendor financing which is also to be used for improving its 2.5GHz TD-LTE network. As for the 800MHz LTE network, Sprint’s target is to have the network completed by the end of 2015 which also includes a completion of the network rebanding. Sprint’s plans to improve the 2.5GHz TD-LTE networks this year falls in line with their other goals to introduce the usage of carrier aggregation technology which could drastically increase speeds of the network for both downlink and uplink, as carrier aggregation would allow Sprint to deploy 1900MHz FDD-LTE for uplink and 2.5GHz TD-LTE for downlink. Although these changes are still a ways out from subscribers seeing any of the benefits, they should bring in some much-needed improvements.