updated 07:00 am EST, Wed February 16, 2011
Plans to study customer adoption of WiMAX
Sprint Nextel is reportedly getting closer to making a strategic decision about whether it will deploy LTE in its planned $4-5 billion network modernization plan. It has been mulling over the decision for some months now, but will analyze customer adoption rates for its WiMAX network before making a final decision.
The modernization project centers on the adoption of new multi-mode base stations that will give Sprint the flexibility to deliver enhancements to its services including to its current EV-DO network and its WiMAX network. This move will also give it the scope it needs if it decides to go down the LTE path. Sprint has already committed to phasing out its iDEN network, which is now said to be completed by 2013.
In the short term, Sprint plans on upgrading its existing EV-DO network include the introduction of CDMA 1X Advanced. The evolution will bring with it reduced costs and deliver between 20 to 40 percent improvements in capacity as well as performance.