Displaying items by tag: Sprint
The $26 billion merger deal between US telecommunication operators T-Mobile US and Sprint has received the backing of a key official at the US communications regulator FCC (Federal Communications Commission).
A leading US consumer watchdog has voiced their concerns regarding the details of the proposed merger agreement between mobile operators T-Mobile US and Sprint.
US telecommunications operator Sprint has posted a disappointing performance in its financial returns for Q4 in 2018.
The US government has confirmed that the proposed merger deal between telecommunication operators T-Mobile US and Sprint will undergo a forensic examination in an effort to determine whether or not the deal represents the best interests of consumers.
US telecommunications operator Sprint has achieved a 5G milestone following a pilot trial in the sun-kissed city of San Diego.
Sprint, which is owned by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank announced that it had completed a successful 5G OTA data transmission on its live network. Sprint CTO John Saw has expressed his delight at the success of the 5G project, and claims that it will provide a huge step forward in relation to the operators’ overall plans to launch next-generation services in the forthcoming months.
Sprint disclosed the details of the field test and revealed that it was conducted using 2.5GHz spectrum on the operators’ commercial network with radio equipment from Finnish vendor Nokia and a mobile test device from Qualcomm.
In addition to this, Sprint also disclosed that the trial demonstrated a successful handoff between 4G and 5G connectivity while streaming video, conducting Skype audio and video calls, and sending instant messages. Its test follows the completion of a 5G data transmission in a lab during December 2018. The operator earlier this week announced plans to release a Samsung 5G handset in 2019.
“Sprint 5G is now out of the lab and in the field as we prepare for our commercial launch in the first half of this year,” Saw said in a statement.
Nokia North America CTO Mike Murphy noted Sprint’s use of 2.5GHz spectrum for 5G will allow it to reuse existing 4G sites to provide both indoor and outdoor coverage: “This first standards-based call is thus a critical step towards Sprint’s offering of a 5G service to its customers.”
T-Mobile US recently claimed a similar milestone with what it said was the world’s first 5G data call and video call using 600MHz spectrum.
Japan-based SoftBank Group’s plans to break off negotiations toward a merger between subsidiary Sprint and T-Mobile US amid a failure to come to terms on ownership of the combined entity, dashing the Japanese technology giant's hopes of reshaping the American wireless business.
SoftBank is expected to approach T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom as early to propose ending the talks, according to Nikkei. They had reached a broad agreement to integrate T-Mobile and Sprint, the third- and fourth-largest carriers in the US, and were ironing out such details as the ownership ratio.
The German parent had insisted on a controlling stake, according to a source familiar with the situation. Some at SoftBank were initially amenable as long as the Japanese company retained some influence. But SoftBank's board discussed at a meeting that the company would not give up control. The decision was made to call the talks off.
Sprint's position in the US mobile market is weaker than its No. 4 ranking would suggest. The carrier sits well behind the top two Verizon Communications and AT&T in scale and subscribers. The hope was that a merger with T-Mobile would reinforce Sprint's customer base enough to let it challenge the duopoly while allowing for more efficient network investment. In addition, they have sold or mortgaged most assets.
SoftBank tried to buy T-Mobile in 2014, but the idea was abandoned amid opposition from regulators under then-President Barack Obama. The failure of this latest effort leaves Sprint, which was acquired by SoftBank in 2013, to keep working toward a turnaround on its own.
In early morning trading in Tokyo, SoftBank shares fell to 9,830 yen, down 5.8 percent from Monday's closing price. The share price had risen to 10,550 yen on Monday (Nov. 30), a 17-year high since the burst of the dot-com bubble. The shares closed the morning session at 9,921 yen, down 4.9 percent.
"Investors were buying SoftBank partially on the merger hopes, so the news has a negative impact. It will be difficult to maintain the stock price over the 10,000 level," said Tomoaki Kawasaki, senior analyst at Iwai Cosmo.
At Mobile World Congress Americas, US telecom provider Sprint and Ericsson unveiled the results of the first US 2.5GHz Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) field tests conducted in Seattle, Washington and Plano, Texas using Sprint’s spectrum and Ericsson’s 64T64R (64 transmit, 64 receive) radios.
