Sprint selects vendors for upgrade

15 January 2011 |

Sprint has awarded contracts to Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung to implement new multimode technology aimed at upgrading its network across the US.

Under Sprint’s new plan, known as Network Vision, the three vendors will install network equipment and software that will bring together multiple spectrum bands on a single multimode base station. Sprint hopes the multimode technology will improve the coverage, quality and speed of its network, as well as reducing operating costs.

Network Vision is expected to take up to five years to complete, with the three vendors beginning the first stages of deployment this year. The total incremental cost of the network upgrade is estimated at between $4 and $5 billion.

“We are well positioned to take advantage of new technology, chipsets, devices and applications. Working with these three partners, we expect to deliver to our customers the most cutting-edge network capabilities available today and in the future,” said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.

Sprint currently uses separate equipment to deploy services on 800MHz spectrum, 1.9GHz spectrum and, through its partnership with Clearwire, 2.5GHz spectrum. The upgrade will allow the carrier to use all three technologies and others on a single band.

Sprint also intends to repurpose some of its 800MHz spectrum for CDMA service, as well as planning to launch next-generation push-to-talk services in 2011 on the CDMA network in the US.