Last September, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) announced that it would begin rolling out its 4G LTE network to 100 cities across the United States. So far this coverage has been limited to considerably smaller markets but it’s time to make its Broadway debut. Well, not quite yet, that will have to wait. Sprint announced today that it would have its 4G LTE network ready for unveiling in two of the five boroughs: Brooklyn and the Bronx. Sprint has already begun testing the network throughout Manhattan making the LTE network accessible to some but far from covering the island. As for the network’s unveiling in Staten Island, Queens, and Manhattan, well that’s going to have to wait for “the coming months.”
Sprint slow to roll out 4G LTE Network
The announcement is indicative of the problems inherent in rolling out a network in a big city and in this case, America’s most densely populated city. Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is the last of the major U.S. carriers to roll-out LTE service in New York, and it’s had its hands full to say the least.
There are a number of reasons that Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) has lagged behind others. The company has seen four consecutive quarters of subscriber losses after losing its Nextel network, T-Mobile USA, Inc. (TMUS). Plus the two giants, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) have attacked the company while its been held up in merger talks.
For a further understanding of the issues Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) has had with the completion of the network as well as the frustrations of customers who are looking to use Sprint’s unlimited data plan, CNET has published a very comprehensive article on the subject.
Partnership with other network companies
While Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) took the time to make this announcement, they stayed with New York in announcing that they will be providing service in the subway soon through a partnership with Transit Wireless. Sprint, Boost, and Virgin Media Inc. (NASDAQ:VMED) customers will be able to use their phones at 36 subway stations in Manhattan early next year, and the service will extend to all 277 stations in NYC that have Transit Wireless later in 2014.
“The lack of 4G speeds throughout the network was always Sprint’s weak spot. Now as they upgrade their network to 4G in market after market it will help Sprint compete against AT&T and Verizon,” wireless industry expert Jeff Kagan said today. “This is the kind of activity that we can expect to see more of in markets around the country after the Softbank merger.”