Sprint and Ericsson are preparing for commercial deployment next year, with Massive MIMO capable of increasing Sprint’s network capacity up to ten times. Testing of Massive MIMO on the Sprint LTE Plus network in downtown Seattle showed a capacity increase of approximately four times compared to an 8T8R antenna.
To showcase this capacity, Sprint convened 100 people with Samsung Galaxy S7 phones and ran simultaneous file downloads on a timed-test on all networks. The testing showed a 100 percent success rate on the Massive MIMO-powered Sprint network, which was a significantly higher result compared to the other networks.
In Plano, Texas, Sprint and Ericsson also recently tested Ericsson’s 64T64R Massive MIMO radios reaching peak speeds of more than 300 Mbps using a single 20 MHz channel of 2.5 GHz spectrum.
For both field trials, Ericsson provided the radio network infrastructure and backhaul equipment. Sprint and Ericsson together developed the test cases and requirements, which included a variety of performance scenarios involving multi-user and non-stationary testing.
The Radio Network infrastructure included Ericsson’s next-generation 5G-ready AIR6468 radio, and the backhaul equipment utilized the MINI-LINK 6352 R2 microwave radios which can provide up to 10 Gbps of backhaul, future proofing the network for 5G.
“Massive MIMO is a game changer for adding capacity to our network and taking LTE Plus to the next level,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint CTO. “This technology is a tremendous competitive advantage for Sprint, enabling us to maximize our deep 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings. Massive MIMO will be key to meeting our customers’ growing demand for unlimited data, as well as offering Gigabit LTE and 5G services.”
The companies will use the field trial results in preparation for commercial deployment of Massive MIMO in the US beginning in 2018. In cities across the US, Sprint plans to deploy 64T64R Massive MIMO radios using its 2.5 GHz spectrum to increase capacity up to ten times.
The technology will become part of Sprint’s extended network toolbox as it works to densify and optimize the network, providing more capacity, better reliability, and overall improved performance for customers. In addition, Massive MIMO is slated to power Gigabit LTE services, and it will be a key element of Sprint’s 5G network.
“Ericsson and Sprint have been collaborating on new technologies and continually evolving Sprint’s LTE network, laying the foundation for 5G,” said Nishant Batra, Head of Network Infrastructure at Ericsson.
“Our next-generation 5G-ready TDD 64T64R Massive MIMO radio (AIR6468) will help maximize spectral efficiency of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz network,” Batra added. “It will also provide a cost-efficient way to support their customers’ growing appetite for increased capacity and high-speed data services. This will be the industry’s first live eCPRI installation, which allows for several deployment and performance advantages to operators in the 5G era.”
Massive MIMO is a differentiator for Sprint because it can be easily deployed on high-band spectrum such as Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum. Massive MIMO radios can support high-frequency bands with a small form factor, whereas the physics of lower-frequency spectrum bands would require radios far too large in size to manufacture and deploy on a broad scale.
Sprint customers in the United States are experiencing a better network experience than ever, the company said, with national average download speeds up 28 percent in seven months, according to Ookla Speedtest Intelligence data.
The data also shows that Sprint, the fourth ranked telecom operator in the United States, now ranks number one for the fastest average download speed in 15 cities including Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Seattle, Washington.
The new data comes on the heels of another recent independent report stating that in the past six months Sprint’s 4G LTE availability had improved to nearly rival AT&T, and Sprint’s average speeds had also improved.
Separately, the report also stated that Verizon and AT&T’s average speeds slowed due to their introduction of unlimited data plans. However, Verizon and AT&T results are indicative of each carriers’ average download speed change only and do not reflect a comparison of speeds to other carriers.
“We’ve been offering unlimited data for nearly 10 years and we have a long history managing customer demand which is why our speeds are improving while others have slowed,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint’s CTO. “Sprint also has far more spectrum capacity than any other US carrier and our data performance and speeds continue to improve as we deploy more of our 2.5 GHz spectrum.”
Sprint’s newest innovation, Sprint Magic Box, is improving data speeds for thousands of its customers areas such as Kansas City, North Boone School District, and some residents at the Denver Housing Authority where Sprint Magic Box increased download speeds by more than 300 percent in that location.
