Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced an important milestone in the national roll-out of Network Vision: a complete deployment of the first multi-mode base station in Branchburg, N.J. The deployment features a series of firsts, including
* radiating multiple spectrum bands (1.9GHz and 800MHz) from a single base station,
* powering both 1x and EVDO.
The new base station is fully integrated with the existing network and initial tests show performance improvements are in line with expectations.
Announced in Dec. 2010, Network Vision is a blueprint to consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless network, resulting in significant performance improvements for our customers. Through spectrum efficiencies associated with Network Vision, Sprint intends to repurpose some of its 800MHz spectrum for Sprint 3G service, thereby enhancing coverage, particularly the in-building experience for customers. Augmenting its 1.9GHz footprint with 800MHz, Sprint expects its CDMA coverage density will increase throughout the country. More density generally equates to fewer dropped calls and a more seamless network experience for customers.
“Customers in Branchburg who are served off of this first cell site may already begin to notice improvements,” said Bob Azzi, SVP Network for Sprint. “Months of planning and execution with our partners are resulting in performance improvements that more than meet our expectations. We’re excited to begin sharing these improvements with our customers.”
Sprint customers will soon see better signal strength for improved wireless access in more places. The Network Vision program is expected to result in faster, more consistent data speeds, allowing greater access to download the latest free song of the day from the Google Music Store on an HTC EVO™ 3D. Customers can expect to experience fewer dropped calls so they can freely manage their holiday plans and shopping virtually anywhere they are. Network Vision ultimately means confidence for wireless users that Sprint is handling increased data demands while ensuring an exceptional wireless customer experience.
Network Vision also provides significant economic benefit to Sprint. Network Vision is expected to cost an incremental $4 billion to $5 billion and deliver $10 billion to $11 billion in net economic value to the company between 2011 and 2017, with a projected NPV of approximately $6 billion. The primary components of value come from reduced roaming, cell-site reduction, the elimination of dual networks, backhaul efficiencies, reduced churn, more efficient use of capital and energy cost savings.
Sprint previously announced that Network Vision is a three year program with market deployments beginning in 2012 and ending in early 2014. Sprint expects to make additional announcements about market deployments early next year.