Alan Weissberger connects the dots regarding several different announcements from Sprint and Ericsson and infers that Sprint is building an LTE network. This is big news, as, to date, Sprint has relied on Clearwire and its WiMAX infrastructure for its next generation network build. Alan suggests, we may see a Sprint offering of an LTE Network as early as 2012.
Sprint awarded Ericsson a contract as a key equipment and service provider for Sprint’s Network Vision program. Integral to this program is the use of multi-band, multi standard radios that will consume significantly less space and support 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz from one base-station. Weissberger points out that Ericsson does not have a publicly announced mobile WiMAX product and is a strong advocate of LTE.
Further, in the Ericsson-supplied, edited video package below, Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg alludes to using assets purchased from Nortel. A quick look at past press releases indicates that CDMA and LTE were key technologies acquired in these purchases.
Weissberger concludes, “That Sprint will develop its own multimode EVDO/CDMA/LTE network while it continues to resell Clearwire’s Mobile WiMAX; and that LTE will operate in one or more of those bands.” He suggests that Sprint will continue to resell Clearwire in 2011.
Sprint estimates a net financial benefit of $10 to $11 billion over a 7-year period from capital expenditure savings, reduction in cell sites, lower energy expenses, backhaul savings and lower roaming costs. If Weissberger is right, this series of announcements may be part of a larger Sprint effort to demonstrate to Wall Street that it is not dependent on Clearwire for its 4G offering.
And Weissberger asks the question, "What happens to Clearwire when its 2011 WiMAX build outs are complete? There does not appear to be a WiMAX 2.0 (IEEE 802.16m) in the company's future and they will certainly require additional financing (beyond their proposed $1.2B debt offering) sometime in 2011 to survive as a viable entity."
What do you think?
Note: Features such as Push- to-Talk from Nextel’s iDEN network will be part of Network Vision