“The extension of our toolbox with new small cell solutions such as Sprint Magic Box, airpoles, strand mounts and other tools, are making a real difference for customers in cities across the country,” said Günther Ottendorfer, Chief Operating Officer, Technology, at Sprint. “These low-cost, easy-to-deploy solutions are a great way to quickly improve data service and add more capacity in an unlimited network where it’s needed.”
Sprint also continues to expand its portfolio of High Performance User Equipment (HPUE) capable devices. Many of the most feature-rich smartphones are HPUE-enabled including Galaxy S8, LG G6 and HTC U11. HPUE can extend Sprint’s existing 2.5GHz coverage by up to 30 percent bringing faster data speeds to customers in more locations, including indoors.
Looking ahead, Sprint says it’s preparing for four-channel carrier aggregation, higher order and Massive MIMO, 256 QAM, and Gigabit Class LTE. These technologies are designed to add more capacity to the network and make more efficient use of Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum resulting in an improved network experience for all its customers.
German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom posted quarterly results showing core profits up 9 percent thanks to strength in the United States and modest increases in its home market. The company moved up its 2017 outlook for core profit to around €22.3 billion ($26.4) from a previous 22.2 €billion.
T-Mobile US, the third largest mobile operator in the United States, contributed to Deutsche Telekom’s rise in profits, as it maintains a 64 percent stake in the company. T-Mobile recently said it added over a million customers for the 17th quarter in a row, boosting confidence for Deutsche Telekom.
The US operator is reportedly seeking a merger with the fourth ranked mobile operator in the country, Sprint Corp., in a deal that could dramatically alter the US telecommunications market into three huge players, including AT&T and Verizon. However, Sprint’s majority owner, Japan’s SoftBank, is also considering a merger with cable communications provider Charter, Reuters recently reported.
T-Mobile’s possible tie-up with Sprint has seen Deutsche Telekom’s stock rise and fall, gaining up to 12 percent in May when the speculation began, but then tumbling down 4.4 percent in the year to date after no deal emerged. Overall, the company’s revenue increased to €18.89 billion, topping the high end of forecasts by 10 analysts polled by Reuters.
T-Mobile US posted strong results this quarter despite the fact that its competition went big on unlimited offers. The operator reported record low customer attrition and said it was considering a quarterly dividend.
Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter said, "We're actually starting to have conversations about instituting a small quarterly dividend that we can grow in the future.”
Q2 2017 was a record-breaking quarter in a number of areas for T-Mobile, the company states. The operator delivered record service revenue, strong net income, record Adjusted EBITDA and record-low postpaid phone churn. T-Mobile added 1.3 million total customers, marking 17 straight quarters of adding more than 1 million every quarter.
The company expects to capture all of the industry's postpaid phone growth with 786,000 branded postpaid phone customers in the quarter. Customers are also staying longer, T-Mobile claims, reflected in its record-low branded postpaid phone churn of 1.10% in Q2 2017.
As a result of these strong customer metrics, T-Mobile grew service revenues to record levels, up 8% year-over-year in Q2 2017, it claims. The operator’s consistent level of outperformance has seen it gaining share from larger competitors AT&T and Verizon in a saturated US market through its network improvements and lower prices.
The company had said it was open to various strategic options and has acknowledged it would consider talks with rival Sprint about a potential merger, Reuters reported. However, discussions appear to be on hold, as Sprint, owned by Japan’s SoftBank, is also in negotiations with cable companies Charter Communications and Comcast.
T-Mobile’s net income rose to $581 million, or 67 cents per share, from $225 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier. Total revenue grew to $10.21 billion from $9.29 billion. The operator toppled analyst predictions of 38 cents per share on revenue of $9.81 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"We just delivered a quarter with record service revenue, record-low churn, strong net income and record Adjusted EBITDA - all while leading the industry in postpaid phone growth," said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile.
"On top of that, our network just keeps getting better and faster while the Duopoly's networks seem to be choking after we forced them to go unlimited. Make no mistake about it, the Un-carrier will not stop forcing change in this industry and our Q2 results are more proof that consumers are responding!"
What is a Un-carrier? T-Mobile defines the model as “listening to customers, solving their pain points and giving them unmatched value.” Focusing on these simple priorities has “completely disrupted the wireless industry” T-Mobile claims, “and forced the competition to respond to our moves.”