Sprint Corp. (S), the third largest telecom operator in the U.S. has decided to wrap up its WiMax operation by the end of 2015. In 2013, Sprint entered into the WiMax business after its acquisition of WiMax wholesaler Clearwire. However, Sprint itself was taken over by Japanese telecom giant, Softbank by the end of 2013. Currently, Sprint has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Clearwire installed 17,000 wireless towers for deploying WiMax technology. Out of this, the company deployed 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology on 5,000 wireless towers using 2.5 GHz spectrum. Sprint has decided to deploy LTE network on another 5,000 wireless towers using the same spectrum. However, Sprint may sell out approximately 6,000 cell towers of Clearwire, which have become redundant.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, Sprint launched a new project called “Sprint Spark”, which incorporates the company’s 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz spectrum, together with devices offering tri-band capability and high-definition voice.
Under Sprint Spark, the company also offers 10 triband LTE capable devices, which include updated Samsung Galaxy 4, Samsung Galaxy MEGA, HTC One max, LG G Flex and NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot. The company expects to complete LTE roll out by the end of 2015.
The much hyped next-generation (4G) technology of WiMAX lost ground to the alternative technology LTE. The WiMAX field is getting less crowded day by day. LTE is clearly ahead in the race as the most sought after 4G wireless network standard in the market. In the U.S., Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and AT&T Inc. (T) are significantly expanding their respective LTE networks. T-Mobile USA Inc. (TMUS) also plans to follow the same.
LTE offers several advantages over other 4G techniques like WiMAX, Ultra Mobile Broadband (upgrade of CDMA EV-DO) and Multi-input Multi-output (:MIMO) Wireless LAN. This includes improvement in spectral efficiency, lower costs, and solid integration with other open wireless standards. These are the primary reasons compelling telecom service providers to switch to LTE network.