Nearly Half of Sprint's Traffic is on 2.5GHz Spectrum

Sprint has been said to have the most spectrum out of all of the US wireless carriers. Although they are the only one that has high-band spectrum, like the 2.5GHz spectrum they got from the Nextel merger back in 2005. They weren't able to use it for LTE for quite some time however. But since being able to shut down Nextel's iDEN network, Sprint has worked their 2.5GHz spectrum into their network and used it for Sprint Spark which has now been renamed to LTE Plus, using three bands to deliver LTE speeds to their customers. 2.5GHz spectrum is valuable because it can handle more bandwidth, but doesn't cover as much distance, while low-band spectrum like their 800MHz spectrum will cover more distance, but has much less bandwidth. Making for a great pairing.

Now according to Wells Fargo Securities, the company is seeing about 40% of their traffic on the 2.5GHz spectrum. And on top of that, they haven't seen any real congestion on that band either. Which is good news for both Sprint and their customers, as well as the future of 5G. Seeing as 5G is going to need to use these higher-bands to have enough bandwidth for the Internet of Things. Additionally, Sprint is only using about a quarter of their 2.5GHz spectrum holdings right now.

In a research note, Jennifer Fritzsche from Wells Fargo Securities wrote, "Claure and the network team indicated, that, while in some markets it has to be more 'patient' overall, the permitting and approval stage for its small cell deployment has been ahead of expectations." She also mentioned that Sprint is carrying more "tonnage per subscriber" of data than the other US carriers. All that with using just a quarter of their 2.5GHz spectrum, and not having any "meaningful congestion" is pretty amazing, when you think about it.

Sprint has been cutting back on spending on their infrastructure, partially due to them looking to densify their network with the addition of Small cells. This has caused a lot of questions to rise about Sprint, seeing as they are currently number four in the US, and their network does still need quite a bit of upgrades. Even though reports from RootMetrics and Nielsen has shown that their network is improving.

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