Sprint Officially Says Sayonara to LightSquared
Sprint today announced that it is terminating its LTE network contract with embattled LightSquared. First tipped by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Sprint confirmed Friday that it is acting on its right to terminate the contract based on LightSquared's failure to gain regulatory approval to operate its LTE 4G network in L-band (1.6GHz) spectrum. "Sprint has been and continues to be supportive of LightSquared's business plans and appreciates the company's efforts to find a resolution to the interference issues impacting its ability to offer service on the 1.6GHz spectrum," the company said in a statement. "However, due to these unresolved issues, and subject to the provisions of the agreement, Sprint has elected to exercise its right to terminate the agreement announced last summer. We remain open to considering future spectrum hosting agreements with LightSquared, should they resolve these interference issues, as well as other interested spectrum holders." Sprint concluded by saying that the circumstances regarding LightSquared are unfortunate, but will have no impact on Sprint's Network Vision project, which it says is on schedule to launch LTE by the middle of the year.
Sprint Says Network Vision Is Basically Done
Sprint recently indicated that its years-long Network Vision project is coming to a close. Sprint's 1900MHz LTE network covers 260 million POPs, according to Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer, who made the comments at a Bank of America investor conference this week.
Masayoshi Son Would Consider Selling Sprint Spectrum
SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son indicated he'd be willing to sell some of the company's 2.5GHz spectrum assets to keep Sprint funded. Sprint gained a massive amount of 2.5GHz spectrum holdings when it purchased Clearwire.
Sprint to Skip 600MHz Incentive Auction
Sprint today said it will not participate in the 600MHz reverse auction planned for next year. The company believes its spectrum position is "sufficient to provide its current and future customers great network coverage." Sprint owns significant amounts of spectrum, but much of it is concentrated in the 2.5GHz range.
Sprint Touts Network Progress
Sprint today offered a snapshot of the progress it has made deploying LTE around the country. According to its fourth quarter earnings, Sprint's LTE network now reaches 270 million POPs, up from 260 million in the previous quarter.