Sprint is Keeping a Low Profile


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Not much has been reported about Sprint, and their network plans. After it was announced that SoftBank approved the carrier’s plans for network densification last week, it’s been quiet. However, Kevin Smithen at Macquarie Securities had a chance to meet with Sprint’s CEO, CFO, and Chief Network Officer along with SoftBank and Sprint’s investor relations team. “We believe that Sprint has intentionally been keeping a low profile in order to keep its network, spectrum, and marketing plans away from its competitors,” Smithen wrote. “While no specific financial or operational metrics were discussed at the meeting, we came away feeling that much has been happening behind the scenes and that Sprint’s network plan is near finalization and a rapid, phased deployment over the next 18-24 months.” The report indicates that SoftBank’s CEO has thoroughly vetted the plan, and that Masayoshi Son has taken a more active day-to-day roll in the company’s network deployment, cost-cutting, and financial activities. Smithen feels this is why there has been recent progress on churn and improved network performance in several markets. “Based on management commentary, we believe Sprint is embarking on a small-cell driven densification using 3-channel carrier aggregation. We also expect Sprint to increase its use of dark fiber,” Smithen wote. “We don’t think Sprint will require low-band spectrum for this project, but could be opportunistic about the incentive auctions and has potential creative off-balance-sheet funding options. We believe that S would sell 20-40MHz of 2.5GHz if it got a good offer.”

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