Sprint has been talking about this densification plan for quite some time now. It’s important for Sprint as it’s going to allow the company to add more bandwidth in densely populated areas, and should – at least in theory – help to improve the coverage as well as speeds that Sprint’s network provides. Recently, Sprint’s CEO Marcelo Claure took a trip to Japan to meet with his boss and Sprint Chairman, Masayoshi Son, about his densification plan. Which is said to be pretty pricey. Word is that Claure got the okay from Son for the project. However, no further details have been announced.
Analysts are believing that Sprint will be using around 70,000 small cells for their “Next Generation Network (NGN)”, which is just another name for their densification plan. They are also believing that the company will use a number of macro sites as well as some backhaul involving their 2.5GHz spectrum. Their 2.5GHz spectrum is super important as it can house a whole lot more spectrum than the lower band spectrum that most every other carrier currently has. While low-band is good for building penetration, high-band (over 2000MHz) is good for bandwidth.
We’ve been hearing a lot about small cells lately, and it appears that Verizon isn’t the only carrier that will be using them. Verizon actually already has a number of small cells deployed in markets across the US. Small Cells are basically small towers that can be placed on top of utility poles. Verizon is using them in dense areas like downtowns, malls and stadiums. Where there is a lot more traffic and people connecting to their network. Sprint will likely be doing the same thing. It’s great for the carrier because it’s cheaper than buying or leasing a new tower – also much quicker to deploy – and it’s great for customers because that means more coverage.
Sprint’s earnings conference call is set for August 4th, and we should hear more about their Next Generation Network on that call. As well as the normal numbers in terms of cash and subscriber growth or loss for the quarter. It’ll be interesting to see how things played out for Sprint in the previous three months.